Issue No. 225 - Monday, October 13, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Hi all,

Good list today. For those who responded to the
glass offer next week, your parcels will be mailed in
two or three days. Keep those post coming in.


Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: electricinsulaterite
02  RE: Herding Cats.
03  NEW: Nigerian Scam Conference (off topic)
04  NEW: Guild Open House
05  NEW: Off the Dop
06  RE: Valueing Custom Cutting and Certificates of Origin
07  NEW: Moissanite Sources
08  NEW: digital camera for gems
09  RE: copper laps
10  WTB: Natural Sapphire


Subject: Electrical Insulators
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 15:58:44 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Leisasrock@aol.com

The glass insulators can be found at most antique (junk) stores for a couple
of dollars. Most likley less than the postage.



Subject: Herding Cats.
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 16:12:01 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <jon@gearloose.com>

At 01:36 PM 10/10/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>I have been attempting a little stunt polishing with my BATT and
>I won't go into details but I have to admit I did transgress all
>of Jon's instructions and have certainly voided my warranty but
>have had surprising results.

No, my warranty has no weasel words.  As a matter of fact, I am very proud
of it:  http://www.battlap.info/nobullshit.html     !!!

>This 6mm crown was recut and
>polished in 15 minutes. I achieved an instant polish from 600. I
>can also now polish sapphire from 600 but it takes a little
>longer up to 3 seconds per facet.
>I must confess my BATT is consuming some 6-7 times the amount of
>diamond and Linde I am used to but it seems to be paying for
>itself over and over with the dramatic time savings. I doubt
>whether the consumption would be anywhere near as high as this
>if I followed Jon's directions but I'd rather do it my way.

*shrug*  You should see the laps I get in for resurfacing.  Trying to tell
gemcutters how to run their shop is like herding cats.  Everyone finds a
way that works for them and with which they are comfortable.  I recently
resurfaced the sixth BATT I had ever sold from years ago, and do not care
what people do with them, if they are happy, with one exception:  The guy
who runs his at 3,000 RPM.  They are castings, which are machined at 1,400
RPM, tops.
Run them at overspeed conditions like that, in regions where they are
untested, and that is one area where the user is on their own, just as
overspeeding a grinding wheel.  It's called "Contributory Negligence".
But other than that, I try to write the suggestions for the whole spectrum
of users, from the experienced to the beginner.  This probably means that
ONE experienced user and ONE beginner are happy with the instructions, and
everyone else has found their own way and has tossed the instruction sheet,
anyway.  Often, when I get laps for resurfacing, the crisp, new, unread
instruction sheet is in the original box with it, even after years of
use.  I know that in most cases I am wasting my time trying to tell anyone
anything, but am obligated to have the instructions packed with the
product.  Too bad about the snazzy coated offset I had them printed on.  I
could have saved a bunch of money by using newsprint and a spirit duplicator!
(BUT, I just assembled a gas grille, had an awful time, and at the end of
the ordeal, found the instruction sheet packed with the grates, so I DO


Subject: Nigerian Scam Conference
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 18:41:29 EDT
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: SmokyMtn43@aol.com

For all you list members who, like me, enjoy the enticing offers we get
regularly from Nigeria, you'll likewise enjoy reading about their upcoming
3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference. Just copy and paste this link:

    << http://j-walk.com/other/conf/index.htm >>

Before rushing to arrange the required bank fund transfer so that you'll
be guaranteed a seat, be sure and read the schedule of events and the
many testimonials from previous conferences. In fact, the entire page
is entertaining, and well worth your perusal time ;-)...

Mack Smith
Watching the Smoky Mountain color change . . . .


Subject: Guild Open House
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 08:38:20 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Don Cameron <ghgemcutter@earthlink.net>

The Tomoka Gem and Mineral Society's Faceting Guild is two years young
and we would like to extend a welcome to our first ever Open House, on
Saturday October 18th from 10am to 4pm. (or as late as folks want to
hang around! We love to talk faceting! <BG>)  It will be held in our
Workshop at the corner of Center Street and 8th Street, Holly Hills, FL
between Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach, not far off I-95.

We will have several members faceting continuously throughout the day,
including concave and conventional cutting on a variety of machines, as
well as a large display case of members stones. If you're looking for
munchies and refreshments we'll have those too, as well as a bottomless
coffee pot! Want to actually SEE how to make that ceramic lap work and
produce a superior polish on sapphire? We've got an expert!

