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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 79 - Mon 11/3/97
2. NEW: Apache Tears
3. NEW: Index to the Old Desert Magazines Published
4. RE: Dangers of Rock Dust
5. BIO: Nelson (
6. BIO: Bill Freundlich
7. BIO: Chris Johnston
8. BIO: Brewster McShaad
9. FS: Red Coral
10. FS: Garnet


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 79 - Mon 11/3/97

There are several topics in the wings; these will be
published in the coming few weeks. They are:

.. doublets and triplets
.. synthetic diamonds and diamond tool making
.. ammonites
.. lathe turning
.. mud saws
.. rebuilding old lapidary machines
.. polishing with diamond

If you have anything to contribute to any of these topics,
please send it to me and I will keep it to publish with
others of the same topic.

Also, please suggest any topics you would like to see as the
main focus of an issue.

Stay safe, hug someone you love, and above all, have fun...


Subject: NEW: Apache Tears

I have some good sized apache tears, clear and nice. I cut
the end off one about 2cm round to make a cab. It works like
quartz and takes a shine with tin oxide . What is the
material ? Is it a quartz with no crystal structure or?

Subject NEW: Index to the Old Desert Magazines Published

Desert Magazine, issued between 1937 and 1985, contained a
wealth of valuable information about the American Southwest
and other Western localities. Gems and minerals were one of
the magazine's specialties. It continuously published stories
and articles concerning gem and mineral descriptions and
collecting locations. But without an index, any sort of
research, casual or serious, is difficult. The Arthur H.
Clark Co. has just published such an index, covering all
issues in full detail. Collectors of the magazine will
appreciate this valuable reference work.

The Index is fully annotated and cross-indexed. Each item in
the magazine appears not only under its title, but also under
the author's name and the subject (or subjects) it talks
about. When applicable, the item is also indexed under a
general category, such as Fossils, Gems, Minerals & Petrified
Wood, Gology, or Ghost Towns. These features assure the
reader of finding all necessary references to a subject.

Desert Magazine Index
By Tom Budlong and Joan Brooks
The Desert Magazine: Nov. 1937 to July 1985 (534 issues)
The American Desert Magazine: Nov. 1992 to Sep.1993(5 issues)
Index: 525 pages, three-column format.
Includes collector's chart showing dates of all issues
published. Printed in a limited edition of 500 copies.
Hardbound, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, in brown cover material to
match the original binders issued by Desert Magazine.

ISBN 0-87062-281-1
$65.00 + $4.00 S&H

P.O. Box 14707
Spokane, WA 99214-0707
Fax 509-928-4364

If anyone would like more information, please email the
author at

Tom Budlong
voice: 310-476-1731
fax: 310-471-7531

Subject: RE: Dangers of Rock Dust

[Here's a message from that might be
good to include in the "Dangers of Rock Dust" file. I
certainly never thought of this when I started grinding on

Someone had written:

<<Saw something about fossil detection using a "radiation
monitor" on a hand truck (CNN). Just checked fossil shark
tooth and found about 3X background radiation. Are all
fossils "hot"?>>

and someone else answered:

<<Enough so that people used to go dinosaur hunting with a
Geiger counter! And enough that I have a ring radiation badge
as well as one pinned to my shirt when I'm working on my
Wasatchian mammal specimens. It's unlikely that you have some
that is dangerously "hot", but you might want to check just
to make sure.>>

Indeed. Some Morrison Formation bone material is down-right
blazing. It is also a VERY good idea to wear a breathing
filter when dry-sawing, dry-grinding, and especially when
air-abrasive prep'ing fossil bone and it's surrounding
matrix. If the fossils and matrix can take it without
crumbling into dust, WET-saw and wet-grind matrix blocks.

Keep in mind that it really isn't the uranophosphate
complexes that are dangerous; it's their fission daughter
products (radium, radon, and some lead isotopes) that are
dangerous to your health. Radio-lead easily incorporates into
living bone tissue, and radon adsorbs onto almost any surface
(such as alveoli in your lungs) where it emits alpha rays.
Radium is a strong gamma emitter.

