Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 94 - Thurs 12/18/97
2. NEW: Working Honduran Black Opal
3. RE: Stabilizing Turquoise
4. RE: Polishing Ammonites
5. RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment
6. RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment
7. NEW: Book info please
8. FS: Sugilite
9. FS: Lavender Jade and Blue Chalcedony
10. FS: Quartz with Silk
11. FS: Black coral
12. FS: Columbian Emerald Specimens


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 94 - Thurs 12/18/97

For the newer members, I will devote a large part of one of
the upcoming issues to instructions for accessing the

If you know of a lapidary school in your home area, please
write and tell us about it. I would like to have a BIG list
of lapidary schools available for anyone who wants to go to
school. If you teach, please write and tell us about the
school and facilities. This includes club classes, evening
classes, workshops, everything!!! You know about these, I
don't. So please write and contribute!!

Next, if you have any lapidary tips of tricks to make
lapidary easier, please send them in!

And if you want to see some particular topic covered, let me
know! One person wants to see something on stabilizing or
hardening turquoise; we will see more on that! What else?

Christmas is almost upon us. The season of love and caring
and heavy traffic. So take both of these to your heart: drive
defensively and with great care, and hug and kiss those you
love. Your being careful will give them an even better
Christmas season.

God Bless


Subject: NEW: Working Honduran Black Opal

We picked up a couple of pieces of Honduran Black Opal
at a federation show and were told at the time that little
could be done to slab it due to the instability of that
material. We were further advised to treat the opal with
'liquid glass' before doing anything with it.

We would like to hear from someone has worked with that
material before. If there is a way to release the awesome
fire within the stone we need to find out about it before we
attempt anything with it.


Jim and Judy Budnik

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Stabilizing Turquoise

<<Does anyone know how to stabilize porous turquoise? Any
help on this subject would be really appreciated.>>

Hi Pat, The best way is to use a silica solution but it can
be difficult to do on a small scale . If you only have a
couple of pieces I would recomend using Opticon. It is sold
at most lapidary supply houses. About $10.00 I usually go
ahead and cut the stones and take them to a 600 grit, then
follow the instructions and polish afterwards. If the stones
are too brittle I will slab, Opticon, cut to 600 and then
Opticon again and then polish.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me off list.

Jason Penn

Subject: RE: Polishing Ammonites

<<I have some Russian ammonites that have been polished on
one side, and since the replacement mineral is either pyrite
or marcasite, the polished surface when I bought it had a
mirror finish. Since then, the surface has tarnished to a
gun metal grey color. Does anyone know of a means to polish
the surface back to the original finish, without using
diamond wheels? >>

Hi Vance,
Try zam on a treated yellow muslin buff. The trick to
polishing pyrite is to get it hot, and it should come up
with a mirror shine.

Jason Penn

Subject: RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment

For those who may not know, parts for old Highland Park
equipment can usualy be obtained from Contempo Lapidary.
Contact Bill Ritter ,e-mail to He
may also be able to help find parts for other brands.

A trick I have learned about old sealed bearings is if the
grease gets dried out you can drill a small hole in the seal
and use a small gun used to lube the nose of chain saw bars
to force more grease into bearing then clean seal good and
seal hole with silicone . Of course this is only a temporary
fix but can keep you going until a replacement can be
obtained and some times will last for a very long time.

Don, the ramblin rockhound

noncommercial republish permission granted.

Subject: RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment

Hi everybody,

About 7 or 8 years ago I started using a protective paint
called Hammerite. At first I just used it on rusty equipment,
but now I even put in on new equipment where I know water is
going to be splashed. It has completely solved all my rust
problems. It contains tiny glass flakes that overlap to form
a moisture proof coat. It's slick and good looking and easy
to wipe down. The only thing is, be sure to read the
directions before you use it or the paint may be done before
you are. It isn't too easy to find but you can get it at
some auto and marine supply stores. On the internet too.

Be sure to remove mounting boards and bottom cover plates and
give a lot of attention to insides and undersides.

