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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 60 - Sun 9/14/97
2. NEW: Synthetic Moissanite - A New Gem Material
3. NEW: Some Tumbling Questions
4. NEW: Refurbishing an Old Lapidary Machine
5. NEW: Megalodon (Fossil Shark) Teeth
6. RE: Saw Sludge
7. RE: Orienting Rainbow Obsidian
8. RE: Gaspeite as a Cabbing Material
9. BIO: Dan Otchere


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 60 - Sun 9/14/97

I will be away for a week, till September 21. The computer
will be left running so that you may access the Archives
during this period.

Usually, the number of messages to the list falls greatly
when I leave, but this time, there are many topics below
which are just crying for response. (Listen to their cries
and respond!!)(grin)

The next issue will probably be published on Mon. Sept.22.

Till then, be well, take care, and have fun!


Subject: NEW: Synthetic Moissanite - A New Gem Material

The Lapidary Journal, on page 102 of the August issue,
reports that C3,Inc., of Raleigh, NC is releasing its
first colorless synthetic moissanite gemstones this summer
as finds of natural moissanite have been insufficient to
yield faceted gemstones.

It then gave the address, phone and fax number. I contacted
C3 Inc., today and can report that the address, phone and
fax numbers are incorrect as published. The phone number is
(919)468-0399 and the fax number is (919)468-0486.

The telephone information that I received today from C3,
Inc. is that the material is due for release sometime in
1998. The specific gravity is 3.17 and information on sizes
and cost are not available at this time. I was advised to
send a fax to them and as more information becomes available
they would advise me. The material is brilliant and just
less than diamond in hardness. The current thinking is that
it is better than the currently available synthetics.

Please note that I am not connected with C3 Inc., in anyway
and that I am simply passing on this information for those
who may be interested.

Leo Doucet

"-- non-commercial republish permission granted --"
(Ed. Note: Yes, moissanite is usually faceted and Yes,
we do have a policy that LapDigest will not cover faceted
gemstone topics. But C3,Inc. is located right in our own
backyard in Morrisville, NC, and this is a new material
which COULD have a big impact on the whole lapidary area.

As a facetable material, it has an R.I. of 2.67, and I was
told that it has a scintillation that is incredible. It's
hardness is 9.75 - hard enough to be useful in lapidary
grinding/sanding/polishing operations.

They are now having stones faceted in Thailand?Ceylon?
and it was reported at our Gem Club meeting that the cost
of the stones will be about half to two thirds the cost of
comparable diamonds. What a markup!! Enough to finance
research and development into other synthetics for some
time to come. Will try to keep you posted. hale)

Subject: NEW: Some Tumbling Questions

I read Jerome Wexler's "How to Tumble Polish Gemstones
and Make Gem Jewelry" and I came across the term "WIRE SAW
GRIT". I believe he uses this because it is "ungraded" and
therefore inexpensive. However I am yet to find out what
it is and who sells it. Can anyone help?

I am not sure if it is permissible to ask this but I came
across an advert of VIBRA-TEK rock polisher. Does anyone
know anything about this type of rock polisher.

I am having a bit of a tough time getting any good results
from my tumbler. I grind for weeks but don't seem to get
any good rounding from the process. What am I doing wrong?

Dan Otchere

"non-commercial republish permission granted "
(Ed. Note: Grit which has been coarsely graded is thought
to be cheaper than closely graded grit. For example,
Kingsley-North carries the following silicon carbide grit,
all in 5 pound units (prices are taken from their annual
sales catalog):

Graded grit sizes Ungraded grit sizes
--------------------- -------------------------------
30,60,80,100 $9.00 36/100, 60/90 120/220 $8.40
120, 180 $9.50 240- $8.40
220 $10.00 400-, 600- $10.00

(Note that 400- means '400 and finer')

So there is a difference in cost, but it doesn't seem big.
Would someone who REALLY knows what they are talking about
explain to me, to Dan and to the whole list the ins and
outs of all of this?


Subject: NEW: Refurbishing an Old Lapidary Machine

Hi everybody,

After observing the list for a couple of weeks, I'm sure
there is someone out there that can help me get started in
the art of lapidary.

I inherited from my grandfather a few years ago a 10" Star
Diamond trim saw and lapidary. The saw is in very good
condition, but the lapidary needs some reconditioning.
It works fine but needs two new grinding wheels and a new
expandable belt wheel. The belts do not slide on and off
very easily. I think it is just old and stiff. My local
rock shop, V-Rock shop in Canton has a beautiful new shop,
but did not seem very anxious to help with my problem.

