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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 202 - Fri 2/19/99
2. NEW: Manmade Gems
3. NEW: Vibratory Tumbler Noise
4. NEW: Polishing Chinese Writing Stone
5. NEW: Cheap lapidary tricks?
6. RE: Colouring Agates with Silver Nitrate
7. RE: Colouring Agates with Silver Nitrate
8. Review: February 1999 Issue of Lapidary Journal
9. RE: Carving Rocks
10. RE: Carving Rocks


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 202 - Fri 2/19/99

Thanks for the notes from all who wrote; life goes on and
we all have our own burdens. You guys are great!

Our membership is now over 1500!

Now just go out and have a ball!


Subject: NEW: Manmade Gems

Hello all,

A friend and I were wondering if anyone knew much about the
substance known as goldstone? We're both pretty sure that
it's man-made, but one of the catalogs she gets suggested

Also, if anyone knows a good book describing manmade stones
such as Victoria stone and others, I'd like to know about

Deborah Brown

Visit me at
Hey, gang - I'll have a go at answering the second question
if you would answer the first one! Try GEMS MADE BY MAN by
Kurt Nassau (1980; Chilton Book Co.). I have a copy and it
is a great book on man-made gems and stones. By the way,
you mention Victoria stone; Geri Arms and I own a collection
of about 3-5 slabs of every color he made! (No, we don't
want to sell any!) I want to make an exhibit of cabs of
every color. Nassau also covers this stone.

Next, try the Archives by accessing Thread198.txt and
searching for the word 'goldstone'. I just did that and
hit four items:
28 - 2 NEW: How is Goldstone Made?
29 - 4 RE: How is Goldstone Made?
29 - 5 RE: How is Goldstone Made?
29 - 6 RE: How is Goldstone Made?
So look in Digest28, 2nd item and it is the beginning:
NEW:How is Goldstone Made?. Then continue on for the next
three items as shown above. hale

Subject: NEW: Vibratory Tumbler Noise

Doug asked,

>>On a final note: Can anyone tell me if the GEMSTONE
VIBRATORY TUMBLERS advertised in the Ebersole ads in Rock
and Gem are considered to be "quiet"? <<

The tumblers are quiet, it's the steel shot & other items
in it that create all the noise.

I use one with about 7#'s of assorted shapes of steel shot
for burnishing silver & gold pieces & it's kept outside my
shop. I'd think that even with walnut shell or some other
material you'd want to keep it out of the shop. After a
while, the noise could become a nusicance.

Basically, the tumblers are vibrated by a small motor that
has an off center weight attached to the shaft. The whole
motor & bowl are mounted on springs.

Doug: There are two different uses for a tumbler. Dave is
using one to burnish silver/gold with steel shot and steel
'needles' in a liquid to which has been added a little soap.
The other use is to 'tumble' rocks, which is what I suspect
Doug was talking about. Dave's experience has been different
from mine; we leave burnishing vibrating tumblers going all
the time in Wildacres workshops and I don't remember that
the noise has been at all offensive to the workshop students.
I have NEVER used a vibrating tumbler for vibrating rocks,
so I will have to defer to someone else to answer that one.
But my GEMSTONE vibrator, alone, is not too noisy for me.

Subject: NEW: Polishing Chinese Writing Stone

Hi Guys,

Once again, I need help in cutting and polishing. I am
trying to cut cabochons using a material called Chinese
writing stone. My cabochons turn our greyish instead of
black and their luster is mediocre. I have purchased
cabochons of this material and they are dark and very
shiny. How are they treated toget this finish? Can anyone
give me some pointers?

I use a genie and I have tried polishing them with
lusterite as well as diamond paste. I cannot figure it
out. I was told to use opticon, to heat the preformed
cabochon, but it only increased the shine a little but the
color is still grey.


Subject: NEW: Cheap lapidary tricks?

I bought a 6" circle of neoprene sponge the other day to
back a sanding pad. The $5 I spent made me hearken back to
when I was a potter, so I called Seattle Pottery Supply and
they have sticky-back neoprene sponge, $6 for an 18" by 24"
square. They carry oxides also, which might be worth doing
price/quality comparisons on.

Dana Carlson
The number for Seattle Pottery Supply is 800-522-1975. hale

Subject: RE: Colouring Agates with Silver Nitrate

My dad, a research scientist, enjoyed hearing about this
topic. He mentioned that mixing the crystals with alcohol
(80 proof vodka would do) might make the solution penetrate
a little better.

Dana Carlson

Subject: RE: Colouring Agates with Silver Nitrate

Years ago I had to do some work with chemicals that may be
of interest to those of you who may be working with Silver

The work I had been doing would get silver nitrate stains
on the white sink in our bath and I learned how to get them
out. This may also work with your clothing...

First you must put Iodine (the kind they used to put on
cuts) on the stain. This converts it to Silver Iodide.

Second wash the stain in photographic developer. The kind
used for black and white film. This will take the silver
Iodide out of the clothing.


Subject: RE:Review: February 1999 Issue of Lapidary Journal

<The Review of the February 1999 Issue of Lapidary Journal
by Si & Ann Frazier discuss a blue chalcedony stone, a
translucent type of mineral quartz, in which a tiny amount
of the mineral chrysocolla is finely disseminated.">

I have what sounds like some of this material form an OLD
Collection, the pieces I have are a Moss Agate material,
with the moss being the Chrysocolla sprayed into a clear to
whitish chalcedony, the blue does turn a greenish color
with age.

Gil Shea

Subject: RE: Carving Rocks

<<I would like to try my hand at carving figures & fancy
cabs. Can you suggest books & equipment and/or give me some

The best book I've read on the subject was Henry Hunt's
"Lapidary Carving for Creative Jewelry". Although he
focuses on transparent gemstone varieties, most of the info
is transferable to other hard stones. Most of the actual
carving and polishing is done with a flexshaft, but other
equipment is discussed and would be handy for some of the
processes, like making carving wheels and polishing points,
that he explains. I have a short review of the book posted
in the Online Bookstore portion of my site,
where you can purchase the book at a discount.

As to the safety of gemstone carving, I'd refer you to
Richard Friesen's article on the subject in the Lapidary
Techniques portion of my site:



Andrew Werby

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

Subject: RE: Carving Rocks

I was wondering is there a Digest for Gem Carving ? ?
I know there is one for lapidary and one for faceting; is
there one for carvers ? ?

Gil Shea
Gil: None that I know of. Carving is within the scope of
this Digest and I will try to develop that area. hale

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