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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 28 Friday 7/18/97
2. NEW: Eclectic Lapidary Magazine
3. New: Can this be cheap??!
4. RE: How is Goldstone Made?
5. RE: How is Goldstone Made?
6. RE: How is Goldstone Made?
7. Re: Labradorite Rough
8. BIO: Jim Schnell

Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 28 Friday 7/18/97

Yesterday, I requested that each author write the words "-- non-commercial republish permission granted --" at the end of every item submitted. Then clubs may legally pick up the items and reprint them in club bulletins, and thus your words may have wider circulation and influence. Please use those four words.

Have just received a new (new to me, that is!) book GEM AND LAPIDARY MATERIALS by June Culp Zeitner (Geoscience Press, Tuscon AZ). It covers the characteristics of the materials we all use, and is to us what a mineralogy book is to geologists/mineralogists. I am impressed by the little I have read in it, and am sure you will see me quote it in the future.

Speaking of books, we published a list of books on tumbling several issues ago. Do you find this kind of list useful? I plan several other lists based on other categories and will put the lists in the Archves. You may help by first, sending any tumbling book titles (w/author, publisher etc) to me to be added to the list, and secondly, send me any categories of book lists (within lapidary, of course) you would like to see published.

Have a safe but fun weekend! Use sunscreen!


Date: Thursday, July 17, 1997
From: Kenneth L. Hunrichs <>

Subject: NEW: Eclectic Lapidary Magazine

In the News section of LapDigest #25, Hale was relaying a subscriber's
lament about the Lapidary Journal turning away from it's roots in the
lapidary world. I am new to lapidary (just attended my second cobochon
class in San Diego) but I have found a lapidary website which I find very
interesting. It is presented in a format similar to a magazine and is a
lot of fun to read every month. It is called the Eclectic Lapidary and can be found at the following address on the web:

It has articles related to the lapidary art, homemade equipment and travel
related to rockhounding.

I continue to learn while reading the LapDigest. Keep the info coming.


Ken Hunrichs

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 22:01:59 -0500

Subject: New: Can this be cheap??!

I am currently spending all of my money on college, but would like to have at least some polishing equipment for flat surfaces (bookends, that sort of thing). Any shopping I do can only be done on the internet due to lack of
experience with equipment dealers. I have read many articles and books,
all of which show how polishing is done, but I have yet to even get to that
point. Money is the prime issue, but I do want something that will work!

If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them. Perhaps stories on how some of you got started yourselves would help. Thanks to any who reply!

John Dodds
--non-commercial republish permission granted--
(Ed. Note: The first item, about Eclectic Lapidary, may offer a partial solution to your problem. That e-zine has descriptions of how to build your own equipment, including cabber, tumbler and facetor. Check it out.

Also LapDigest ran a thread several issues ago on hand methods of lapidary which did not involve or require machinery. They also may help; you will find these in the Archives. Look in the file: Index-24.txt. Details on how to get files are in the Welcome letter and in the footnote to every issue. -
- hale)

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997

Subject: RE: How is Goldstone Made?

I heard that gold stone was made by moncks. My mother said she had gone
somewhere where they made this goldstone and you could pick up pieces

I know its a type of glass.

Scott Shrader

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997

Subject: RE: How is Goldstone Made?

Greetings Dave, and to you all:

This is one of the fascinating topics that when broached over a piece of gem
rough, can lead to hours of tale spinning. With no true knowledge of the
process, but having heard the story from more than one source, there's a
little confidence that this yarn might be close. So if you don't mind
listening to a little rumor, then let us lean across the fence and ponder.
If you've no time for drivel, my appologies, please fast foreward to the
next topic.

It's been said, that the original Gold Stone came about as the result of a
fortuitous error. You see, it seems many years ago, there was an Italian
Monastery world renowned for this special type of glass it made. Trade
secrets, copy rights, or maybe even those wonderful vows that are taken at
induction prevented the rest of the us from finding out the formula. Being
that this glass production was it's main source of income, the truth was kept
well guarded behind the sanctuary walls. How it came to pass is still a
mystery, but according to legend passed this direction, copper filings were
somehow spilled into the brew. Horrified at the loss of that days
production, this concoction was dumped on the slag pile, and a new batch
hastily begun. Sometime later, the head guru passed this pile, and was
stunned to see this blessed blob shinning like none he'd ever seen before,
glowing from within as if touched by the hand of God himself. Excitedly, he
called his fellow worshipers together to marvel, and wonder at it's meaning.
Despondent, the errant worker spilled his guts (it's an honesty thing, which
is good! Poor guy wouldn't last too long in the real world though). Now
realize folks, the amount of shavings in this glass was small by todays
standards, but it was enough to get the attention of decision maker. He
ordered more shavings gathered, much more, and the process repeated, on
purpose this time. Refined, tested, and tried, different methods were used
to add color till just the right mix was found to make this glass resemble
gold. It didn't do too well in the shapes of goblets, or plates, but it did
catch the eyes of a few jewelers, and was quickly introduced into the
lapidary industry. Through the years, they've done little to change the
original formula, but have altered the base colors on occasion. The original
Gold color, then Purple/Black, and later a dark Green, all festooned with
those shiny copper filings. Truth or Trash? Never met a monk from the
Italian Alps. Can't rightly say. But you should see my daughters eyes light
up when she puts on the bracelet I made from the that very same material, and
the story is repeated.

Sun's going down, I hear the grinding unit calling. God's Speed.


Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997

Subject: RE: How is Goldstone Made?

David Friedman asked:

<<Does anyone know the method/technique to produce this artificial glass?
I've tried a few furnace mixes but haven't come close. Thank you.>>

Peter Rowe addresses this question in a short article which I have
archived on my site at the URL <<>>, under Techniques of Jewelry.

Andrew Werby - United Artworks
Sculpture, Jewelry, and Other Art Stuff

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997

Subject: Re: Labradorite Rough

We have sold about 300 lbs of polished labradorite pieces from Madagascar
during the past 10 months or so, and we have found only a very few with the
purple, pink, and orange-salmon. We have a couple at the moment, if you're
interested in them, E mail me privately.

Best regards,

Richard Sittinger
WonderWorks/Mineral of the Month Club

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997

Subject: BIO: Jim Schnell

Hello digest members.

My name is Jim Schnell. I first started in lapidary back in the early
70's as a teenager living with my paraents. My dad always had an
interest in lapidary and luckily found someone just getting out of the
hobby. He bought out all their rocks and whatever equipment that wasn't
already sold yet. Then he purchased the rest of the cabbing equipment
to finish out his shop. That's when I took interest in the hobby. For
the rest of the time I lived at home, I learned whatever I could about
lapidary. After I left home, my dad's interest (and health) faded so
the equipment never really got used much anymore. Recently his health
took a turn for the worse, and needless to say, I have inherited all of
his rocks and equipment. Everything has found a welcome home in our
garage and basement and I'm back into the hobby full swing! Even my
wife is excited - she's talking about beads and craft shows- hmmm...

Here's a list of our equipment and supplies:
Star diamond 14" slab saw , 6" trim saw, and 8 wheel cabbing grinder.
Large capacity tumbler
horizontal vibrating flat lap
slow speed hard leather polishing arbor - 2 wheels
many, many cabinets full of supplies/findings
1/4 to 1/2 ton of rough - some very collectible material hard to find
many years of old lapidary journals!!!

Jim Schnell
Storage Technololgy Corporation
(303) 673-2685

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