If you have questions or need directions, drop me a note. I'd love to
hear from you.

Don Cameron,
Palm Coast, FL
President TGMS Faceters Guild


Subject: Off the Dop
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 22:34:00 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Wayne S. Barnett" <wayneb@ev1.net>

Just thought that I would report an "off the dop" event.  I finished a 90
carat, 28 mm, rutilated quartz, Sonaran Snowflake.  It turned out OK but
learned some things about cutting such a stone.  It has several sets of
floating facets that can only be properly placed by cutting the stone in the
order that Jeff has in his instructions.  This means that you will need to
begin with a piece of rough that is deeper than the final stone so that you
can cut the higher angles then progress to the shallower angles, having each
set come to a meet at the culet.  Do not perform the crown as a normal cut
as the angles are much steeper than a normal stone.  This is a piece that
should be cut from larger and cheaper rough because of the surplus that is
required to properly cut the design.  The design is great.  Jeff you did

Wayne in Houston


Subject: Valueing Custom Cutting and Certificates of Origin
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 23:08:43 -0500
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Robert Powell" <texeclectic@earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: Valuing custom cutting
    From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

    " I guess I'm a little confused. I understand the usefulness of an
    appraisal course if you intend to appraise other peoples stuff
    but this information is worse than useless for custom cutting
    even more so if the cutter's name and contact information is

There are more than one kind of appraisals. There are appraisals
for purposes of Insurance, Estate settlement, and Tax deductions .

Lets say that last year a customer purchased a custom cut stone .
 Make it 3 ct. Purple Sapphire, very slightly included, exceptional
and well cut oval . The stone is mounted in a custom 18 kt ring.

The price more than doubles after 2 ct. High brilliancy adds 20 % or
The ring has a die struck head in a cast shank . How much is custom ?
In which part of the United States is this transaction taking Place .
Prices can vary significantly depending on local .
Gemstone price permitting, GIA certification can add value.

The world changes. The buyer has had changes occur in his life.
1 - Liquidation Value - A forced sale.
2 - Insurance evaluation - Replacement value
3 - Estate settlement - Death of owner
4 - Divorce settlement - Enough said
5 - Collateral Appraisal - Offered in place of cash for payment
6 - Donation Appraisal - Charitable donations for Tax purposes

Many, many variables. I am not a faceter , I am a Certified Gemologist]
and I can see far enough to predict that I will need to offer other
beside Goldsmithing and Stone setting. ( I am also Jewelers of America
Certified. ) -  As I age, my physical abilities will change with age. So
I need
to be able to offer a marketable service , one less dependent on my
physical abilities. This why I am continuing my education .
I consider this list, along with several others as part of that
education .

   " Anyone with the temerity to tell me how much my time is
    worth on signed goods will be shown the door with my foot. I can
    not understand why any competent cutter who can sign a
    certificate of origin cares what the great unwashed considers a
    fair price nor why they would want to compete for their
    patronage. 'Casting pearls before swine' has never been a
    successful marketing model. "


The difference of opinion is due to the due to the needs and
of our customers and our current understanding of best ethical

The relationship between you and your customer is between you
and your customer. Unless your customer hires an outside consultant.
Then I would be obliged to deal with the problem of Certifications of
Origin .  This is a problem which other gemstone cutters and dealers
have expressed some reservation.

Tony, Do I think you are a crook or incompetent ?

To give a fair appraisal, I would need to know what the purchase price
of a custom cut stone would be. I would also need to know the
circumstances of the sale. ( wholesale, retail, etc. )

Googol shows 1,880 listing for " Gemstone Certificate of Origin "
Here are just two views.

" In the colored stone market the origin issue has raised considerable
concerns and hot debates over the years."  By: Ted Themelis
GEMLAB REPORT: May 1998 - Issue #11
    The country-of-origin in ruby & sapphire

"Although certificates from a major laboratory provide support for
your purchase, in many countries, including the United States,
there is no official regulation of who can offer a certificate.
Some certificates are reliable and some are just fancy letterhead
with the signature of some unknown person.
Even certificates from reputable labs can be forged.
    International Colored Gemstone Association

I am not attempting to arbitrate anyone's value as a Craftsman / Artist
I would hope, that with education, more of the great unwashed will see
what a good value American Products and Craftsmanship still are .

