LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 128 - Tuesday May 13, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
POST TO EITHER LINK BELOW:
VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY
From the Moderator:
Great list today. Keep those post coming in !!
Index to Today's Digest
01 NEW: 7 fold symmetry design
02 NEW: Off the Dop. 1st stone from the Gearloose XS-2!
03 RE: Interesting customer problem
04 RE: Interesting customer problem
05 RE: Interesting customer problem
06 RE: Interesting customer problem
07 RE: Interesting customer problem
08 RE: Doublet Source
09 RE: Interesting customer problem
10 RE: Interesting customer problem
11 FS: RAYTECH SUPPLIES AT DEALER COST
12 RE: Interesting customer problem
13 RE: Interesting customer problem
14 RE: Interesting customer problem
Subject: New 7 fold symmetry design
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 12:40:20 -0400
To: Lapidary arts and faceters digest <email@example.com>
From: Dan Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you have been looking for something different try this.
It has very good faceup and pretty good tilt performance
but the face down performance is disappointing. In
responce to last weeks question I think faceup ( zero
degree tilt in x and y axis ) and tilt ( zero to 50 degree
tilt in x and y axis) optical performance is the main
criteria for judging a gem. Face down optical performance
is seldom important and meetpoints only matter to faceters.
Polish is very important but you will not have very good
optical performance without a pretty good polish. Small
scratches are much easier to forgive than a dull finish.
Even false facets will not be noticed unless you draw
attention to them.
I know all you owners of 84 index gears feel neglected.
I did a new Billy's Whirl design for his new
raytech 84 index gears. They should also work fine
for the Facetron, Polymetric and MDR 84 index gears
also. A word of warning though. This is not a mirror image
symmetry design. If your machine has a clockwise index
gear like my Facetron the rotation of the whirl will be
reversed. Probably not a problem but you need to
get the gemcad file and change the gear to clockwise
if you want a perfect match. I don't think one person
in a thousand would notice.
This design is fine for Beryl but better for topaz and
tourmaline or higher RI. Feel free to use this or my
other 77 and 84 index whirl designs as a design
template. Be sure you put in a note that you modified
the design or replace my name as designer with yours
so I don't wonder why the design changed. I think the
spiked star in this design adds a note of interest. You
can translate this to another gear if you don't have a
77 or 84. Send me an email or ask on the list if you
don't know how to change a design from one gear to
another. You can find it on my design page
or go directly to the
http://gems.dnsart.com/faceting/84wrl6.pdf ( or gem )
permission to redistribute non-commercially granted
permission to modify granted but note the modification
if you redistribute. I think we can all have some fun
with these gears that support 7 fold symmetry.
Subject: Off the Dop. 1st stone from the Gearloose XS-2!
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 19:40:32 -0400
To: email@example.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, you are going to think I am crazy, but I set myself up a nice
challenge: A 32.1 carat Spodumene, 17.2 X 20.5 mm TEARDROP!
Someone sent me some rough to try to break with the new machine, so I
decided I have seen too many rectangular spodumene/kunzites.
I used two laps only: A #600 Crystalite, and a Redwing. A user e-mailed me
and clued me in that the Redwing was the secret to cutting kunzite. (Thank
you!). 4,000 on the copper band, 50K on the BATT. Uneventful except for a
few scary moments of flakiness..Slowed down and it went fine.
No wonder people cut this stuff. The photo makes the stone look DULL.
A scary moment happened on the crown..it suddenly looked like the whole
stone blew up! But the stone is so optically active that it was merely a
drop of cooling water that landed on the backside of the stone, magnified
and multiplied by the facets and the peculiar optical qualities of the mineral.
I am baffled because with an RI of only about 1.66, I was not expecting
that much action.
Subject: Oh dear!
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 16:49:34 -0700
From: Jerry Hughes <email@example.com>
A whole lot of jewelers arnt going to like me now (oh well life goes on)
First of all Ive been a retail jewelry am a gem stone Miner (Yogo
Opal at Juniper Ridge in Oregon and Oregon Sun stone at Dust Devil in Oregon
) Just to name a few.I facet and cab.that which I mine.Iam a colored
A Gemoligest.AND have a web site dealing in rough and polished goods
Singing & dancing and flying low and slow.
