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KitConstantine
Jan 11, 2013

Ask me about women's ~Science~


Scarodactyl posted:

Yeah, feldspars love cerium and will polish to a mirror finish with it even with a relatively 1200 grit prepolish. It will even smooth out the dome on a cabochon to a limited extent. Cerium does have to be used wet because it is a chemical polish and the water is essential to that.
Caveat: polishing a large flat surface is more difficult than a dome. People have luck with polishing pads used on granite slabs, but if you use one be sure to wear a respirator. Silicate grit can be quite nasty in the lungs.

Thank you for the tips! It's not super large - a triangle probably 3in wide at the bottom and about maybe 4-5in tall. I think by hand is doable with polish. I'll be careful about the dust as well.

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Solenna
Jun 5, 2003

I'd say it was your manifest destiny not to.



Scarodactyl posted:

That's nice work!
If you're looking for good bulk type stuff a friend of mine runs http://wholesalerocks.biz --he's good at sourcing quality stuff and his prices are very competitive.
If you want something more specific/artistic another friend's etsy page is https://lennysrockshop.etsy.com --he's an exceptional cabochon cutter with an eye for composition.
I got tree agate and seraphinite and crazy lace agate and a couple bonus cabs from wholesalerocks and they're all really pretty! (and slightly less blue than this picture, cellphone camera has crap colour accuracy)

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Solenna posted:

I got tree agate and seraphinite and crazy lace agate and a couple bonus cabs from wholesalerocks and they're all really pretty! (and slightly less blue than this picture, cellphone camera has crap colour accuracy)


Very nice! I love those marbley textures.

Drone
Aug 22, 2003

Incredible machine.





Kinda surprised there hasn't been much talk about gem hunting in the thread. It's been something I've been interested in since I was a kid (a friend my parent's was a very new-agey crystal-healing type person who worked at a Nature Company store back in the mid-90s and gave me a poo poo ton of raw precious stones that I've since, unfortunately, gotten rid of) and now that I'm a grown-rear end adult in my mid-30s I've been thinking about getting back into rocks.

Besides things like checking up on local laws regarding just finding/hunting for gems out in the wild, what kinds of things should I be looking for in terms of what gems/minerals occur naturally in my local area and how to actually identify specimens that I find just laying around in a cut? I live at the base of some low mountains in Germany and according to the geological map of the area that I could find, we're pretty heavy on gabbro/granite/mica formations.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




In America there are a ton of resources for rockhounding by state, but as I understand it it is harder in Europe. Looking arpund on Mindat can give an idea of deppsits in your area, though what's accessible (especially legally) is harder to assess from that. Germany does have a few noted gem deposits, including the old time yellow topaz deposit in Schneckenstein (now very closed) and blue hauyne. Plus the old tymie agates of Idar Oberstein and all the gem stuff in that area, though I remember it being a bit of a tourist trap when I went as a kid.

Mano
Jul 11, 2012


I remember some people going strahlen in the Wallis; I've also found some pretty big clear quartz near GŲschenen as a kid.

Be aware that in Europe in general all land belongs to someone - private, a company, a Gemeinde or some civil corporation /BŁrgergemeinde.

Seluin
Jan 4, 2004



Some new photomicrographs! Slightly less lint.

Purple montana sapphire with some inclusions. Rounded rutile?


Laurenthomasite. Fairly newly discovered trichroic mineral.


Grossular garnet. Color is wrong in the photograph. Much more minty blue green, but the cutting is beautiful.


Chunk of cobalt spinel. Turned much more violet under my lights.


Padparadscha.

Seluin fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Oct 10, 2020

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Mmm, that's quite an impressive lineup! How much Laurenthomasite was even produced? I can't imagine there was much to go around, though I have not yet read up on it.

Seluin
Jan 4, 2004



Unsure. Apparently it was shown off a bit at the most recent Tucson. Iíve only seen a very small number of specimens and faceted gems for sale online.

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Very cool! Love the colour of that cobalt spinel.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




I just got my very first opposed bar back from the cutter!


Light pinkish purple Nigerian amethyst. Couldn't be happier with this.

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Scarodactyl posted:

I just got my very first opposed bar back from the cutter!


Light pinkish purple Nigerian amethyst. Couldn't be happier with this.

Whoa!!! Looks awesome. Did you get Jordan to do this one or someone else?

Seluin
Jan 4, 2004



Scarodactyl posted:

I just got my very first opposed bar back from the cutter!


