Issue No. 131 - Monday May 19, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
From the Moderator:

Hi all,  Great digest today. Keep those post coming.
It was a busy weekeng with the LGMS Spring show.
I did get to spend some time with James Carpenter
(The Unconventional Lapidarist). I enjoyed the
conversation as well as obtained some of his "Green
Opal ". It is a very interesting and good looking material.
I can hardly wait to "play with it". If any of you get any
of this material give the hydrated matrix a sniff. It smelled
like green apples to me. Odd indeed. LOL

Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Looking for Frantom parts
02  BIO: Dolly
03  RE: Faceters Symposium 2003
04  RE: Value - Price - Worth
05  RE: Question about a class ring
06  RE: Interesting customer problem
07  NEW: GemRough Shops in Mich
08  RE: Interesting customer problem
09  FS:  topaz & kunzite crystals


Subject: Re: Issue No. 130 - Thursday May 15, 2003 - FranTom parts
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 15:10:23 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest),<danat86@msn.com>
From: Jim <jsmall47@earthlink.net>

Through a chain of purchases, the firm Diamond Pacific now "owns" any
residual rights to the FranTom business name. I would suggest that Dan
contact them directly by using their toll free number form the back cover
of Lapidary Journal.

Jim Small
Small Wonders


Subject: bio Dolly
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 16:42:45 -0500
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Dolly <greykin@attbi.com>

Hi all
unlurking for a moment
I am a complete newbie to the scene.
Just acquired an old Ultra Tec machine, and plan on making, err, dust at
Gems at best.
Someday anyway.

I'll be lurking gathering information.

Glad to be here.

in the Fort Worth area


Subject: Faceters Symposium 2003
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 14:58:50 -0700 (PDT)
To: LAPIDARY ARTS & FACETERS DIGEST <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: Glenn Klein <glennklein@yahoo.com>

Hi All:
I just wanted to remind those who are entering the competitions for Novice,
Advanced, or Masters at the Faceters Symposium 2003 at Ventura (just three weeks
away) that the deadline for the postmark on their competition entry form is two
days away....Postmark by Saturday May 17 is required.
If you would like a complete packet of Symposium information, rules, speakers,
hotels or other information, just ask for it now by Emailing me.  And get your
Symposium fees mailed soon, so that it gives us better information to arrange for
the catering and other last minute decisions.
Thanks for your interest.
Glenn Klein, Chairman
Faceters Symposium 2003              glennklein@yahoo.com


Subject: Re: Value - Price - Worth.
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 02:24:00 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

Hello Thurmond,

    I am a trade cutter exclusively, as in wholesale since 1974,
almost all of my business is repair so I get to see a big
difference between value, price and worth of any gem and how
these three amounts will differ wildly depending on the jeweller
and their customer.

   Most jewellers don't see a gem as any more than a garnishing
splash of colour for their beautiful metal creations and can
never justify spending the extra for precision cutting. There
are the few that see coloured gems as an integral part of the
piece and will seek that precision to reflect their metal
crafting integrity and satisfy their discerning customers.

    When you consider that a master lapidary such as Bernd
Munsteiner can get a 4 figure retail price for a ring sized pale
amethyst or blue topaz you can guarantee that stone will never
get into the hands of the average mall jeweller or other hole
fillers in the trade who see that stone as just another $5.00
ct. sparkly.

   When I first started cutting I took a number of my stones to
one of the most reputable local appraisers and asked him for a
valuation. He just gave me a blank look and told me that I was
supposed to be the one telling him. For the purpose of providing
an insurance valuation an appraiser is required to know the cost
of replacement.

     Commercial gem dealers can provide prices for stones with
repeatable quality but with any specialist cutting they have no
comparable stones that could be used to replace it. The
specialist cutter is the only person qualified to make this
valuation which is simply how much it would take to get you to
do it again and again and again....

    Price of course is what you sell it for and should have no
relationship to any factor other than customer attitude.  Worth
is what your customer is prepared to pay so it's pretty much up
to you whether you will cast your pearls before swine instead of
the cognoscenti.

   Another story from my dim and distant past; I cut a large free
form Barion style bronze coloured smoky quartz from a customer's
rough and was asked to provide a note on the cut and sign it.
Feeling quite flattered I provided a snazzy autographed
certificate. Next thing I get a asked by an appraiser for my
cutting costs for replacing this stone, after a short discussion
I came up with an absurdly generous amount which I was told was
not unreasonable for a signed certificate stone.

   A couple of weeks go by and my customer returns with a fistful
of cash as a tip! He is a C.G.A. and was showing off his newly
acquired gem to one of his clients.  Despite owning a  fortune
in jewellery she declared that she had never seen anything like
it and she had no stones that sparkled or had so much life. 
When he explained that he not only knew the cutter, but had the
original signed provenance papers and appraisal she was awed.
Neither she nor any of her friends had a cutters certificate,
jewellers certificates yes, most of her collection was custom
work.  He thought she was taking notes when she started writing
as she pored over the appraisal and my certificate ...WRONG! she
handed him a cheque for the price on the appraisal.