Now onto the copenticy of your average jeweler None none nada zip
zilch 0 Negitive numbers
and worst of all average. they are sales people at best .Please note i
said the average.There
are some whom have a love of the trades and the arts of the gems and
trained to shair the
knowledge they have gained(few and far between) Many you will find here.
Delta One Lapidary
Subject: Re: Emerald ring
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 17:05:38 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Noel Rowe <email@example.com>
> She had it "appraised" at a "jeweler" who said it was not a very good
> quality emerald and that the entire ring was only worth $160 -
Before giving up & refunding money I would get an appraisal from an
independent GIA colored stone certified gemologist to confirm the value
of the ring. If it does indeed appraise at $160.00 you can probably kiss
that customer good-by if they won't let you reimburse the money (you may
lose his business anyway even if they do). $75 a carat does seem a high
to me unless it was exceptionally fine color & very clean rough. I don't
deal in emeralds because there are just too many variables involved
(inclusions, undisclosed treatments, to fragile, etc.)
Rough To Cut
Subject: Jeweler. Assemblers vs. Appraisers.
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 20:10:45 -0400
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <email@example.com>
At 05:42 PM 5/12/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>She had it "appraised" at a "jeweler" who said it was not a very good
>quality emerald and that the entire ring was only worth $160 -
>Needless to say I have one very unhappy client - I offered to take it
>back and return his $'s - but he said no it was a gift -
>???? How do you deal with something like this ????
I would make a good faith offer to pay for an independent appraisal from a
real appraiser or lab. I would explain that retail jewellers have been
known to "punish" people who buy elsewhere.
I would then (certainly) recover the cost of the appraisal from the
jeweller at the very least.
Reputation is _everything_ and is worth going to any extremes to
defend. You could even show your customer the invoice for the rough.
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 20:13:34 EDT
To Richard in Maine - I understand your problem with having sold a piece of
jewelry you made and then the customer claiming it wasn't worth even the cost
of the rough. Emerald sells for more than the appraisers quoted value. Even a
cabbed emerald will bring in more than the $160.00 the appraiser quoted your
You have already done the professional thing by offereing the customer his
money back. The only other thing would be to have another appraiser that you
trust to take a look at the stone.
Port St. Lucie, FL
Subject: Low appraised value on emerald piece
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 20:47:06 -0400
From: "denney.wilson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I do not know what to tell your customer - I am sure nothing will
make him feel like he has not been cheated. However, I can relate two
similar items that happened to a friend who is a jeweler and IGA
certified. First, he cut a beautiful NC emerald from a mine he owns.
He knew it was emerald and anyone looking at it also knew. His
customer took it to a jeweler in his home town and was told that the
stone was not an emerald - it was a green beryl of emerald color and
characteristics! Fortuneately, the customer was knowledgeable enough to
go to another jeweler who properly appraised the stone! A second
customer purchased a beautiful Ceylon sapphire from my friend. The
sapphire was cut as a very fine oval, with all angles correct and with a
beautiful 18kt gold setting. The customer took the ring to the same
local jeweler as the first guy did, again for an appraisal, and was told
that the cut was wrong and the color not right - it needed more black!
He was also told that the setting was just gold plated tin! He also
took the item to another jeweler and was given the correct appraisal.
Both guys later brought the jewelry to me for cleaning and re-touching
the prongs. They told me their stories, not knowing I knew the jewelry
creator. I checked on the suspect jeweler and they had a xerox copy of
an IGA certification on the wall, with the name obviously whited out and
their name put in. Just goes to show that not all jewelers are
reputable or certified!
Denney L. Wilson
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 21:59:51 -0400
From: "Doug & Beth Dover" <email@example.com>
I can recommend Trevor Berry of BerryD Opals. He is in Coober Pedy and I
have ALWAYS been satisfied with the material I have gotten from him. He is
at WWW.BERRYDOPALS.COM.AU and also sells on ebay as berrydopals. Do an
advanced search by seller and he almost always has something on auction. I
have gotten rough and doublets from him personally. Standard disclaimer-no
business interest other than as a satisfied customer.