Any suggestions as to who or where to look for "affordable"
parts to get me started without going in too much debt?

If I ever get started in this new hobby, I already have
enough rough slab to keep me busy until I pass it on to
my grandchildren.

Thanks in advance for your advice,

Richard Dudley
Canal Fulton, OH


Subject: NEW: Megalodon (Fossil Shark) Teeth

While talking to a young man at work, I found out he's a
collector of sharks teeth and is in the business of selling
them. From the pictures I saw these weren't the normal
found-on-the-beach teeth. Most were over 3" or more on
the slant measurement. He said people have purchased some
for lapidary work as well as having a nice fossil
specimens. I don't know it this would fit in the criteria
of this news letter but I was impressed and a lot of
people in our hobby have many interests including fossils.

His web address is:

There are pictures of the teeth on his page as well as
other information. I've seen several people in our club,
Jacksonville Gem & Mineral Society, with a silver wire
wrapped sharks tooth fitted onto a bolo slide. Wire
wrapping prevented damage to the valuable tooth.

We thought the group might be interested in a web site
that's unusual.

David & Barbara Tuttle

non-commercial use permitted
Ed. Note: Thanks, Tuttles, for bringing us this web site,
and thanks for bringing up a topic which I think is quite
important: preserving the integrity of found fossils and
artifacts. When working with some fossils or, for example,
artifacts such as real arrow heads, I try to incorporate
them into the designs so that the object is not physically
altered and so that it may be returned to it's found state.
Obviously, I don't worry about this with stones like
turritella, but I do on most fossils. How do others feel
about this? hale)

Subject: RE: Saw Sludge


When I worked in a gas station years ago, I collected
the oil that we drained from cars into a container, and
put the container on a bench. Then, we soaked a piece
of hemp rope in clean oil, and when it was thoroughly
soaked, we stuck one end of it in the container that held
the dirty oil and put the other end in an empty container
on the floor. This would have a syphoning effect on the
oil, leaving all the junk behind and letting all the
clean oil flow down the rope and into the container
sitting on the floor. I don't know how well this kept out
the microscopic particles but I know it ran my '52 Ford
just fine. Maybe this would work on the cutting oil for
slab/trim saws?


Bill Mackay


Subject: RE: Orienting Rainbow Obsidian


I have been carving rainbow obsidian for four years now.
The only company I knew that brought rainbow obsidian into
the states from Mexico was El Oso mining out of Tucson,
AZ. The hole has been dry for nearly a year now. I have a
hunch that the stuff being sold as Mexican is actually

To align rainbow obsidian for cutting, open a can of cheap
paint and put it on the floor between your feet. Turn off
all the lights except one directly overhead. Now with the
light shining over your shoulder find the brightest side
and dip the rock straight down into the open bucket of
paint. If you only dip it halfway you now have a perfect
line to orient to. This paint line will be parallel to the
bands in the obsidian.

This trick also works well for spectralite or labradorite.
In fact I suppose it would work for orienting any rock
that is directionally sensitive.

Larry <>

Subject: RE: Gaspeite as a Cabbing Material

There is a picture of gasperite at

The hardness might seem to preclude its use in jewelry,
but an inlay under resin might work out. Thanks for the
info on a mineral that was new to me.

Jerry Mings / Rich Balding Wizard Home Page

**non-commercial reproduction permitted**

Subject: BIO: Dan Otchere

May I commend you and this CYBER Community on a wonderful
digest you produce.

My name is Dan Otchere. I am new to lapidary and to this
list. I live in Unionvuilee in Ontario Canada. I
originally come from West Africa and have been living in
Canada for the past 11 years. I first stumbled on lapidary
a few years ago when I lived in Thunder Bay (with all the
Amethyst mines who would miss that) but did not get into
it although the polished stones really fascinated me. I
did collect a few amethyst rocks but don't even know if
they are of any good quality.

NOVICE! My wife got me really started when she bought me
a 3 pound Thumler's Tumbler and I have been experimenting
with rock polishing since. I therefore find it very useful
to read all your suggestions and to follow the discussions.
I hope that someday I can share some experiences with you.

Right now I have only questions, questions and questions
and they will come in another mail. I hope that is in order.

Dan Otchere

"non-commercial republish permission granted "
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