Issue No. 315 - Friday, December 17, 2004
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Hi everyone,

Enjoy the list. This will be the last publication of the
list until January 7th, 2005 due to the holidays.
Have a great and safe holiday season.

Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Merrill O. Murphy
02  RE: Those looking for good facet rough
03  RE: 2005 Tuscon Hob Nob
04  NEW: places to visit on the web
05  NEW: Where are you showing at the February Tucson show ?


Subject: Merrill O. Murphy
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 22:13:49 -0500
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Faceter01" <faceter01@hotmail.com>

To the group and Steve and Nancy Attaway

Ron had asked about Merrill O. Murphy. Thank you, Ron, but I am sorry
to relate that our grand faceting guru of New Mexico died April 29,

I am sorry to hear this. Even though he only knew me through the
faceting group, Merrill helped me like he knew me all his life with
advice and tips. He was truly a good person and will be missed.

I buy a lot of the old Lapidary Journals and Merrill's name would be in
there with a new design or advice on how to cut something.

Thank you Steve and Nancy for letting me know, I will remember him.

- Ron


Subject: Re: Those looking for good facet rough
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2004 20:18:42 -0700
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Todd" td_gunz@yahoo.com

Hi all,

I read the post by Jim Perkins about good sources for facet
rough,  wanted to add my 1 cents worth. (Not a full two cents
due to depreciation)

I've had good luck with www.facetingmachines.com
or Color-Wright for good fair priced rough.  I bought my Ultra Tec machine, laps, 
most of my equipment from Rob Kulakofsky when I got started.  He's always been fair to me, 
I've got several smaller parcels from him of quality material, just as described
on his site.

Another great source for rough especially if you need a
specific piece for a job, or even parcels is Jeff Graham's site
www.faceters.com .  He's by no means  inexpensive, but carry's a wide variety,
describes the single pieces well, recommends a cut for that particular piece, 
has always been totally fair w/me.

This last summer I got on a mailing list from Mine Direct,
Farooq Hashmi's site www.minedirect.com or www.intimategems.com . The parcels he
offers in his newsletters are incredible in price as well as quality. Again he
fairly describes the parcels, gives accurate sizing range, % of top
material in the parcels,  even a piece count.  The newsletters he sends out
when he goes to Pakistan/Afghanistan  sells directly from there are filled
with really good material, super prices,  shipping from there via DHL
isn't too bad if you get several parcels to spread out the cost.  I know a lot of
his customers sell on eBay  there for a while woulda bet every piece of
Mandarin Garnet rough on there listed by sellers was bought from him. 
I've got great Peridot, tonz of good Mandarin Garnet, Rhodolite, Umbalite,
Bubble Gum Pink Spinel, as well as incredibly colored Windex blue Tourmaline. 
He's a really great guy, always willing to take time  talk about
material, cutting, etc  I can't say enough good about him  his rough. 

Shane Jackson of www.facetrough.com has great rough too.  It's accurately
described, weights are right on, inclusions are noted,  he regularly updates
his site, runs sales, etc.

I've bought from Mike Williams of www.qualitygemrough.com , again hafta say he's been
more than fair w/me.  Lately he's not had the selection he used to, but in a
recent newsletter he mentioned he's adding more soon.

Hilmar Bosch in the Republic of South Africa who has African
Gemstones; www.africangemstones.co.za is another good supplier as far as
rough goes. Some people are hesitant to buy off the internet, do a wire transfer
into a US bank,  then  wonder what type of rough they're gonna get.  Hilmar has a
30 day inspection period,  his grading system is accurate in the material I've purchased. 
While he doesn't give the dimensions of the rough, he will respond to emails about it.

Dennis Harmon of Select Gems; www.selectgems.com is Hilmar's US Agent  lists comparable
rough.  I've had good luck w/him as well.

I think Ross of TZ Gems has someone selling his rough by the
piece on eBay; rj-gems.  I wrote him saying in all the years I've
watched eBay's rough pages I'd never seen one seller actually cause the
bottom to drop out of prices like I watched happen when they listed tonz of
Beryllium Treated Sapphire rough, lol.  I had to comment to them about it as the
bottom sure fell outta that specific rough material awfully fast.

The list can go on  on.  I know I've left out several
other suppliers I've bought from  just can't remember off the top of
my head. In this trade, sources for good quality rough seem to be jealously
guarded secrets, never shared among faceters,  it's something I can't
understand. While it may be true on a source you've worked hard to cultivate,
establish a relationship with, etc, I can't understand it on suppliers who sell
single stone pieces or small parcels  are readily found Googling for
'facet rough'.  I think all of us in the active faceting community just want
to get quality material for our money.  It can only benefit us all to continue
to find, use  share good suppliers, as well as give a heads up to scams
frauds out there.