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 20:09:39 -0700
From: "Michael Edgett" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard in Maine,
I'm a jeweler and a gemologist in Washington State. I do appraisals for my
clients on a regular basis. I'm assuming that you did a good job on your
emerald and mounting and that the emerald was of good color and reasonable
clarity. If all of this was the case then your client has no reason for
complaint, regardless of what his other jeweler has to say. Send him to any
jeweler who uses a Stuller catalog and have him look up the cost of an
emerald from this source. The retail value of a 3/4 carat emerald of good
quality, (just good, not great), is listed at $1925.00. Your mounting and
labor adds at least another $150. Now the cost on that emerald is triple
key, but it's still worth a mimimun of $1000. Your customer needs to get
another opinion. If he doesn't want his money back what does he want ?
Please let us know how this ends, I'd be interested in the rest of the
Subject: Re:Emerald Appraisal
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 19:22:43 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <email@example.com>
From: Dave Arens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>She had it "appraised" at a "jeweler" who said it was not a very good
quality emerald and that the entire ring was only worth $160 -<<
Without seeing the stone, it's impossible to make a factual comment. However,
there's a couple of questions that need answers before you can make a decision
on the veracity of the appraisal.
1. Was the jeweler a trained appaiser? That usually requires being a Graduate
Gemologist, & training in appaising. Membership in one of the national apprasial
Generally, for an apparaisal to stand up in court, it needs to be done by
someone with the above credentials who doesn't have an interest in 'selling'
gems/jewelry. It could be the jeweler is just sore he missed out on a sale & is
trying to run the competion down.
2. Was the appraisal a written appraisal? There are different types of
appraisals; tax, replacement, estate, etc. The written appraisal should clearly
identify which type it is.The different appraisals may very well have different
values, even when done by the same trained & qualified person. Although all
appraisals are just someone's opinion, an appraisal written by a qualified
appraiser is considered an 'Expert Opinion'. An unwritten opinion by a sales
person is usually considered just that, an opinion.
I'm reminded of an old saying, "Opinions are like a$$ holes, everybody has one."
If the stone was a good stone, with good color & not too included, you may have
been a victim of sour grapes.
Subject: Please post this
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 10:00:12 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <email@example.com>
From: "Tyler Allen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RAYTECH SUPPLIES AT DEALER COST TO YOU!!!
In order to maintain my status with Raytech as a dealer I need to place =
an order with them. For the next two weeks I will offer to get anything =
you may need from Raytech at DEALER COST. Please email me or call with =
Subject: Richard in Maine with one unhappy customer
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 09:05:33 -0700
From: "Blaise Harper" <email@example.com>
Dear Richard in Maine,
Do not despair on the $160 so-called appraisal from a so-called
jeweler. If you are still able to communicate with this unhappy customer
then run some of the below points by him for consideration:
1. Does Mr. X the jeweler have training in jewelry evaluation? Has he
passed the GIA course in Insurance Replacement Appraisal? Is he a GIA
GG? Does he have any credentials of any kind hanging on the wall? Does
he have skills in cutting colored stones? Does he have experience in
selling emerald jewelry? Does he have any current inventory of emerald
jewelry? Does Mr. X have any equipment such as a good darkfield
microscope for examination? Is he only using a loupe? What did your
customer notice regarding equipment being used to examine his emerald?
Was this a free appraisal or was it a real appraisal that your customer
paid for? Nothing is free in this world. Has your customer gone to an
expert? Would your customer go to a non-expert for an expert appraisal.
Your customer needs to know that just because someone says that they are
a jeweler does not imply that they are expert in appraisal unless they
have the skills for it. Your customer needs to consider these points.
2. If you paid $300 for the rough then you and the seller probably had
the belief that you could at least cut the stone and put a minimum of
double keystone on it for a modest retail sale. Perhaps you priced the
finished stone at $900 giving you a $600 profit or 200% mark-up. This
is modest. Your customer should know this. Mikimoto Pearls lives on a
700% mark-up. They buy pearls for $1000, sell them for $8000 on a grade
A string and take their 700% profit. Mall stores sell lots of items at
500% + mark-up. My guess is that your mark-up was much more modest.
3. Do you have a copy of The Guide? I will take a wild guess and choose
that you ended up with a 6 or 7 grade level stone. If so then wholesale
for a one carat stone around a 6 would be in the $500 price range. A
modest mark-up of 200% puts this stone at retail of $1500. Also The
Guide is for native cut because the emerald pipeline is pretty narrow.
