Issue No. 124 - Wednesday May 7, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
From the Moderator:

Thanks for the post today. Your post are the list.

Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW:  Jubilee Project - Deadline fast approaching!
02  FS: Fac-Ette now on Ebay
03  WTB: large, clean piece of amber
04  RE: Customers are King
05  RE: stone cutting
06  RE: Stone valuation good vs bad cutting
07  NEW: l/w calculations
08  RE: Several comments on recent lines


Subject: Jubilee Project - Deadline fast approaching!
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 00:53:29 +0100
From: Michael Hing <faceting2@maiko.demon.co.uk>

Hi everyone,
Just a quick reminder that the Jubilee Project deadline (Golden Jubilee
of Coronation Day, June 2nd 2003) is fast approaching.  If you haven't
made a start on your stones yet, maybe it's time to consider dopping
them up!  A few people have already told me that they will go past the
deadline, and that's not the endof the world, but it would be great if
we could do the best we can to get the stones all finished at roughly
the same time!
Also a reminder that you can send your story, and any photos or
comments, to the "chronicler" of the project - Paul Ahlstedt, who is
writing an article for Lapidary Journal.  He can be contacted at...


Also remember that the finished stones can be sent to...

 Dr. Jeffrey E. Post
 Curator-in-Charge, Mineral Collection
 Department of Mineral Sciences
 National Museum of Natural History
 Smithsonian Institution
 Washington, DC 20560-0119

Remember to include a cover letter stating that they are part of the
Jubilee Project and that you are donating them to the National
Collection.  All regular mail to the Smithsonian is irradiated as part
of their Anthrax screening programme.  This could potentially discolour
the citrine, so we recommend that you send via registered mail, Fedex or



Subject: Fac-Ette now on Ebay
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 22:54:29 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Kevin Bloom <bloomk@comcast.net>

Hello all,

If anyone missed the Fac-ette GemMaster II I'm selling or has
reconsidered, it's on Ebay now:
Thanks for looking!



Subject: off topic
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 23:39:43 -0500
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Downey <alckytxn@swbell.net>

Howdy Folks,

My club (Arlington Gem and Mineral Club - Texas) has been asked to
assist in locating a large, clean piece of amber as part of a project to
create a 'memorial' to honor the creation of a national Amber (Hagerman)
plan. This issue dates back to a tragic crime involving the abduction
and murder of a child by that name.
I am merely putting out the word. I don't have any other details but
would forward any info to individuals who are closer to the 'top'.
1 Lucky Texan


Subject: Re:Customers are King
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 21:44:20 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>

At 10:38 PM 5/6/03 -0500, you wrote:
>it is up to the "King", the Customer- Our Beloved (And
>sometimes demanding) Paymasters!

Jon, it seldom that I disagree with you, but on this I must.  I have always
prided myself on customer service, starting back in the early 60's up to
today over a range of different professions.  In my last, as a jeweller
and  stone cutter, I ran across "customers" who defied respect.  There were
not many, only three over five years.   But they happen.

One example that tops the list was a lady who fell in love with a nice
Lightening Ridge opal of about 5 cts.  She had this idea for a ring with
the stone.  She was very firm in what she wanted.  It was going to be the
ugliest damn ring I ever saw. but the customer is always right?  Well, I
made the ring.  I cut the wax, cast the gold, and then sent it to another
goldsmith I worked with to do the stone setting and finishing.  She "LOVED
THE RING", for about three days.  She talked with girl friends, who had
better taste than she did, and decided the opal was to high.  No kidding,
it was about shoulder height if her had her hand hanging straight down.

Well, she wanted to know if I couldn't set the stone a little lower.  I did
at my cost.  However doing so forced me to make a shallow 1/4 bezel set
which had a lot of gold behind the stone and it showed through, changing
the look of the stone.

Now, after a couple days, she came storming back into the store,
complaining that my "Stone Setter" had, 1. switched stones, and 2. had
cracked her original stone.  She wanted his name so she could use  legal
means against him to recover her "damages".  I ask her to point out the
damage to the stone.  She couldn't find it just then.  I pulled out the
microscope and ask her to have a better look and find it.  She couldn't but
she knew it was there.  She kept insisting that the stone was switched, and
I pointed out to her that I had taken pictures of the ugliest ring I ever
made (I didn't use exactly those words) and the stone was the same
one.  After about 30 minutes of this, I informed her that she had two
choices.  Take the ring and love it or sue me, her issues were with me, not
my stone setter.  She stormed out of the store, never to be heard from
again.  I expect that I got a lot of negative publicity from that episode,
but from self respect stand point I accepted that.  She was wrong, and
there was nothing I could do to convince her that she was.  She was never
going to be a "customer of mine" again, so it was time to cut my losses and
move on.

There are times that you have to say "the king has no clothes"


Subject: Re:stone cutting
Date: Tue, 06 May 2003 22:32:58 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>

At 10:38 PM 5/6/03 -0500, you wrote:
>What portion of the value of a mounted stone can be attributed to
>"Good Cutting" ie given exactly the same two pieces and same two stones
>differing in cut only (One poor, The other technically correct)?

