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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 144 - Fri 5/29/98
2. NEW: Information on Ultrasonic Drilling
3. RE: Ammonite Gem Rough
4. RE: Ammonite Gem Rough
5. RE: Ammonite Gem Rough
6. RE: Substitute Materials
7. BIO: Paul Boni
8. BIO: Sharon Behmann
9. BIO: Kathy Bucedi
10. NEW: Please Help With Values of These Items


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 144 - Fri 5/29/98

Well, this has been an exciting week for me! Went to
Wildacres where I helped teach cabbing, met (again) and had
several conversations with Bob Jones of Rocks and Gems - who
was our main speaker and who gave five excellent lectures!
My old faithful 929 Mazda had (partially self-induced) engine
failure, so it is still in Asheville, NC -- and I came home
to find a strange clicking in the hard drive of the server.
Called Dell - the maker - who said a complete failure is
eminent, and they will replace the 1.5 gig hard drive with a
2.0 gig one - so all ain't bad!! But it does mean that I need
to get this issue out NOW.

If the new drive gets here on Monday, then the machine will
be down till Thursday, so the next issue will probably be
issued on next Friday. But in the meantime, keep those
queries coming!

It's good to get home again.

Got a note from Lance Kanaby, who asked that I remind all of
you that you may post your show and/or event free of charge
to the Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show Calendar at All he asks is that you complete
the form at the website and submit it.

Also, Leo Kusher writes that a friend of his who lives near
Wichita KS has a star ruby set in a ring that has a scratch
on the surface that need polishing out. If any of you near
the Wichita area can do this, please contact Leo at

Have fun!!


Subject: NEW: Information on Ultrasonic Drilling

Does anyone have experience with ultrasonic drilling
that could enlighten me about the good and bad of this type
of drilling and what kind of equipment is out there? Or have
you had any experience drilling odd shaped holes or done any
"cameo" type of cutting with an ultrasonic?


Subject: RE: Ammonite Gem Rough

<<Does anyone know of a source for ammonite gem rough?>>

I have seen some beautiful, large pieces that an acquaintance
has. E-mail Scott through his website at:
Hope this helps
1 Lucky Texan

(non-commercial republication granted)

Subject: RE: Ammonite Gem Rough

Please contact offline: A Rare Gem P.O. BOX 2325 Olympia Wa.
98507 or call (360) 754-6741. They can possibly help with
rough material. Thank you.


Subject: RE: Ammonite Gem Rough

We have a small amount, please email us at
and visit our website.<A HREF="



Subject: RE: Substitute Materials

I use CD's as overlays. The surface seems to "hold" the finer
diamond very well. I can also polish a few stones with them
before they develop ridges in them. I simply call, or write,
to various computer companies and internet service providers.
I tell them that I have a CD rom, and would like some
information about their services. Once I'm on their list,
they send me free laps each month!


non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: BIO: Paul Boni

Greetings all!,
I want to thank you, Hale, for the existence of this e-mail
list. It's just GREAT!

I learned to cut stone in High School, as part of a jewelry
making class (24 years ago). That first stone hooked me. It
was an un-notable cab cut from some local petrified wood.
The cut was poor but I did get a good polish, and I was off!
(I still have the stone). I accumulated what equipment I
could, improved my skills, tried anything that looked the
least bit interesting, and by the time I graduated I was
cutting B grade opal. My interest led me to a bachelors
degree in geology and then a masters.

At present I am employed as a laboratory coordinator by the
University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences. At
times my lapidary skills have helped to fill the gaps in my
budget, occupied my curiosity, been a source of inspiration,
an outlet for artistic fancies, a reason to burn perfectly
good money, and always a passionate love.

My interests seem to lead me to the unusual, if I haven't cut
it before, I want it! I particularly love opal (all
varieties), stars and cats eyes, lapis, sugilite, charoite,
and a list of oddities that is too long to include.

Paul Boni
Boulder, CO

non-commercial, republish permission granted

Subject: BIO: Sharon Behmann

I am very pleased to have found a list such as this, since I
do not belong to a club and being a "newbie" in this field,
crave the conversation and information of other enthusiasts.

It all started last fall when I was looking for a tumblestone
of Botswana agate (supposed to be good for curing addictions),
but it has gone far, far beyond that now. I am no longer so
interested in the spiritual qualities of crystals, but find
myself wanting to know what all the rocks are that surround

I live in Puslinch Township which is renowned for its gravel
and rocks. This led to the purchase of several rock and
mineral identification books and an inability to stop looking
at gravel driveways, railway roadbeds, furtive looking over
of rocks used for landscaping, etc..

Then, I happened to be in a toy store and bought a Lortone
1.5 lb. capacity tumbler and I am having a wonderful time
experimenting with various stones - it does nice things with
granite! And I attended my first gem and mineral show in
Paris this spring. I had a wonderful time! I have much to
learn and who knows where this new interest will lead.... I
know I need a bigger tumbler or two already....

I don't know if this is the place to ask a question, but I
have been told since I bought my tumbler, that I should have
a second barrel for polishing, since the grit will eventually
become embedded in the rubber and ruin further polishing
attempts. Could anyone comment on this?


Subject: BIO: Kathy Bucedi

I am a new subscriber and appreciate all the information made
available to me on lists such as yours; here's a short bio.

I have always had a fascination with minerals, gems, rocks
and the lapidary arts since I was a child ( a long time ago).
For several years I have been out circulation due to a
disability and then taking care of two ill relatives; now I'd
like to find a niche doing something I love. I have no
equipment yet and just the beginnings of a small collection
of stones; any advice would be helpful and appreciated.
Unfortunately, the schools around here are out of my
financial range so I'm learning the hard way.

That's about it, I'll be lurking in the background until I
think I know enough to ask questions.

kathy bucedi

Subject: NEW: Please Help With Values of These Items

(Hale's Note: We don't usually accept this kind of query, but
I am for two reasons. Mel has been a good friend of the
Digest from the beginning, and costs of rough are always of
interest to lapidarys. So I am asking Mel to send another
note, after they value all of these, with the prices they
finally attached to each one. If you have suggested values,
send them directly to Mel at

Our club (Osage Hills Gem and Mineral Society) is preparing
an old collection for a sale on June 20th. On the way we have
found some things for which we are not sure about their
current value, and your help would be appreciated. They

1. Goldstone (32 g) (man made) mostly gold color - a couple
are green. small slab pieces.

2. Oregon sunstone (92 g.) - most copper color with Schiller
effect - a few clear.

3. Azurite nodules (162 g.) from 3/16" to 5/8" - There are a
few green ones in the bag - does malachite form nodules too?

4. Golden barite - (40 g.) mostly facet grade clear golden
brown crystals very heavy for their size. I've never heard of
this before much less seen it.

5. red coral ( 42 g) presently in the form of a 22" necklace.
Pieces from 1/4" to about 1"

6. 3 small slices - appears metallic material that show blue
and red and metallic in a matrix of whitish with grey veins.

7. Seam opal - seam exposed on a thick matrix. Opal about
30 mm by 17 mm with blue color - not a real strong colored

8. Matrix Opal - roughly triangular - 1 3/4 oz. about 40 mm
long, and triangular faces of 20, 25, and 30 mm. Strong
green and blue 15mmX20mm peeking out on 20 mm face, a little
on 30mm face, all matrix on the other face. chocolate brown
matrix turned light brown where it had been exposed.
1.75 oz. avd.

Any and all help would be welcome.

Mel Albright
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