It's a lucky customer that can get a custom cut stone such as yours.
Your customer needs to know this special treat that came to him. This
means a bit of a premium in price should be attached to this stone. Also
you did a fancy cut and this can bring a price premium of up to 15%
more. You also did not say that you oiled this stone. The Guide on
emeralds sets the prices for emeralds that have been lightly treated. If
you have not oiled this stone and if you did not detect any oil running
out of this stone during cutting then your customer should come to
appreciate the fact that he may have an untreated stone. This also
brings a bit of an increase in price. Your customer should become aware
of how fortunate he is to have an emerald that will not leak out oil at
a later time. He needs to know that he has bought a quality stone that
is not so available in the marketplace.
4. You made a custom setting for this emerald. No doubt the setting
alone could be appraised at better than the $160 that Mr. X appraised
the entire jewelry piece for. In total, you may have sold the finished
piece for something more than $1000. Your customer needs to know that he
got a bargain. He got a custom made setting in gold to fit a fancy
custom cut emerald that was natural and perhaps untreated. He got a
bargain. He needs to know this. I wish you good luck with a favorable
outcome for your now unhappy customer.....blaise....
Subject: Interesting problem
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 12:25:11 -0400
From: "Douglas Turet" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yes, you do have an "interesting problem" there, and there are are
essentially five possible explanations for it, in my opinion. The first is a
nasty, but widely-seen practice known as "low-balling" which gets its name
and concept from the days of sandlot baseball. In that original paradigm,
the notion was that if a ball was pitched low and inside enough, the batter
would have to hurt himself to hit it; in the retail world, it means offering
an unmatchably low quote on a product made by a competitor, which raises
doubts in the buyer's mind about that competitor's integrity (and the price
he's either just paid, or been asked to pay). In most cases, the customer
returns to the original store, bitches and moans about how unfairly he's
"learned" he's be treated, and then returns to the low-baller's shop, only
to be told "Gee, we're terribly sorry... the last one in THAT price range
was just bought by a little old lady from Pasadena... but we DO have this
one, over here..." (The old "bait-and-switch" technique, in full operation!)
The second possibility is a variation of the first, and one which
(unfortunately) does raise it's ugly head more often in depressed economic
times, like these, when the case is often one of "survival of the most
vicious". In this version, the idea is not to offer a competitive product
THIS time, but to "salt the earth" for the customer, so that he almost
certainly will not revisit the former supplier, the next time around; in
other words, increasing the chances that the besmercher's store will gain
more business as a result of the victim's store's decrease in popularity.
Although this ruse does work in the short-term, it almost always is
discovered and revealed down the road, after enough people get it through
their thick heads that the jerk in question is just that, or after enough
lawsuits comple him from continuing in that fashion.
The third possiblity is that the rough you bought was either not of the
quality it was represented to be, or not oriented properly, so as to capture
the maximum amount of its color. I don't know how much experience you've had
with cutting Emerald, before, but it's a very tricky material to deal with
-- and I'm not just referring to its infamous "jardin" of inclusions,
either. Depending on where your Emerald hails from (assuming it's natural,
in the first place), it may well have a more richly-hued skin, or "rind" of
color, surrounding a paler, or colorless core. If the skin doesn't find its
way into the culet area of your finished gem -- or, if the stone's cut into
a baguette or square, and one of the sides doesn't include that skin --
you'll most likely wind up with a pale or nearly colorless "gem". If you
didn't do this, that could explain what happened, or...
It could be that the person who sold you the rough didn't have much
experience with the material, himself, when he offered it to you. If that's
the case, he may have thought that he was offering you a relative bargain,
by charging only a small profit margin over his own cost for the stuff, and
may not have stopped to wonder whether the finished stone(s) could actually
yield anything of value. I can't begin to count the number of many times
I've gotten calls from friends who've ranted and raved about how "fantastic"
a given rough they had was, only to find it considerably less so, when it
arrived at my P.O. Box! In turn, I try to keep others' expectations in mind
when I offer rough for sale, since I know all too well how it feels to be on
the losing side of that equation.