Light pinkish purple Nigerian amethyst. Couldn't be happier with this.

Dudeeee. Thatís a stunner. How big is it?

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Just over 93 carats. It was cit for me by Eric Bardawil who is something of a rising star I think. He's done a couple amazing cuts for me, and I just sent him the four best from a parcel of topaz I got in from Nigeria.

A bit rare to find natural greens and yellows, or blues this rich for that matter (though thr cell phone camera exaggerates a bit). I'll post those when they're done.

I just love Nigerian topaz. The peachses may fade with sunlight, but the blues and yellows are 100% stable.

Seluin
Jan 4, 2004



Thatís a remarkable blue for being natural! Excited to see what it turns into!

In the interest of sharing... mine is tinier than the pixel amethyst, but I love it anyway.



Lil red beryl baby from Wah Wah. Oiled but no other clarity treatments. Building up my beryl family

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




'Little' is awfully relative. It's quite well sized for a red beryl! Wonderful color too, great find!

Seluin
Jan 4, 2004



Thank you! Iíd been searching for a bit, but everything i could find was either tiny, ugly, or $$$$$.

I did briefly dip my toe into rough buying for it, but gosh. Included beryl rough buying was hard enough. Red beryl rough is master class difficulty level.

Solenna
Jun 5, 2003

I'd say it was your manifest destiny not to.



Hah, I have learned if you want to get the attention of a bunch of gem cutting wholesalers, post stone cabochon jewelry on Instagram. Thinking about it I'm not surprised, it's a smart way to find buyers.

Scarodactyl posted:

I just got my very first opposed bar back from the cutter!


Light pinkish purple Nigerian amethyst. Couldn't be happier with this.
That is super cool!

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



I've picked up some vintage swarovski UG glass facets I'd like to use in jewelry. I've done research on settings, but is there a tool to help size smaller round gems? I have a bunch of teeny rounds but my eyes just aren't good enough when it gets down to points. Maybe some kind of... plate with holes? I don't know.
little hoard:

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





subpar anachronism posted:

I've picked up some vintage swarovski UG glass facets I'd like to use in jewelry. I've done research on settings, but is there a tool to help size smaller round gems? I have a bunch of teeny rounds but my eyes just aren't good enough when it gets down to points. Maybe some kind of... plate with holes? I don't know.
little hoard:


usually calipers

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



Tunicate posted:

usually calipers

Thanks, is there a particular kind I should look for?

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




subpar anachronism posted:

Thanks, is there a particular kind I should look for?

You can get gem calipers from a company named presidium if you want to go full tilt. If not, any digital small set of calipers should do.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Scarodactyl posted:

Just over 93 carats. It was cit for me by Eric Bardawil who is something of a rising star I think. He's done a couple amazing cuts for me, and I just sent him the four best from a parcel of topaz I got in from Nigeria.

A bit rare to find natural greens and yellows, or blues this rich for that matter (though thr cell phone camera exaggerates a bit). I'll post those when they're done.
And here they are! Alas, the yellow sold quickly after Eric posted a video on facebook so I never got to see it in person, but the blue and greens came out amazing.

Greens are super rare in topaz, so having two is pretty exciting. Better pics in a bit.

cardinale
Jul 11, 2016



Those are beautiful!

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Seluin posted:

Dumb question. But how do folks clean their gems before photography? My methods still have them pretty gross.

I dip in alcohol, dry gently with a lint-free cotton cloth, and then blast the stone with canned air. But that last step can go really wrong so be careful.

There's an art to the "clean a stone inside a cloth" technique. It's like polishing a pair of glasses, but you use both hands with the stone balanced between them.

number 1 snake fan posted:

I live in Michigan, does anyone know of good programs i might be able to take part in?

Which part of Michigan?

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



Wondering if I can get a recommendation for what type of piercing saw blades I should be using as I've had a difficult time googling it - I'm working with antler and not metal, just breaking it down into smaller pieces, not doing anything super intricate.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




For slicing up stones I use a ring saw by Gemini. It's a super cool saw where the blade has no center, just a rim and is driven from below by a belt. This reduces drag, allows finer control of curves and has much more cutting height per saw diameter than one that has to have a hub in the center. Plus it's water cooled so no worries on cutting turquoise or opals. I don't know if that's at all applicable for your situation but it's the saw I know and like.

number 1 snake fan
Jul 16, 2018

Doin me a heckin stress talkin bout all these chonkin boomer infantilisation thingos friendos!


