Issue No. 227 - Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Hi all,

Great List Today. Many post. Good job to all who
posted. As one reader pointed out to me, it is possible
that the person who was illustrated to be happy with
a ball of crumpled aluminum foil just might have a
simpler and in ways a happer and better life than those
who require complexity and greater order in that he is
more easily satisifed with what life deals out than most.


Index to Today's Digest

01  NEW: Digital Photos of Facet Rough?
02  RE: big diamond for sale Issue No. 226
03  NEW: Texas Faceters Guild Symposium Postponed
04  RE: Pearls before swine.
05  NEW: galena
06  RE: lapidary the old way.
07  RE: Pearls before swine.
08  RE: Almag
09  RE: terminology
10  RE: The great unwashed
11  RE: Cutting certs
12  NEW: Curved Faceting
13  RE: source for small carved gemstone flowers
14  RE: Almag
15  NEW: Facet machine table height
16  RE: Almag


Subject: Digital Photos of Facet Rough?
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 14:56:02 -0600
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Todd" <td_gunz@yahoo.com>

Hi all,
            I have a few questions on taking Digital photos of facet
rough.  I've done fairly well taking picz of my finished gemstones.  I
put them on a tiny round mirror under a big semi clear white Tupperware
bowl lit with a halogen lamp.  I have a hole cut in the bowl the size of
the camera's lens and shoot on Macro.  It really does well defusing the
light and taking the random facet shine off the stones.   There's enough
light inside the Tupperware even without the halogen desk lamp to keep
the shutter speed fast enough so small movements won't affect the pics.
       It's a home made version of a product called the Cloud Dome.


I might have heard about it here on the Digest I can't remember.  A
Google of "Cloud Dome" will bring it up.  It's got a better mount to
hold the camera via the tripod screw, but I didn't have the several
hundred it costs.  The plastic is a lot whiter and more solid than my
Tupperware but I couldn't ding a bowl with that type pf material.
            I'm trying to take pictures of individual pieces of facet
rough so I can list them on eBay.  The Tupperware thing I use for
gemstones won't light the rough enough and they all come out black
except the lightest pieces.   
            I'm thinking of getting a device called the "Grandstand"


from Graves Company.  It's a 4-pronged gem holder mounted on a clear
acrylic base.  It looks like it'd work perfectly for holding either
gemstones or rough for taking picz.  They also have another device
called the "Lightning Rod".


 It's a 1X3 piece of cast clear acrylic
with a 30 degree angle polished into the top.  In the middle of the
bevel is an 82 degree cone machined into it.  A gemstone (round works
best) sits in the cone and light is reflected into it from the pavilion.
They said it makes the stones really look fantastic.  For just $9.00 I
thought I'd try it.
            There is a seller on eBay that really has great pics of
their rough.  What I like about them is they disclose the light used in
the various picz.  Under their pics it says "Ott lite in tweezers".
Does anyone know what an "Ott lite" is?  Also if someone could explain
the concept of Dark Field photos and how it'd be applied to gem photos
I'd appreciate it.  The last thing is does anyone know where to get the
fiber optic attachment for the little Mag-Lite flashlite to direct the
light source?  That might light up a piece of rough too.   20
            There're too many sellers who look like they light their
material with carbon arc lighting and the blackest Almandine comes out
like lite pink Rhodolite!  That's not what I want to do.  I want well
lit, nice representative picz of my material.  Any suggestions on how to
light rough up, for good digital photos would be appreciated, as I've
got a lot of material to photograph, measure and weigh  and catalog to
start listing.
            I have a Nikon Coolpix 995.  I got it a couple years ago
when it was cutting edge, but you know how that is in the p/c field.
Still it's got 3.34 mega-pixels and while it's not the most available
it's more than enough for my needs.  
            Of course I ramble on these posts too long, but hopefully
someone will winnow away the chaff and answer the questions hidden in
here somewhere..
            Thanx in advance for your answers,
todd of "Todz Rox"


Subject: Re: big diamond for sale Issue No. 226
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 18:59:43 -0400
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Earl <earlrock@earthlink.net>

Tony wrote:

>Assuming we have all seen the 103+ ct D flawless in the press and
was wondering if anyone has thoughts on just how much it might
fetch at the auction in November. I have a couple of small bets
amounting to 2 ales and 1 Latte against my belief that it will
not go over $30m. Virtual wagering anyone?<

If they do it just right, they end up with 103 carats of very fine high grade
abrasives, worth more than a buck a carat. Mixed with the right amount
of oil, at the price I paid for some today they could get maybe $200,
which is a lot more than it is worth.