Last, but not least, there's the distinct possibility that you'd freely
paid far more for the rough than the finished stone could possibly be worth,
based on your belief that you'd "make it big" on the piece, in which case,
the blame for fault rests squarely upon your own shoulders. You,
unfortunately, would not be the first person in the world (or on this list)
to whom this has happened, hence my insinuation about its possibility. One
of the best ways around this is to spend more time learning about your
market, before entering it. (This holds as true for some of the
better-established rough dealers we've all come to know as it does for their
potential customers.) Over the past six months, or so, there have been more
than a half-dozen instances in which I've ordered roughs -- from individuals
who are subscribers here, as well as those who are not -- only to learn that
the prices they've asked are _so_ far out of line that the cut stones could
not possibly reimburse me for the costs of the rough and postage, let alone
either my labor and/or a profit margin. (And please do not ask me to name
the individuals involved, either here or "off-line"; a few of them are good
friends, whose reputations I will not do anything to affect, under any
That said, there _was_ an occasion in which I, too, had ordered some
Emerald rough, and returned it soon thereafter. As I recall, the asking
price for the roughs I'd received was somewhere between $180-250/ct, but the
prices my retail jewelers (clients) were then paying for finished stones of
the color and clarity of those roughs (not counting the size and color
losses that'd come with as a result of cutting) were in the vicinity of
$300-400/ct., at best. In short, it was a "non-starter", so I didn't even
bother to invest any of my time into cutting them. Since the material you've
had a problem with is the same, and the finished goods sound like they were
in the same range as I'd estimated the roughs I'd received would yield,
chances are pretty good that you ordered from the same person, but lacked
the market knowledge or experience to discern that the asking price was
exhorbitant, and proceeded to cut and sell the stone.
In the spirit of "tough love", the best I can offer you is this,
Richard: the next time a potential opportunity offers you the chance to
either make some serious profit and earn a long-term customer, or stick
yourself into this perdicament all over again, do the right thing by both
yourself and your potential customer, by investing more time into your R&D
process, before making a buying decision. If you (as the person your buyer
will come to think of as his/her private "expert advisor"... or not) don't
care enough to invest the necessary time into studying your market and
comparing what's being offered with whatever else is available, how can you
possibly hope to come out ahead, in the long run? And, if you find that
you've accidentally overlooked that step before investing your _own_ money,
please try to remember to do so, before inviting anyone _else_ to do so with
theirs. The expertise your customers expect -- and need to be able to rely
upon, unquestioningly -- is only earned via investment in time and effort,
on your part. I know it can be daunting, but the resources are out there, if
you'll only put in the time and look for them, and the benefits, both
spiritually and materially, are well worth the effort.
Here's to your success, the next time around!
All my best,
Douglas Turet, GJ
P. O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476, U.S.A.
Tel. (617) 325-5328
Fax: (928) 222-0815
Subject: Unhappy client
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003 13:59:41 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <email@example.com>
From: "MR" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
She had it "appraised" at a "jeweler" who said it was not a very good
quality emerald and that the entire ring was only worth $160
This is a common occurance. You are percieved as a threat so this is
what you get from this type of "jeweler". There are independent
appraisers out there that will do a legitmate appraisal. Find one of
those in your area and offer to pay for the "second opinion". It's
cheaper than a refund.
Any time I recommend an appraisal I make sure my client knows the
difference between an accredited appraiser and an educated guess.
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 18:27:00 -0400
From: "J Wagstaff" <email@example.com>
From the Washington Post Style Invitation, in which it was postulated
that English should have male and female nouns, and readers were asked
to assign a gender to nouns of their choice and explain their reason.
The best submissions:
SWISS ARMY KNIFE: Male, because even though it appears useful for a
wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.
KIDNEYS: Female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.
TIRE: Male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.
HOT AIR BALLOON: Male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to
light a fire under it... and, of course, there's the hot air part.
SPONGES: Female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.
WEB PAGE: Female, because it is always getting hit on.
SHOE: Male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging
COPIER: Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up.
- Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right
buttons are pushed.
- Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.
ZIPLOC BAGS: Male, because they hold everything in, but you can always
see right through them.
SUBWAY: Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.
HOURGLASS: Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.
HAMMER: Male, because it hasn't evolved much over the last 5,000 years,
but it's handy to have around.
REMOTE CONTROL: Female...Ha!...you thought I'd say male. But consider,
it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't
always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them.
---Henry David Thoreau---
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Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor
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