Bob in Arkansas

Subject: NEW: Book info please

Good morning everyone,

I am new to this world of lapidary and jewelry making and am
taking my first steps. Can anyone please give me any
information on books on wirework and wirewrapping? Yep, that
is where I am starting out, and so far I love it, but need to
know so much more.

Any help will be appreciated,

(Editorial Note: Trudy, Welcome to the Digest and Welcome to
the hobby. I know you enjoy all the wonderful things you will
learn along the way. Usually a letter like yours would not be
included, as it is too far off topic - the topic is lapidary.
But as a teacher, I am a sucker for newbies to the hobby. If
anyone of you can help Trudy, please reply to her, off-list,
to her personal address.

I would suggest, Trudy, that if you wish to start with wire
work and wire wrap, you should subscribe to
<> (a newsgroup), to Orchid mail list, and
possibly to rec.crafts.beads (another news group). All of
these are available through AOL; newsgroups are found under
the keyword: NEWSGROUPS.

To subscribe to Orchid mail list (I recommend the Digest),
send an e-mail to <>, put
SUBSCRIBE in the body and leave the subject line blank - just
the opposite of how you subscribed to LapDigest. To get the
non-digest list version, just leave the work 'digest' out of
the instructions above.

Keep plugging!!! Always learn!!! Enjoy the hobby!!! hale)

Subject: FS: Sugilite

Hi to the list,

My name is Jason Penn I am a new member to your list, I hope
I will be able to contribute as much as I hope to learn. I
have been cutting for about six years now, two of which
professionally. I mainly cut custom cabs but I facet as well
do a little bit of carving. I don't know if this is
appropriate for this list, so feel free to delete it if
necessary, but I have a friend who is selling off some of his
Sugilite stock for a really good price If any one is
interested please e-mail me off list.
Thank you in advance,
Jason Penn

Subject: FS: Lavender Jade and Blue Chalcedony

We at G.B.A. Just want to remind you, that as agents for
Truva Minning Of Turkey we have available Lavender jade and
Blue Chalcedony. These materials are excellent and can be
used for cabbing as well as exceptional carvings. The
lavender jade has that solid pastel purple color and the blue
chalcedony is a attractive translucent blue...So try a sample
kilo and decide for yourself....

Sample kilo of lavender jade is $32.00 plus shipping, and
sample kilo of Blue chalcedony AAA grade is $100.00 per Kilo
and sample kilo of Blue chalcedony A grade is $50.00 plus


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

Subject: FS: Quartz with Silk

I have been treating clear Quartz to various colors. One is
made from a cousin of Rose Quartz, and many pieces come out
with a silk in them, like Rose Quartz. Well,the commericial
factories have no imagination.I am sure they will cut "stars"
or a "moon" type of effect in cabochon. Would make excellent
carving material. All really have the silk, but most the silk
gets very hard to see, some the silk is very heavy.The color
comes out beautiful,it treats to a bright Canary yellow,and I
can make a darker version of the same yellow.

So is there anyone who would like to buy the silky ones?

I offer them for $.50/gm.(the more transparent faceting grade
brings $1/gm).Contact me off list,and I leave for Brazil in a
couple of days,can fill orders up until I go,and on return
first week of January.

Mark Liccini

LICCINI 107C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J.07302

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 16:43:29 -0000
To: <>
Subject: FS: Black coral

Beautiful black branches of Hawaiian coral. Ranging in size
from 1/4 to 1" and larger in diameter and from 6" long up to
one foot. Thick and thin branches available. Ideal for cabs
and carving. Available by weight for 0.50/gram.
E-mail specific needs.

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 18:13:09 -0000
To: <>
Subject: FS: Columbian Emerald Specimens

For Sale:
Give everyone an Emerald from Columbia for Christmas!
Crystals are medium to dark green, and range in size from
1/2 to 1"showing reasonably well termination. Available
inexpensively at $6/pc or 6 for $25.
Happy Holidays!

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