If you follow the GIA colored stone grading standards, the cut can only
bump the "grade" up or down by 1/2 point,  Color is king.

Now you and I both know that the cut sells the stone.  Color it very
important, but if the cut doesn't show the stone to it's best, then it
won't sell.

A few years back, I had another dealer call and ask for a top 5ct ruby.  I
pulled in one from one of my suppliers and was really surprised at the
stone,  It was heavily included, and had no life at all.  I did my GIA
grading on the stone, and it did fit the extra fine, about a 9 on the 1 to
10 scale.  It didn't sell, and although the color was really great, it was
a 5ct dud.

It is time that the business steps up to the fact that customers care if a
stone is well cut or not.  They might not know that the cutting makes it
"sparkle" or gives it "life", but they know that they like a stone with
sparkle and life a lot more than a "dud", and are willing to pay more for it.

However, for now, they don't care if the meets are dead on, or if the
angles are exact, they look at the finished product and make their
choice.   An example for you car buffs.  A couple years back, Chrysler
brought out the PT Cruiser.  How many customers cared how tight the
tolerances was on the sheet metal or in the engine.  What they cared about
was that it "looked good", and that it performed good, and looks topped the
list.  Same with stone customers.



Subject: RE: Issue No. 123 - Tuesday May 6, 2003
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 09:10:33 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Ken Ward" <kenward@bertcopart.com>

Your question should be the topic of the year. For diamonds I find the
statement in Rapaport a good guideline. That is Excellent cut is 10% to 15%
over well cut and poor cut 10% to 40% less than well cut.

Colored stones are quite a bit harder to value for cut. I think that most
stones I appraise have 80% of their value in the color and that everything
else shares 20%.

The example in my Email to you showed a poorly cut stone that was more
marketable than a well cut stone. I would still appraise replacement cost of
the well cut stone as being higher than a poorly cut stone, but
marketability is of more concern to those of us in business than is

The point is that we may be able to produce perfect cut, but can we sell it
at a price that takes into account the loss of rough needed to produce the
"better" product. The answer may be different for each type of gemstone.
Ken Ward


Subject: l/w calculations
Date: Wed, 07 May 2003 12:54:33 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Frank lavin" <nival42@hotmail.com>

Could someone provide me with the formula to size an emerald cut using the
L/W ratio.  If I cut to calibrated size the meets don't always line up. Can
anyone help?



Subject: Several comments on recent lines
Date: Wed, 07 May 2003 17:04:14 +0000
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: denney.wilson@att.net

     I have just a few, largely unrelated, comments on lines of thought that
have recently been going on in the postings:
     1.  The question of quality of cut vs. sales is interesting, but the key
is, if you are in business, that the customer must be satisfied!  If you can,
educate him/her as to what makes the best stone by showing them!  However, if
the customer wants something less than ideal, by all means offer it!  I have
found, in my customers, that many do not even care what the stone or stones
is/are - they want a particular color or style and that is it.  If you can meet
their needs with a man-made material they are as happy (or happier, due to
lower cost) as if you used $10,000/ct material.  If you are in the business of
making jewelry for sale on a pre-made basis, you must know your prospective
customers very, very well.  If you are doing custome work only, you must listen
to your customers.  You might be surprised how knowledgeable some of your
buyers are!
     2.  As to which faceting machines are best or worst, I am forced to the
conclusion that there is no perfect machine.  All have their pros and cons. 
However, over the years, I have been convinced that someone who knows what they
are doing or is willing to learn what they are doing can cut good stones on
even a "bad" machine but that an untrained or poorly trained person could not
cut a good stone on an automatic machine!  Personal preference and work habits
are the keys.  If you want to see exactly where you are as you cut each facet,
by all means use a soft stop machine.  If you want to make sure you stop as
close to the same point on every facet as you can, use a good hard stop
machine.  If you are rough on you equipment, avoid machines that are fagile or
require TLC to keep in good shape.  If you are gentle and very careful, forget
the rugged machines - you do not need them - and use the machine you like.  If
you buy a machine, make sure you can return it (in good shape!) if you find you
do not like it. 
     3.  For those who start faceting or stone cutting of any sort as a hobby,
realize that you do not have to decide immediately if you want to go into
business doing this work.  I guarantee that, for at least quite some time, you
will many people willing to take any GOOD work you do as a well cherished
gift!  If, however, you start as a business, give up, immediately, the idea
that this is some type of hobby that yields cash.  You will have to learn the
best techniques and the best materials for your proposed market.  If you
migrate into the business end from the hobby end, you will have to realize that
what you like to cut or what you like as materials will no longer have any
position in your cutting - only the customer's desires apply.

Good luck

Denney L. Wilson
Wilson Lapidary









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!


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Excerpts from actual letters sent to landlords

The toilet is blocked and we cannot bathe the children
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I want some repairs done to my stove as it has backfires
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When the workmen were here, they put their tools in my
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