An old issue of a radiologist's trade journal noted a whale
vertebra from the Calvert Cliffs that was emitting at the
lower allowable background limits as defined by the EPA.

On the other hand, some fossil bones are less radioactive.
Hell Creek Formation material from Montana is <relatively>
benign in this regard.

BTW: this characteristic of fossil bone apatite to have an
affinity for uranium ions has ramifications regarding the
preservation potential of ancient DNA. Think about the
cumulative effects of having bone collagen and bone DNA
zapped with ionizing radiation for 225-65 million years. Is
that dinosaur DNA going to be preserved in long enough
segments to be recognizable?

(See also David Gillette's book _Seismosaurus: The Earth
Shaker_...even though his team extracted bio-molecules from
the pelvic region (Jour. Vert. Paleo article of a few years
ago), the Seismosaurus specimen was also very radioactive. No
DNA was found).

Phillip Bigelow <>
Sent by:
Andrew Werby - United Artworks
Sculpture, Jewelry, and Other Art Stuff
Ed. Note: I agree, Andrew, and I have added this note to the
'Dangers of Rock Dust' file. Thanks... hale)

Subject: BIO Nelson (

Main interests are in agates.. with emphasis on Northern

Belong to Rock and Mineral group here in Cochiti Lake, New
Mexico.. 1/2 way between Albuquerque & Santa Fe.

Club has 18", 10" saws.. two tumblers... vibrating lap..
ringleader cab machine.

We were fortunate in having about 3000 lbs of good rock
donated to our club in addition to what all the members have
been able to acquire..

may send more information later (Nelson)

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: BIO: Bill Freundlich

I have been involved with Lapidary for about four years. Am
a member of Rochester Lapidary Society in Rochester, NY. I
primarily make cabochons. I have a two wheel Beacon Star
grinder and polisher as well as an old home made 4 wheel job
that dates back some 30 years. Have a 6" trim saw and a 10"
slab saw. Also do some mineral collecting. Also have 15"
flat lap and a small tumbler. Though I am getting better as
time goes on, I still am interested in ideas and hints on
making cabochons.


Subject: BIO: Chris Johnston

My name is Chris Johnston, 43, American.

Until three months ago I was the managing director/mine
manager of the Neu Schwaben tourmaline mine in Namibia.
Before that my wife and I ran our US based business Johnston
and Johnston from our home in Royal Arkansas, Before that I
ran the Ponderosa Mine outside Hines Oregon.

At Neu Schwaben I was lucky enough to identify a million ton
alluvial deposit missed by 70 years of previous mine owners.
I am trained as an exploration geologist/mineralogist out of
the U of Idaho College of Mines. My field of expertise is the
economics of gemstone deposits. I have a full lapidary and
mineral specimen prep shop. I don't have the time to
actively cut much anymore.

But I do cut tens of thousands of stones commercially in the
US and in Asia for distribution throughout the world. I do
enjoy cutting unusual tourmaline slices and cleaning/prepping
mineral specimens. Currently I am operating a buying office
in Karibib, Republic of Namibia and live with my wife and our
son Sky in Omaruru. I am looking forward to this list.

C. Johnston

Subject: BIO: Brewster McShaad

Currently I am not a facetor...although I have an UltraTec,
it sits collecting dust waiting for me to run with it. I have
been collecting rough when the right time occurs, and know
that I will be someday able to say that I facet gems.

Otherwise, I am a stonecutter. I got into the lapidary world
a year after a stint in the Army (in the late sixties) and
tour in Southeast Asia. Made a lot of ethnic necklaces,
beads, turquoise and what not. Did this rather successfully
until I became a parent in '79 and the recession struck.
After a few years of struggling, I succumbed to a steady job
with a manufacturer directly related to the construction
industry, of which I am still employed.