Very Respectfully Yours,
Robert L.Powell


Subject: Moissanite Sources
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 14:07:19 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Mapples54@wmconnect.com

Please send me any sources you have for moissanite. Thanks. Mel

Mel Pears


Subject: digital camera for gems
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 13:11:55 -0700 (PDT)
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Alan Sutton <alan923@yahoo.com>

Hi Everyone,
   I have recently started shopping for some unique pieces of rough on
Ebay and since I have accumulated more rough in my lifetime than I will
ever cut, I want to try and sell some of it there.
   I am seeking your expert advice on which digital camera you like for
doing close-up shots of gemstones and rough and at the same time is
good for general use. Price is somewhat of an issue since retiring, so
best bang for the buck without eliminating great pictures is of
   If you can give me suggestions of make and model, I will go online
and do my due diligence before buying.
   Thanks, Alan Sutton


Subject: Re: copper laps
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 23:34:55 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

Hello Jon,

> 1: NEW, SHARP #600 plated lap..The Lopaki ones are so cheap,
> there's no point in doing without. 

I don't want to argue against the advantages of plated laps, I
won't give up my 15 yr old ripple disc, but one of the biggest
advantages of loose charged copper has never, to my knowledge
been mentioned.

The prepolish lap is the one cutting lap that has to be in as
perfect a condition as possible. Scratches, gouges and dishing
in a prepolish lap will make polishing a facet slow, difficult
and tiresome. This same condition in a coarser lap is much less
of a problem, in fact a 260 grit lap can perform well and be in
a quite awful condition.

Here's the good part, when you need a new lap for whatever
reason, the only lap that gets replaced with a new one is the
prepolish lap. The old prepolish now gets charged with the next
coarser grit and so on down the line, essentially getting a
whole new set of laps. Even better part if you have the courage
is to make dualies, laps with coarser grit outer band and finer



Subject: Sapphires
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 17:43:01 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Dennis Demerly" <ddraw@comcast.net>

Hello Thurmond;

The articles on how to cut an oval are very helpful to a beginners faceter
like myself. I would like to see information on some more of the basic cuts.
I have been told to get some sapphire cutting rough because it is one of the
easiest natural stone to cut. I have been trying to get some from some of
the facet rough dealers on the internet. I have placed orders with them and
have received NOTHING. The greater Detroit Gem show was last weekend and
nobody had any natural faceting rough. I know that Creative Gems has some
natural rough, but I will not see them at a show until April 2004. Does
anyone know of somebody that has some good natural sapphire rough? If you do
contact me at ddraw@comcast.net.
I know in my local area, that there quite a few clubs that teach faceting
and how to tell good rough from cabbing material. All of this information is
very helpful to beginners like me. The articles that are listed in the
Digest are very helpful also. I hope the articles do not get too complex to
confuse beginners like myself.
Thanks for help Thurmond.


Hale receives questions from time to time and I have agreed to
handle them via the list. If any member can help any of these
folks please respond to them directly as they are not yet members.
Remember to copy the list for the information archives.

Thx. Thurmond

From: T. Trimm" ttrimm@dragonbbs.com
  Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 7:27 PM
  Subject: Message from Website

  I am looking for information on how to do lapidary the old way.
  Without the modern day tools.
  If you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.








PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






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

Scott Hanson is a news reporter and anchor with WESH-Channel 2 in Orlando.

My father died on Jan 02, 1995. He left no forwarding address.

Therefore, it fell to me to collect his mail. I didn't expect much really, since my
sisters and I had been careful to notify his bank, insurance agent and a host of
other businesses that one of their customers was no more. You would think a death
notice would cut down on the amount of correspondence from those firms. Quite the
contrary. Instead -- for months, mind you -- my deceased father continued to receive
mail from companies that had been told of his passing but
pressed on, determined to con tact him anyway. The first to hope for a reply from
beyond the grave was my father's bank.

Dear Mr. Hanson,
Our records indicate payment is due for overdraft protection on your checking
account. Efforts to contact you have proven unsuccessful. Therefore, we are
automatically withdrawing your monthly $28.00 service charge from you account. Please
adjust your records accordingly.
The Phoenix Branch

Dear Phoenix Branch,
This is to notify you once again that Mr. Hanson died Jan 02, 1995. It is therefore
unlikely he will be overdrawing his account. Please close his account, and adjust
your books accordingly.
Scott Hanson

Later that same week, I receive this note from Dad's insurance company. Again, this
is a firm that had been told in no uncertain terms of his death.