<ducking in the foothills>


Subject: Texas Faceters Guild Symposium Postponed
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 18:44:56 -0500
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Galand and Tom Nuchols" <nucholsg@1starnet.com>

received this from Texas Faceters Guild President Greg Thompson last night.
Texas Faceters' Guild Symposium POSTPONED

This year's symposium has to be postponed.  Our main speaker, Paul
Hlava, fell and injured his Achilles tendon.  He has to date not had
surgery, but will be having surgery within the next few weeks.  Because
of this, he has to remain off his feet now and for several weeks
following his surgery.

We have made several attempts to get another speaker, but in each
attempt, we were told there was not enough time to prepare or make
arrangements  to attend the symposium on Oct 18-19 because of scheduling

We are now trying to determine a new date and more than likely another
speaker, as Paul may not be able to travel until next year.

Please share this information with any one else you know that was
planning on attended this years symposium that does not have e-mail.

Hopefully a new date and speaker will be in place by the time the
October issue of the Newsletter is sent out later this month.

Greg Thompson
President Texas Faceters' Guild


Subject: Pearls before swine.
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 19:50:14 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: "Jonathan L. Rolfe" <jon@gearloose.com>

>Would you like to identify just who you are classifying as "great
>... I took the comment to indicate those persons who do not
>comprehend quality and only look for the lowest priced "bobbles".

  I take that to mean people who buy "White Emerald" from the Home Shopping
network, or other such outlets.  It is especially terrible when they
proudly show me their purchase.  What am I supposed to do?  "Laugh or cry"
would be appropriate, but one cannot.  These people are lost causes, and
efforts to educate them will only insult them.  They will never understand,
much less buy, anything we cut, anyway, and for all practical purposes, do
not exist for us, except as embarrassing annoyances.  Just recently, a
_relative_ showed me a diamond they bought at a great price from a big
retail chain-One not even known for jewelry.
I never knew there were people on earth that would even bother to cut
something that bad..I have better diamonds in my saw blades.  They place us
in the uncomfortable position of trying desperately to find something nice
to say.  The best I could do was "Well, it is certainly not an imitation!".
I have long thought that the general public needed to be educated about
tourmaline, for example-A truly beautiful stone.  But if someone cannot
even pronounce it, they are not going to buy it.
"Against (unknowing/stupidity/unwiesenheit) the gods themselves contend in


Subject: galena
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 20:17:00 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: RAussprung@aol.com

This past summer on a field trip in Colorado,I found some great galena xls. 
The problem is they are covered with a gray-black coating(???). Does anyone
have any idea how to clean these up so they will put a flash in ones eye?

bob aussprung


Subject: Re: Issue No. 226 - Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 20:20:06 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Lapadary@aol.com

In a message dated 10/14/03 3:36:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
lapidary@caprock-spur.com writes:

  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.
**************  Years ago in Arizona I met an old Navajo man who said he grew
up on the reservation during the Depression. His father died when he was 8
and his mother sent him to live with an uncle who was a silversmith. They earned
cash by going into Albuquerque with trays of silver and turquoise jewelry.
They would walk through the passenger trains selling them to tourist.

His uncle had a bicycle frame with the handlebars attached to a post. Where
the rear wheel should have been was a wooden wheel covered with horse hide. The
young boy would peddle the bike while the uncle polished turquoise against
the rotating horse hide. He said the grit and polish was some powder his uncle
found or mined locally. Other tools they used were also homemade. A turquoise
and silver ring purchased from the people who made them was about $0.25, a
silver Quarter.

You could also try faceting stones using tinker toys, the new version of the
jamb peg method. I don't know exactly how that is done and can't explain it.

