This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest Archives
2. RE: rhodochrosite
3. RE: dumb question
4. Re: dumb question
5. Re: dumb question
6. Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects
7. Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects
8. Re: jelly opal
9. BIO


Subject: LapDigest Archives

I have added the archive feature for storing past issues of the Digest, and
have stored the first four issues there.

You may now get a Directory of the contents of the Archive by sending the
command word DIR in the subject line of a message to The Directory, as usual, will contain the names
of the files available in the archives.

Then, you may retrieve any of the items by sending the command
'GET' to the same address. I would appreciate if you would try
this out and tell me about any dificulties.

You may contact me for personal mail at

Thanks to all of you for helping pretest the LapDigest mail list!



Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 18:11:15 +0900
To: <>
Subject: RE: Sandi, rhodochrosite

Dear Sandi,
Rhodochrosite from Argentina often forms in stalagmites, like
limestone does in caves. It is no relation to petrified wood. It is a
manganese carbonate. Incidentally, some of the finest (and currently most
expensive) mineral specimens are crystalized rhodochrosite, beautiful deep
pink to red, transparent to semitransparent from Peru and Colorado.
Sometimes you can find beads or faceted stones of the gemmier material. Be
careful working rhodochrosite as it is quite soft.

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 97 18:36:20 PDT
Subject: RE: dumb question

Sand wrote:
I'm curious about rodocrosite. I've seen this in small logs, sometimes
kinda grown together, like trees grow. Is this a type of petrified wood?
It even has concentric circles like a tree would.

If not, why does it develop like that? I love small slabs with rind around
the edges, and it would help if I knew exactly what might make these cuts.
Not snickering. Round logs are stalagtites (where is my spell checker?) cave


Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 19:09:16 -0400
To: <>
Subject: Re: dumb question

At 05:57 PM 6/13/97 -4:00, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>I love rocks, but still don't know near enough about them. I'm curious about
>rodocrosite. I've seen this in small logs, sometimes kinda grown together,
>like trees grow. Is this a type of petrified wood? It even has concentric
>circles like a tree would.
>If not, why does it develop like that? I love small slabs with rind around
>the edges, and it would help if I knew exactly what might make these cuts.
>Thanks for keeping your snickering to yourself. <G>

No snicker here. A very valid question. Rhodochrosite forms in Stalagtites.
These are very rare now there according to a E-mail pen pal I have in
Argentina. I have just asked his permission to reprint his E-mails to me here
about Rhodochrosite there. Very informative. If this list likes and he agrees
I can post them. Also I am going to be trading with him for Rhodochrocite,
so buyers call me.

Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: 107 C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J.07302
Voice Mail/Fax: 201-333-6332

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 04:45:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re:dumb question

Hello Sandi:

<<I'm curious about rodocrosite.<<edit>> It even has concentric
circles like a tree would.

It is my understanding that these types of formations are the result of
Stalagmite, and/or Stalagtite type growths. Chemical make-up of the solution
changed too and fro during the formation periods allowing the banding to
occur. Mr. Liccini may be able to add further information here as it is my
understanding that they've been primarily coming from South America. Big
continent, I know, just can't recall actual location. Sorry Sandi, IMHO,
there's no such thing as a stupid question, as long as there's an attempt to
learn. P.S. There's a tendancy to undercut the white banding, Calcite (?)
during the polishing phase, but make astoundingly beautiful gems. I have a
pentiant for Rhodochrosite myself (sorry Hale), ecspecially facet grade!

Note by Hale Sweeny: In the four messages above, references were made to
geological formations as stalagmites and stalagtites A stalagmite is a
conical mineral deposit built up on the floor. And you were right, Earl,
you should have had your spell checker; the other word is stalactite, a
mineral-rich "icycle" formed on the roof of a cavern. I don't know which
form rhodochrosite takes (I suspect both), but perhaps someone can tell us.

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 19:20:20 -0400
To: <>
Subject: Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects

>I would like to hear from anyone who is or has been using either chemical
>or mechanical methods to treat the surfaces, and swap experiences.
>Hale Sweeny
>Durham, NC
I am just learning to clean minerals and I posed the some questions in
Rocks and fossils E-mail list.The thread is still going on.I think there is
always a sort of discussion in there about cleaning minerals.I would
further advise anyone to go to Bob's rock shop and read a great article
about it.Here is the URL.

Oh.I am going to try your mini sandblaster idea on a 22 kilo Aquamarine
crystal I just bought.It has spots of a skin I think is calcite.I know I
can clean it with acid but with a crystal that large It would't be
pleasant.Small pan of acid on the fire escape at night probably is not a
problem.But gallons of the stuff I think might reach the noses of my
neighbors.I am concerned the sandblaster will give it an unnatural look,and
I worry since I am doing it in just spots it won't blend in.

Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: 107 C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J

Subject: Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects

Note from Hale Sweeny: In my posting about using mechanical and chemical
methods to treat surfaces, I inadvertently failed to specify that I was
treating them to develop a design on or in the surface, not to clean them.
Cleaning them is more in the provence of mineral collecting and rockhounding
than Lapidary and for this mailing list is off-topic. In using either method
-either chemical or mechanical-a mask with a design usually cut into it is
applied to the almost finished lapidary object, and then one of the methods
is used to treat the surface through the mask, developing the design on the
face of the lapidary object.

I have an e-mail from a person who is also experimenting with selected gold
plating on the face of a lapidary object, apparently for the purpose of
developing a golden design on the surface. It was my intent to start a
discussion on these types of surface decorations, and I still hope it will.

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 21:32:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: jelly opal

I got a few nice pieces of jelly opal in a trade the other day. They are
about the size of lima beans. Since I have never worked with opals, where do
I begin?

Mark Case
Randleman, NC

Date: Fri, 13 Jun 97 22:20:51 PDT
Subject: BIO

Hello,and welcome.Thanks Hale!!
A little about Rough&Tumble: We are a working shop in Oakland, Oregon. We
are open by appointment only for our privacy. We are show dealers of worked
stone in many variations: tumbled peebles, flats, slabs; flat-lapped of all
sizes, select specimens,pyramids, oblisks,wands,spheres, and limited jewelry.

We restore( where neccessary ) and re-sell lapidary equipment of all kinds:
tumblers,saws, combo units etc.etc.etc. A current price list of equipment on
hand can be obtained by e-mailing us at: A current catalog
of the items available is also obtained by e-mail when possible and
snail-mail otherwise. Visa&Mastercard accepted. Good hounding!!!!

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