Dear Mr. Hanson,
It's time to renew your auto insurance policy! To continue your coverage, you must
send $54.17 to this office immediately. Failure to do so will result in the
cancellation of your policy, and interruption of your coverage.
Your Insurance Agent

Dear Insurance Agent,
This is to remind you that Mr. Hanson has been dead since January. As such, the odds
he'll be involved in a collision are quite minimal. Please cancel the policy, and
adjust your books
Scott Hanson.

The next day, I went to my mailbox to find this:

Dear Mr. Hanson,
Let me introduce myself. I am a psychic reader, and it is very important that you
contact me immediately. I sense that you are about to enter a time of unprecedented
financial prosperity. Please call the enclosed 900 number immediately, so I can tell
you how best to take full advantage of the opportunities that are coming your way.
Your Psychic Reader

Dear Psychic Reader,
My father regrets he will be unable to call you 900 number. As a psychic reader, I'm
sure you already know my father is dead, and had been for more than three weeks when
you mailed your letter to him. I sense my father would be more than happy to take you
up on your offer of a psychic reading, should you care to meet with him personally.
Scott Hanson
P.S. Should you be in contact with my father in the future, please ask him if he'd
like to renew his car insurance.

A few months of calm passed, and then these arrived:

Dear Mr. Hanson,
Our records indicate a balance of $112 has accrued for overdraft protection on your
checking account. Efforts to contact you have proven unsuccessful. Please pay the
minimum amount due, or contact this office to make other  arrangements. We appreciate
your business and look forward to serving all of your future borrowing needs.
Your Bank's San Diego District Office

Dear San Diego District Office, I am writing to you for the third time now to tell
you my father died in January. Since then, the number of checks he's written has
dropped dramatically. Being dead, he has no plans to use his overdraft protection or
pay even the minimum amount due for a service he no longer needs. As for future
borrowing needs, well, don't hold your breath.
Scott Hanson

Dear Mr. Hanson,
Records show you owe a balance of $54.17 to your insurance agent. Efforts to contact
you have proven unsuccessful. Therefore, the matter has been turned over to us for
collection. Please remit the amount of $54.17 to our office or we will be forced to
take legal action to collect the debt.
Your Insurance Agent's Collection Agency

Dear Collection Agency,
I told your client. Now I'm telling you. Dad's dead. He doesn't need insurance. He's
dead. Dead, dead, dead. I doubt even your lawyers can change that. Please adjust your
books accordingly.
Scott Hanson

A few more months, and:

Dear Mr. Hanson,
Our records show an unpaid balance of $224 has accrued for overdraft protection on
your checking account. Our efforts to contact you have proven unsuccessful. Please
remit the amount in full to this office, or the matter will be turned over to a
collection agency. Such action will adversely affect your credit history.
Your Bank's Los Angeles Regional Office

Dear Los Angeles Regional Office,
I am writing for the fourth time to the fourth person at the fourth address to tell
your bank that my father passed away in January. Since that time, I've watched with a
mixture of amazement and amusement as your bank continues to transact business with
him. Now, you are even threatening his credit history. It should come as no surprise
that you have received little response from my deceased father. It should also be
small news that his credit history is of minor importance to him now. For the fourth
and final time, please adjust your books accordingly.
Scott Hanson

Dear Mr. Hanson,
This is your final notice of payment due to your insurance agent. If our firm does
not receive payment of $54.17, we will commence legal action on the matter. Please
contact us at once.
Your Insurance Agent's Collection Agency

Dear Insurance Agent's Collection Agency, You may contact my father via the enclosed
900 number.
Scott Hanson

It has now been a couple of months since I've heard from these firms. Either the
people writing these letters finally believe my father is Dead, or they themselves
have died and are now receiving similar correspondence. Actually, there has been a
lesson in these letters. Any one of them would be cause for great worry, if sent to a
living person. The dead are immune from corporate bullying. There's nothing like
dying to put business correspondence in its proper perspective. Perhaps that's the
best reason not to fear death. There's no post office there.

By Scott Hanson, from the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper


Whoever does not try, does not learn.

---Jewish Saying---


is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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