Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. Notes for Issue #15
2. RE: Rapid Polish
3. RE: Mottled Polish on Rhodonite
4. RE: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal
5. RE: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal
6. AD: Ashlea Lyons Creations (Cranestone Gems)

Subject: Notes for Issue #15

One of the common ways many of us got into lapidary work was through tumbling of rocks; tumbling is one of the most basic operations in lapidary arts.

And one of the skilled practioners is : Alan Silverstein <>. We have all seen his contributions to tumbling discussions on other mail lists. Alan has been collecting items about tumbling for several years, and has organized them in a book-like collection which he has generously allowed to be placed in our Archives, available for downloading. It will be placed there in the next few days, as soon as the last copyright release has been obtained. You will find it in the directory under the file name TUMBLING.TXT.

Hopefully, more items on lapidary subjects will find their way into the Archives in the future.

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 17:00:18 -0700
Subject: RE: Rapid Polish

In Issue #14, Dick Friesen <> asked:

<... does any one know what "rapid polish" is? >

There is a Myer's Rapid Polish. He is located @ P.O. Box 646 Keller, TX
76244, phone is 817 / 379-5662.


Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 21:14:10 -0700

Subject: RE: Mottled Polish on Rhodonite

>My husband recently polished some Virginia rhodonite that looked good from
>a distance, but up close, the surface appeared mottled or somewhat like
>orange skin. Does anyone have any recommendations for getting an even

Rhodonite has a structure commonly called sugary, the material has small openings that will give an orange peal polish similar to jade. But it is not the same, the orange peal in jade comes from directional dissimilar
hardness in grain structure, the voids in rhodonite will not polish out.

You can probably fill them with one of the epoxies that have been mentioned in the turquoise thread but the epoxy won't polish as well as the rhodonite and the results I have seen were not satisfactory.

I have been able to improve the polish (not completely fix it) using chrome oxide on hard leather (I use a 5-to-1 oxide to water ratio then add about 10% Linde A) which is a common jade polish.

But the best answer I know of is to find better material, like most lapidary material, rhodonite come in a wide range of quality and in some the voids are small enough not to show in the final polish, well they still show under magnification but most people don't care. There used to be a rhodonite from Australia sold as "Royal Rhodonite". It was some of the best rhodonite I have ever seen but I have not seen any for several years. Maybe you will get lucky and find some old stash in a local show.

Or maybe someone has a better answer and will share it with us.

Dick Friesen

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 21:12:23 -0700

Subject: RE: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal

At a Show several years ago I was told to stabilize some
Louisiana Opal and what appears to be a synthetic Black
Opal. I have not yet attempted to cut them because I have forgotten the instructions, but they seemed to involve a thick sugar syrup and a crock pot. Acid may also have been involved. Does this ring a bell with any one, and if not (or even if) , can any one recommend some good books on the subject, magazine articles, or whatever?

Gary Ogg
Columbia SC
Subject: RE: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal

I do not know about Louisiana opal, but mentioning sugar solutions and a crock pot reminds me of the treatment of Andamooka (Australia) opals.

A book is available which describes the treatment of these opals. Its title is ALL ABOUT ANDAMOOKA OPALS, written by Emory Ligget, and available for $5.00 from him at 1851 West Ehringhaus #121, Elizabeth City, NC 27909, (919)264-4367. Many of you may have met Emory at shows, selling opals.

Also, from The Lapidary Journal Index, I find the following possibly related references:

..Louisiana Opals, Moore, Gary: "Elusive in Louisiana" 86:06:54
..Stability of Opals, "Opal" 86:10:16
.."Opal Treatments" 89:06:44
.."Treating Opal Matrix" 76:10:1787

Reprints are available from Lapidary Journal (1-800-676-GEMS) for a nominal charge.

hale sweeny

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 11:25:40 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: AD: Ashlea Lyons Creations (Cranestone Gems)

Dear Subscribers,

We are Ashlea Lyons Creations and have been in the rock business for about 25 years. This is our first introduction to your list and am sure we will enjoy all the banter that is provided. We have been designated Cranestone Gems U.S. Agents, and have many cabbing and mineral specimens available.

We just got a shipment from Cranestone of opal specimens from the Ben-Hur Mine in Australia. Pictures, prices and descriptions are at

We have many mineral specimens from Australia, many opalized. We hope the membership gets a chance to check out our pages and I'm sure we'll enjoy talking with all of you!

Susan Sanders
Ashlea Lyons Creations
(Note by Hale: As mentioned in the Welcome letter, we appreciate the information that dealers may provide,
and welcome their participation. We do allow ads, such as this one, as long as the dealers are selling lapidary-related items, such as rough or equipment. After the first such ad, subsequent ads should be restricted to the five allowed signature lines which make their appearance with every query or comment submitted by the dealer.This encourages dealer participation in discussions)

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