Grant Johnston, Chico, CA


Subject: Pearls before Swine
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 17:16:31 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Jerry Hughes <jerry@deltaonelapidary.com>

Ye gods and little fishes!
I know we as custom cutters all sold more stones than  Fred Meyers
last year. Well so much for casting pearls before swine beening a poor
marketing method . As for the great unwashed.This is a term used
in the past to denote the laborer and crafstman by the elete.Would a
brain surgeon who knows nothing about gems be considered one of the
great un washed because they spent 14+ years studying . Don't Know
about you but I don't want some lapidary drilling into my skull to
let out the evil thoughts. If your customers are ignorant,teach them
better. In that I bet you will lean more yourself!

Jerry Hughes
Waldport OR


Subject: Re: Almag
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 17:58:56 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>

>I have been using almag in my two foot saw, does anyone have any
>information about how toxic it may be? I am especially concerned about
>the mist that hovers around the saw after cutting unless I wait almost
>an hour to open it after  completing a cut and about getting it on my

Almag and its twin, Pella are among the most safe of the petroleum cutting
oils. This doesn't mean they are totally safe though, especially after
being contaminated with the swarf of cutting.  Some people are using food
grade mineral oil and are happy with it.  This doesn't eliminate the
contamination problem though.  For machine life, the Almag or Pella are the
way to go.  For your life, a little research should be done on your part.

My recommendation for cutting with a big saw is to set it up outside under
a weather proof covering.  The mist will be dispersed and carried away with
the wind.  If you have to have the saw inside, set up a ventilation system
to pull the mist out of the air and push it outside.  In either case, you
should wear a respirator that is rated for oil mist when you are around, or
in the same room as your saw.  You aren't going to find one at your local
hardware store most likely, but will need to go to a tool/machine supply
source such as Enco, Airgas/Rutland tools, McMaster-Carr, or MSC.   Just
make sure it is rated for oil mist.

Both of the oils I mentioned seem to be save from a chemical standpoint for
your skin, however I know of at least two people who are allergic to
them.  I always wore elbow length chemical cloves when on the saw.  It
makes your hands smell better also.

There are products which cut down the misting somewhat although they don't
fully eliminate it.

I don't recommend any of the water based coolants though.  The rust is a
big problem, and the odors and mist are still a problem.  Some people are
using car anti-freeze.  This is a really bad idea as it is very unhealthily
and is poison.

The research I mentioned earlier would to be getting the MSDS information
for what ever you are using.  For Almag, you would go to Texico.  For Pella
it would be Shell.



Subject: Re: terminology
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 21:24:14 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Cutugem@aol.com

I recently had a discussion with some jewelery dealers and designers and I
was trying to make them understand the difference between commercial cut stones
and what they refered to as "gem" quality stones. I generally use the term
custom cut or quality gem cut  but they used the term "gem" cut stones.   Just
what does commercial cut stones refer to? Native crooked girdle and no angle cut?
 Belly cut native vrs.  our c.a pavillions? I took the position it was the
correct use of angles and well defined facets and meet points that made the
difference. Just today I got my lapbeadary journal and the gemstone price article
refered to cut, commercial and cut,gem pricing. Can some one or two of my more
learned colleagues clarify this for me and perhaps define what the difference
is.  Thanks,  Dennis on the North Coast


Subject: The great unwashed
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 00:19:36 -0500
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Robert Powell" <texeclectic@earthlink.net>

Dear Teresa, Tony,
    and the Lapidary Arts / Faceters Digest List membership ,

What term would you suggest in place of " the great unwashed "
I agree the term " Great Unwashed " could have been better considered,

Perhaps " The Apathetic Masses  ? The Unenlightened Ones ? "
Or " People With Diminished Expectations " ?

I have excavated  ( State Archaeological Survey ) Indian artifacts .
These were some 1500 years old .
And were imported from many hundreds of miles distance.
These were not plain, unadorned utilitarian objects.
Some were pieces of jewelry which came to light by my hand.

These pieces were made with the best craftsmanship available then.
The materials are considered precious even by today's standards.
Style and adornment are normal human traits we have had from antiquity
Modern ethnic jewelry still has a vibrant style. "Walk in Beauty " is a

The jewelry of the apathetic masses has little distinctive style or quality .
It reflects a stagnant mind set and one with little expectations
except that of meeting a price point... Yet even with all this they
are due respect. Most of them work hard for their money. Very Hard.