Subject: RE: Class Rings.....
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 08:58:59 -0700
To: "'LapidaryArtsDigest'" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Jeff Ford" <jltford@net-link.net>

I recently replaced a stone in a class ring of mine.  Very true, the
original manufacturer is the most benign way to go! 

But if you care to try replacing it read on.

BTW being a faceter (and bull headed at times) I really wanted to make
my own replacement stone!  Just tell me not to and I'll try harder!

First the stone, in my Jostens ring, was a green Spinel doublet.  The
pavilion is actually mirrored (silver coated).  Interestingly the
Pavilion angles are very low, something like 20 deg.  They do this to
make the stone fit, I'm guessing.  Mine is a classic BIG gents ring with
a 12 x 10 oval.  No insignia.

The stones are often set in a bezel with a plastic ring at the girdle,
between the pavilion and setting (to cushion the stone when the bezel is
pressed?).  Then the bezel is die set over the stones.  Perhaps the best
way to get the stone out is to break it!  With a common 16d nail or
sharp punch, and a firm whack (or three ;-) with a hammer!  BTW put the
ring on a mandrel first!

The work the bezel back out to get it straight.  Clean and buff the
setting as needed.  If you are replacing the stone with a custom cut,
you need to determine the depth of pavilion you can use.  Use a depth
mike or vernier to do this!  Cut your new stone, mine was a clear CZ
oval!  Okay mine is a big ring, so I had plenty of room for the new
pavilion.  I also determined that I need a very thick girdle to make the
new stone fit into the bezel.  My girdle is something like 2.5 mm.  I
ended up using a gel type CA glue to reset the stone. Then carefully
remove any extra after it was cured.  Go back and refill any gaps as
needed.  You could also re-roll the bezel if you wish.  I plan on
replacing my stone every few years or as the mood strikes me. So I
choose the adhesive route.

NOW, this is not a project for the weak of heart!  If you have any
doubts, try the "back to the factory" route first!  I'm only providing
this information for your entertainment.  But, I did work for me.


Jeff Ford, Kalamazoo


Subject: Interesting Problem
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 14:41:42 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: R W <wntrhill@somtel.com>

Hi Everyone -

First - I want to thank everyone who responded to my original post - the
insights and expertise offered were outstanding and once again highlight
the professionalism and willingness to "share" that make this list and
the lapidary community itself such a great group of folks to be involved
with -

Second - since Jill has posted to the list that they "provided" the
original rough - I would like to emphatically state that I was and still
am very pleased with their organization's professionalism, product,
quality, and service - and would encourage all list members not to
hesitate to do business with them if the occasion arises - they are
"first class" all the way -

Lastly about the "problem" -

The most interesting thing about this whole "ordeal" is that the
customer approached me to custom cut an emerald for him - I did not
solicit this job - and having cut emeralds prior to this - in addition
to following all the previous discussions on the list regarding emeralds
(and their problems) - I specifically took the time to tell the customer
about all the issues regarding emeralds and even suggested that we
should consider a "synthetic" emerald as an option or even a chrome
tourmaline - he was still adamant that he wanted a "natural" emerald -

After receiving the rough I showed it to the customer so he could see
the color and clarity and approve it prior to cutting the stone - I was
more than willing, as were the folks at rrgaetan, to get another piece
of rough if he was not  happy with this one's color or whatever - he
said it was fine and to cut it for him -

The finished stone came out very nicely with a beautiful color - I tried
to cut for weight retention so I did leave a couple of "inclusions" that
otherwise would have significantly reduced the overall size of the stone
- I would classify the finished stone as "moderately" included - I did
not have the stone treated as I felt this was not necessary and would
increase not only its' uniqueness but also its' wear ability -

When I presented the stone to the customer he was extremely happy with
the color, cut, and setting - and went off with a big smile on his face
to give it to his wife for her birthday -

I feel very strongly that the customer got exactly the stone he asked
for at a very fair price - especially considering the custom cutting and
hand made gold setting -

Regarding the appraisal - if the jeweler had come up with any reasonable
per carat value I would have lent more credibility to his judgment -
however - as was pointed out in the responses to my post even a 1 ct
cabochon grade emerald would be worth more than $160 - the gold setting
alone would be worth this amount -

So my only assumption at this point in time is that the jeweler is
either totally incompetent or had other "agendas" -

Given the customers unwillingness to consider either another appraisal
or a full refund of his money I really don't have many options left - I
am considering printing out all the responses to my post (as suggested
in the list) and mailing them to him - but a part of me says this too
would be fruitless -

So - again I would like to thank all who responded - and if there's any
lesson to be learned from all of this it would probably be - as a good
friend of mine always says - "No good deed goes unpunished" -

(living in Maine where spring has finally sprung)


Subject: GemRough Shops in Mich
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 17:57:06 -0700
To: ILA Lapidary Arts digest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "George H. Kaufmann" <fiveoaksgems@atlantic.net>

Michigan List Members,

I am driving up to Michigan with my wife and two granddaughters June
1st.  We will be in Lansing June 2nd and the weekend of June 6th we will
be attending a wedding and reception in Hartford.  I would like to know
if there are any shops near the two areas that have faceting gem rough
for sale.