JohnnyRnR posted:

I dip in alcohol, dry gently with a lint-free cotton cloth, and then blast the stone with canned air. But that last step can go really wrong so be careful.

There's an art to the "clean a stone inside a cloth" technique. It's like polishing a pair of glasses, but you use both hands with the stone balanced between them.


Which part of Michigan?

Southwest MI, near Detroit

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



Scarodactyl posted:

For slicing up stones I use a ring saw by Gemini. It's a super cool saw where the blade has no center, just a rim and is driven from below by a belt. This reduces drag, allows finer control of curves and has much more cutting height per saw diameter than one that has to have a hub in the center. Plus it's water cooled so no worries on cutting turquoise or opals. I don't know if that's at all applicable for your situation but it's the saw I know and like.

Unfortunately way out of my budget/space requirements. The heaviest power tool I use is a dremel.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




For slapping a blade onto another saw (a tile saw is usually the classic starter choice) I'd just get a generic smooth-edged diamond blade. Make sure there's enough coolant so the diamonds don't come out and the antler doesn't burn.

Clean Bitch
Mar 2, 2010


Hi! I'm looking to have a jeweler mount an emerald cut white sapphire on a white gold pendant (I want some cheap bling but I prefer white gold). Does anyone have any advice for how to find a white sapphire for this?

I'm currently looking at these two:
https://www.italojewelry.com/italo-three-stone-emerald-created-white-sapphire-engagement-ring-211229.html
https://www.etsy.com/listing/772980803/emerald-cut-1214mm-white-sapphire

The price is definitely right. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could take a look for any red flags.

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Clean Bitch posted:

Hi! I'm looking to have a jeweler mount an emerald cut white sapphire on a white gold pendant (I want some cheap bling but I prefer white gold). Does anyone have any advice for how to find a white sapphire for this?

I'm currently looking at these two:
https://www.italojewelry.com/italo-three-stone-emerald-created-white-sapphire-engagement-ring-211229.html
https://www.etsy.com/listing/772980803/emerald-cut-1214mm-white-sapphire

The price is definitely right. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could take a look for any red flags.

Those are both lab created sapphire but if that isn't an issue then go for it! Lab created will be much cheaper and in white sapphire look almost the same as the natural counterpart.

Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


I would love to stack some rings, but one is sterling and the other is white gold. I assume they're going to rub against each other and that will cause wear. The question is which ring will wear down? If it's the sterling, no biggie. But if it's the white gold, I'm not going to stack them because I don't want to have to get the rhodium replated every three months or something.

Also, if Angry Turtle still hangs out here, I got my pendant today and it is as gorgeous as I hoped.

Pigasus
Dec 26, 2009

Too fat to wear pink.



How many carats is the white gold? It should be OK if itís a lower karat, like 14k. However if itís higher karats, then the gold might wear down.

Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


14k, so it sounds like I'm good. Thanks.

Edit: I totally forgot to ask, but what's a rough price range for pale blue-green aquamarines 1 carat or less? My mother has hinted what she wants for mother's day is to swap the stone out of one of her old rings for an aquamarine that is paler and greener.

Brennanite fucked around with this message at 01:45 on Feb 27, 2021

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Brennanite posted:

14k, so it sounds like I'm good. Thanks.

Edit: I totally forgot to ask, but what's a rough price range for pale blue-green aquamarines 1 carat or less? My mother has hinted what she wants for mother's day is to swap the stone out of one of her old rings for an aquamarine that is paler and greener.

It shouldn't be too expensive! It's very dependent on saturation so a paler/lighter one should be budget friendly. Hard to nail down specifics though.

Brennanite
Feb 14, 2009


Claes Oldenburger posted:

It shouldn't be too expensive! It's very dependent on saturation so a paler/lighter one should be budget friendly. Hard to nail down specifics though.

Just saw this. Thanks!

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



I've been struggling with this stupid quartz for ages. Spent 30 minutes trying to polish one facet only for it to scratch at the very end. gently caress this I'm buying a new 1200 lap for quartzes

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Some quartz is just like that. What kind is it?

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Xun
Apr 25, 2010



It's a random piece of synthetic "sky blue" quartz I got that actually looks just white in person. My 1200 lap scratches the poo poo out of it and tbh its pretty scratchy on harder stones too. Sometimes the facets barely look better than my 600 lap, I thought it just wasn't broken in but I've used it on multiple stones at this point and it still sucks

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