I do not want to alienate or offend my market. It is foolish and rude.
But I will not be a willing party to the dumbing down of America .
If affordable options are offered, some will be chosen, some rejected.
I am not on a missionary crusade, but I want Beauty and Harmony
in my life and in my work . Is that too much to ask anymore ?

So where do you start ? If not here - Where. If not now - When ?

" I would hope, that with education, more of the great unwashed will see
  what a good value American Products and Craftsmanship still are ".

I once asked about a clear transparent object which the dealer said
was quartz. When I asked if it was returnable if it were not quartz,
The dealer said NO because it quartz and she had " channeled it "
like her master had taught. I thanked her for her time and left .
She knew all she wanted or expected to know...

Thank you all for offering questions as well as answers .
Very Respectfully Yours,
Robert L.Powell


Subject: Re: Cutting certs
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 01:15:44 -0700
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tony <lightbender@thegemdoctor.com>

Hello Robert,

>  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 services
> beside Goldsmithing and Stone setting. ( I am also Jewelers of
> America Certified. )

Woops, So much for my assumption that you were a cutter. Sorry
about that, my argumentative tone is influenced by my constantly
discovering cutters that aren't signing their work or issuing
certs. In my opinion they do themselves and all of us a
disservice. Even if a stone goes to a loved one and will never
leave family there is no reason to not sign it.

Yes I do agree with most of your comments on the problems of
appraising fine jewellery and gemstones. The appraisers job
becomes easier when dealing with a piece of jewellery made by a
recognised artist as they are able to quickly ascertain the
replacement cost by simply asking. Of course this represents a
tiny proportion of the work an appraiser gets. 

A custom cut and cutter certified gem should have a replacement
value that is good for a minimum of 1 year and if out of date
should allow reasonable calculation of current cost of
replacement by that cutter if they are not immediately available
to verify an amount. If this was common practise the fine work
of the worlds best cutters would get their just recognition, yes
that's all the hobby and amateur cutters including newbies with
a protractor who know what critical angle means.

> 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.

The Cutters Certificate is for the origin of the gem and doesn't
necessarily cover the origin of the rough. With obvious unique
material the cutter does not need documented proof but in all
other cases I always state what the material was sold as and who
sold it. This shifts the onus of country and mine identification
to the rough dealer. The piece of ground the stone came from
should not concern the cutter and does not alter the value of
the cutters time. The cert should also state the cutter's value
of the stone. Not what it is sold for but what sum is needed for
the cutter to repeat the process and duplicate the stone. This
is the real value of the stone based on the true value of the
cutters time.

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

It didn't occur to me that you would think that, but thankyou.

> 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. )

That's the very point, but 'what the purchase price of a custom
cut stone would be' is not the same as what the stone was sold
for. In one case you are asking for someone to work for you and
in the other you are subsidising their entertainment. What you
are going to have to pay to replace an item is my idea of a fair

> 1 - Liquidation Value - A forced sale.
goods that are 'dumped' rarely reflect value.  liquidation sales
often realise less than cost of materials.

> 2 - Insurance evaluation - Replacement value
As in a 'real' appraisal. haha.

> 3 - Estate settlement - Death of owner
Where there's a will, there's relatives.

> 4 - Divorce settlement - Enough said
She get's the stuff, he gets the bills.
Marriage is grand, divorce is several grand.
I'm not bitter.

> 5 - Collateral Appraisal -Offered in place of cash for payment
Futures on both collateral and principal can drastically alter
these values.

> 6 - Donation Appraisal - Charitable donations for Tax payment
Can be scary as the US allows only a cutter the price of the
rough to be claimed. If the stone changes hands then the
purchase price and therefore value for tax purposes is known.

> I am not attempting to arbitrate anyone's value as a Craftsman
> / Artist .

I realise that now, as I said I thought you were a cutter. The
Artist is the only person that can put a price on their time.

> I would hope, that with education, more of the great unwashed
> will see what a good value American Products and Craftsmanship
> still are .