One great benefit was a steady paycheck (unlike the sometimes
3-8 months I had undergone before in making a reasonable
sale!) that afforded me the opportunity to resupply my
coffers. That and a relocation from the sleepy village life
of Palm Springs to the hustle and bustle a city like
Riverside, which is blessed (or was, as many have died this
decade) with numerous rockhounds, has increased my bounty and
now I am rock rich.

When I first started cutting stones, I had a Foredom and a
1/4 horse motor with a 8" disc that I would use various
grades of wet/dry sanding paper. A hammer and chisel was my
saw, or sometimes when cutting good material, I would borrow
the use of a friend's saw. All of that changed 13 years ago.

Now I have a series of Poly Arbors, saws going from 4" to
24", laps from 12" to 36", a variety of tumblers, drills,
benches, overhead lap, buffers, and on and on. I started (or
rather, continued) with silicon carbide, and have switched to
diamond in numerous forms to grind, sand and polish, but
still use silicon carbide for some applications. I do this as
a one-man-band, though I have done very little work for the
last two years, owing to a shift in position at work that
took me from a 40 hour week to a 60 hour week.

You can find me at Quartzsite for the annual QIA POW-WOW show
and now and then at a local show selling slabs, rough, and
cut stones. Did I mention that I have 30,000 pounds of rocks?
I am considered by many to be an expert in southwest cutting
materials. I do extensive collecting as well as silver picking
other rock piles. My face can be seen at nearly all rock shows
in the S. CA, although I have yet to make it to the Denver
show. Tucson is great, and so are the other Quartzsite shows.

Someday I intend to set up a major lapidary cutting
operation, hence all of the rocks and equipment.

I have many other interests in this life, and could use about
a hundred years if others are willing to sell their time.
However, I find the beauty that was put inside of a rock to
be overwhelming and am constantly amazed at what can be
found, just waiting for the right treatment. I am truly
dazzled by a fine emerald or the sparkle of benitoite, or
mecurial opal, or #8 Lander blue turquoise, but I will die as
a hardcore "agate-lover", as that was the stone that did it
for me when I was six years old and watched my grandfather
laboriously cut a Montana moss agate cab. Give me a rich
plume, or a sagenite, or a Horse Canyon agate! Or a Laguna
fortification, or a gummy green chrysoprase, or copper
silicate! But I will take a sunstone from Plush, OR, or a
rich aquamarine, or any color sapphire, or even a synthetic
rutile! as well.

Brewster McShaad
Riverside, CA

Subject: FS: Red Coral

Fossil red coral, Location, US, 4 pounds
$60.00 plus S/H or Make me a offer (smile )

Gemstone Brokerage Associates Ltd. Telephone (518)438-5487
P.O. Box 8930 Albany, N.Y. 12208

Subject: FS: Garnet

I have just been contacted by my people in South Africa that
they need cash fast. I have a special deal.

I have 4 parcels of mixed African garnet of 500 grams each.
Here are the regular prices:

10 gram sample pack: $25 US
50 gram starter pack: $125 US
100 gram pack: $210 US
500 gram pack for serious facetor's: $875
1 kilogram wholesale pack: $1600 US
2 kilogram wholesale pack: $2750 US

I have been authorized to sell the 4 parcels for immediate
cash flow. The 500 gram packs will be $675 each, 2 for
$1200, all 4 for $2100. These prices include shipping. The
pieces range from 1/2 gram to 54 grams each. Most are eye
clean. 80% deep red color. 10% bright red. 5% orange. 5%
other color.

This is a one time offer to raise cash fast. There has been
some serious civil war going on in South Africa and my
contacts need about $2000 or more within a week.

This offer will expire with the sale of these 4 parcels or
within one week from today. After one week, they will not
need the money as desperately.

Please email me privately. I can take
visa/mastercard/discover/cash/money order or wire transfer.

Thank you for helping my friends.

Mark Case
Randleman, NC
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