Subject: Interesting Customer Problem
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 08:23:00 -0700
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Galarneau's" <gggemswcr@cox.net>

   I do not see this as a customer problem at all.  I see this as
multifaceted problems caused by the gemcutters, gem dealers, jewelry
sales people, jewelers, and appraisers.  Let's start at the beginning.
  First - You bought a piece of rough to cut a gemstone.  At this point
in the total transaction the responsibility is upon the buyer to know
what they are doing.  The rough was obviously bought to cut a stone for
resale.  Did the buyer know the market for the finished stone?  Does the
buyer know how to grade the finished stone like an appraiser would grade
it?  Did you sell a stone with a promise that it would appraise for this
amount of money?  When I am out buying rough materials these questions
are first in my mind.  Using these guidelines I have found very little
rough offered in the last two years that would reach the goals of being
bought at a price where I could cut it, sell it, and have it appraise
near what I need to make a profit.  Did the buyer of the rough ask
himself these questions?  Are you buying rough and paying for the
privilege of cutting it, with no hope of ever making a profit on  the
  Second - Every cutter selling finished stones must realize they are
against two large, well organized groups that make the rules concerning
gemstones and jewelry.  Jewelry retailers and gemstone dealers make the
rules.  You must know the rules and how the rules relate to the selling
relationship or you are asking for trouble.  This means you must study
the FTC Guidelines, fair trade principles, appraisal guidelines, and
recent legal opinions to know where you stand.  Anyone selling emeralds
must know the results and fallout from the Cap Beasley and Fred Ward
  Third - Gem cutters are not organized.  Our message does not stand any
chance of ever getting out to the public because we are faced with
massive organizations whose sole goal is promoting  their own agenda. 
Jewelers are organized, gem dealers are organized, gemcutters argue
amongst themselves and put the blame on others when the blame lies
squarely on our shoulders.  We need to organize or quit complaining.

Gerry Galarneau


Subject: topaz & kunzite crystals
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 12:49:14 -0700 (PDT)
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: shirley miklik <b-daw@pacbell.net>

1. hi thurmond and everybody,i am just stopping in to post some nice large specimen
quality topaz & kunzite crystals up for sale.  there are 3 champagne colored
topaz crystals and 2 green kunzites available.  if anybody is interested, please
contact me off the digest:  b-daw@pacbell.nettopaz...25x25x22mm, 37.4gtopaz
20x23x20mm, 28.9gtopaz 20x23x20mm, 28.9g kunzite...5x23x1.5cm, 430.3g, aaa
qualitykunzite 4x19x2cm, 300g, aa quality take care everybody.

2. hi eveybody,if there are any dealers looking for a lot of topaz crystals,
i have an offer for you.  the crystals are champagne colored.  i am waiting for the
individual weights and dimensions and i am looking for someone to take the entire
lot.  if you are interested, please contact me off the digest and i will provide
you an image and price and will soon have the weight/dimension data in a couple
of days.

patty so cal


Subject: Please post this to the list. RAYTECH SUPPLIES DISCOUNTED
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 15:58:30 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Tyler Allen" <t.allen@mindspring.com>
Cc: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>


Yes, I am offering Raytech Supplies at HUGE SAVINGS for the next ten
days.  Please email me with your inquiries.  Thinking about purchasing a
Raytech Machine for faceting, I've been using one for 15 years!!!  Ask
me anything you want, I will be glad to help.

Tyler Allen
Atlanta, GA









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






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


Subject: Todays funny
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 07:16:26 -0400
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "J Wagstaff" <wagstajo@kos.net>

 Recently a "Husband Shopping Centre" opened in Dallas, where women
could go to choose a husband from among many men. It was laid out in
five floors, with the men increasing in positive attributes as you
 ascended.  The only rule was, once you opened the door to any floor,
you HAD to choose a man from that floor; If you went up a floor, you
couldn't go back down except to leave the store, never to return.

 A couple of girlfriends went to the shopping centre to find some

 First floor - the door had a sign saying, "These men have jobs and love
kids."  The women read the sign and said, "Well, that's better than not =
having a job, or not loving kids, but I wonder what's further up?" So up
 they went.

 Second floor - the sign read, "These men have high paying jobs, love
 kids, and are extremely good looking."  Hmmm, said the ladies.But, I
wonder what's further up?

 Third floor - this sign read, "These men have high paying jobs, are
extremely good looking, love kids and help with the housework."  Wow!
Said the women. Very tempting, BUT, there's more further up! And up they

 Fourth floor - this door had a sign saying "These men have high paying
jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework,
and have a strong romantic streak."  Oh, mercy me, cried the women. But
just think!What must be awaiting us  further on!  So up to the fifth
floor they went.

 Fifth floor - the sign on that door said, "This floor is empty and
exists only to prove that women are  impossible to please".



From: "Jill St. Michael" <jsdp@charter.net>

Small people talk about other people, average people talk about things,
great people talk about ideas.

---Author Unknown---


is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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