I heartily endorse the sentiment and wish you every success.
Educating the ignoscenti is a daunting task.
It seems that yet another common English term has been hijacked
and political correctness is the order of the day.  I certainly
had no intention of insinuating that hard core fans of the
famous alternative German acid metal band had questionable
artistic discrimination acumen. I apologise to them



Subject: Curved Faceting
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 13:58:55 +0600
To: <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "R&D" <r&d.gemonics@vinet.lk>

I like to know science behind curve faceting. I've seen several curve
faceted stones, they are brilliant. I appreciate if anyone can find me
sources or describe me the basics.


Subject: Re: source for small carved gemstone flowers?
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 07:35:27 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Rough Ventures" <info@roughventures.com>


A good source for carved gem flowers is www.thaigem.com


John Thielmier


Subject: Re: Issue No. 226 - Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - Almag
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 08:57:29 -0400
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Jim Small <jsmall47@earthlink.net>

Richard - I stopped all my Almag mist problems with Raytech's Mist Killer.
The stuff works great, and doesn't diminish the utility of the Almag in any
way. I also use it with all of the other oils in my various saws, and I can
now use oil in my trim saw (if needed) and avoid the oily mist which used
to form in the work area.

Jim Small
Small Wonders Lapidary


Subject: Facet machine table height
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 16:18:34 +0200
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Larry Bima <mlb@adsmr.co.za>

Hello all,

At what height do you tend to have your facet machines when working?
How high/low is the lap in relation to your chest or waist?



Hi Larry, My old Ultratec is flush mounted in an old desk at 26 1/2" so the
top surface of the machines base plate is 27" from the floor. I found this works
great for me. In addition the desk has 4 drawers for supplies. It is 18" deep
and 3' 6" wide. This leaves an 11" work area on each side of the machine.


From: "Rock Peddler" <rockpeddler@comcast.net>
To: "Lapidary Arts- lapidary" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
Subject: Almag

I don't know how toxic this oil is only that it is not a good thing to
inhale the fumes. Also it can be a skin irritant. If you have a 24" saw
Richard, you want to use an oil in it, not water, for many reasons. Rusting
of parts and blade are the big ones, as well as blade life and the lesser
lubricating ability of water. I can tell you from selling the food grade
mineral oil called Roc Oil for a few years now that it is an excellent
lubricant and has become the oil of choice for 10" and larger saws. My
customers have all been extremely happy with it.

Jeanne Ridolfi - Rock Peddler
800-416-4348; M-F, 10:30am - 4:30pm, eastern time


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
not yet members.

Remember to copy the list for the information archives.

Thx. Thurmond

From: "k.kassel" <kasselco@comcast.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 10:31 PM
Subject: Message from Web Site


Not sure if you all will get this message but hear it goes.  I want to learn
about cutting, polishing and setting turquoise in silver.  I have cab
machines and cut cabs of agate etc.  Just purchased a 40 year old turquoise
collection that has some great nuggets, some I will keep and others will be
made into jewelry.  Can you help by directing me to silver and turquoise
jewelry making.  I don't want to damage a good stone until I know what I am

Thank you



From: Alan Sanderson  <sandersona@onetel.net.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 12:43 PM
Subject: stone polisher for grandaughter in Poland?

I have your address from Lapidary Digest, and wonder if you can help.  My son,
in Poland, has requested a stone polisher for his 8 year-old daughter's birthday,
31st Oct.  I live central London and have no idea where to get my hands on an
affordable, child-proof machine, nor even whether there are such things.     I don't
want to spend more than #35 for it, and I want something of a size that won't
cost a fortune to send to Poland.
If you can give me any advice that will turn me in the right direction, I'll be
very surprised and very grateful.



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!

I have a friend who is a pilot on a 747.

I said "Hi Jack."

He shot me.



Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

---Author Unknown---


is produced by Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


is never sent unsolicited.  You are receiving it
because you subscribed to it at our digest subscription page at:


To unsubscribe, just use the link below and follow the
instructions there:


List Posting Guidelines and rules can be found at:
Published Monday thru Friday, except holidays
from Spur,Texas
Share your love of lapidary with everyone.