I encourage the posters/members of this list to take time
and write down some of the suppliers you've dealt with,  how they were
in regard to accuracy, pricing,  post it on here for everyone's

The internet can work so well as a resource for finding good
suppliers; just as well as it can work to perpetuate scams.  A website
isn't all that hard to do, foreign countries are hard to pursue returns etc,
fraud is an all too common occurrence any longer.

The above listed suppliers are people  companies who I
have no financial interests in,  the standard liability terms apply.  The
old adage has never been more true; 'If it sounds too good to be true,
mostlikely it is too good to be true',  as always is the case in the
rough game;

'Good Rough Is Not Cheap,  Cheap Rough Is Not Good'

There's rough which us as small businesses are never gonna
be able to get cheaper than cut stones; Blue Topaz, the rarer Garnets,
Sapphires, Tanzanite, etc, because that material is sold long before it
trickles down to the level we're at.  Few of us have the resources to
buy an entire mine's yearly production, or for that matter would know where
to start lookin' if we did.  Buying facet rough a single stone at a time
is always gonna be more expensive than parcels, for the very reason
someone's already culled out all the bead, cabochon,  poorer quality material,
but because of that, single stone purchases should be good quality material
not fish tank gravel either.

Anyway, my penchant for rambling has made this longer than I'd
wanted.  I don't get outta the house much w/my disability, so the p/c
has become almost my only means of communication w/the 'real world'
outside my front door.  

take care all, do good in your businesses, 'n have a safe holiday

todd of 'Todz Rox'
home of 'Kustom Kut' gemstones


Subject: 2005 Tuscon Hob Nob
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 10:01:56 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Dennis Demerly" ddraw@comcast.net

Hello Thurmond;
Is there going to be a Hob Nob in Tuscon during the show weeks, or not? The
four of us were planning to attend if there is going to be one. From the
lack of information I have received, I can only assume that this gathering
is only for a select group of people and not any factors in general. We are
looking forward to attending as many show as we can in two weeks and meeting
those people we have known only through e-mail. Any help or pointers about
attending the show would be helpful.
Is there any facet rough dealers at the Quartzite shows or not.

Contact me off line at ddraw@comcast.net
Thanks for ALL the help from all of people who write to this newsletter. You
do not know the many questions you have answered for me and the help you
have given to me with my faceting.

Happy Holidays

Hi Dennis, Here is a  piece of an anouncement that appeared in Wednesday's USFG List
posted by Dieter Irmischer, Vail Arizona.

>This Year the OPLC Hobnob is hosting a special event. The Date is Febuary 5 at 6 PM.
It will be held at the OPLC Club house in Tucson. ...... Anyone in Tucson during this time
is invited.<


Subject: places to visit on the web
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 02:43:21 -0700
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: "jake" efjke@msn.com

Places to visit on the web

This is mostly the same information posted before. If you book mark
these and follow the links it will give you invaluable information and
sources. I have kept away from listing tools and material. Any site with
an IGS logo is a good source of materials (also see recommended
suppliers on the IGS site). On all actual sites listed you will get
quality (many are commercial), these will not put up with what goes on
at some places. On all of these sites, visit the links and don't be
surprised if one or more of your bookmarks show up.

Lists you might want to join, sign up at-

The Ganoksin Project (Orchid list) http://www.ganoksin.com
Lapidary Arts list http://www.gemcutters.org
Rough for sale http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roughforsale
United States Faceters Guild (information from people tops in the world
is posted) http://www.usfacetersguild.org
Rockhound list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RockhoundsList



(Project Ideas)
http://www.frii.com/~dnorris (see student work)
http://www.silversmithing.com (See shop talk)

Gem info
(Has information for non-members and a good supplier list.)

2. Rocks and gem
http://www.vgms.org (This is a gold mine of information for rockhounds.)
http://www.rockhounds.com (this site is invaluable)
http://huntforgems.com/links.html (commercial, but excellent links to
other info, see home page.)
For anyone who may wish to build a really big (and cheep) rock tumbler.
(links to. and also)

More information and instructions (Sites already mentioned have a lot
and/or links to.)

http://fireagate.com (Great eye candy!)
Favorite search engine is http://www.google.com

Again visit the links for a wealth of information (good links to
supplies also). I suggest you add folders to your favorites/bookmarks to
organize information, if you follow only a few links they will mushroom,


Subject: Where are you showing at the February Tucson show ??
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 05:24:57 -0200
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Robert robertplowejr@uol.com.br

15 December 2004

 Once I inspect the samples and cut some stones if
 the source proves reliable I hope we can have quantities available for
 the February Tucson show.

Where are you showing at the February Tucson show ??

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - February 2 - 7, 2005 - GJX # 205
e-fax: 1-240-757-6022
e-mail: USA     robertplowejr@juno.com
e-mail: Brasil  robertplowejr@uol.com.br

Published about once a week, except holidays
from Spur,Texas
Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor

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