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Congratulations to Asianfire and his Montana Agate cab!

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 on: Today at 07:32:33 AM 
Started by SATXCabs - Last post by ileney
Me three. Apatite.

 on: Today at 06:25:25 AM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by Slabbercabber
Yellow Cat area is North of Moab.  It is just South of I-70.  The exit from Utah is marked as such.  If you are traveling West the exit is just marked "Ranch Exit".  It is a large area but well picked over.  Nonetheless, there is still a lot of spectacular material to be found by the adventurous.  Climbing offers the best chance of finding good material just because most people don't do it.  If you go, stay away from the mine.  It is a uranium mine and my gieger counter went wild anywhere within several hundred feet.  There is a grape agate area just above the mine but it is also hot and just a quick walk through it convinced me that not only is it not worth it but there is very little left anyway.  The petrified wood is among the best in the world and there is always the chance of finding dino bone fragments.  For the life of me I can't remember the mineral but there are lots of red bubbly nodules that are pure white inside.  Most are less than one inch but if you are there for long it is likely you will find larger ones.

 on: Today at 05:51:28 AM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by peruano
We are talking about the yellow cat mine area North of Moab are we not?

 on: Today at 04:53:07 AM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by Orrum
Nice bright colors!  Like the size, it's a case of fractured material is ok you just need to cab between the fractures!  One great piece of rough has one great slab that has one great cabochon. Simple.

 on: Today at 04:10:05 AM 
Started by sealdaddy - Last post by ToTheSummit
Wish me luck...I'm leaving now to drive to Boise and meet a friend.  He has a place scoped out in the hills North of Boise where we will camp tomorrow night in advance of the eclipse.  Its a back-country area so we hope to miss the worst of the crowds once we get off the beaten path.  We both have capable vehicles and spend a lot of time exploring and camping in remote areas so we can get to places your average joe wont go. The traffic is going to be hell, and I'm carrying 20gal of extra gas as well as topping off my truck at regular intervals on the drive up.

Over a year ago I bought some "baader solar film" (google it) and made filters for my camera in anticipation of this event.  Didn't think to make a pair of viewing glasses but I have my welding lenses from my welding hood that I am bringing along for that purpose.  But I'm going to resist the temptation to try and focus on capturing a fantastic photo.  Instead I am going to really try to soak in the event while snapping a few pictures.  If I get no good pictures I will be happy as long as I feel I really took it in on a personal level.

After the eclipse I have the entire week off work and I am going to do some camping and rockhounding all the way home to Vegas.  Going to be an awesome week!

 on: August 18, 2017, 09:42:45 PM 
Started by sealdaddy - Last post by Neural
It's ok, if you miss it, there's another one in 7 years.

 on: August 18, 2017, 09:07:33 PM 
Started by sealdaddy - Last post by Redrummd
I "rented" the backlawn of a home 13 miles north of the band of totality with the yard connecting to a park.  I will be there with the 4 oldest of our 5 grandkids, one of our daughters and both son-in-laws.  The home is just off route 97 so if traffic is okay at the start of the eclipse we plan to drive about 30 miles south to a point that will have about 85 to 90 seconds of totality.

If the road south is crazy we will all just stay in the backyard and get about a 99.5% eclipse view of the diamond ring effect.

 on: August 18, 2017, 08:47:47 PM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by lithicbeads
Do you know what state that is from ?

 on: August 18, 2017, 06:33:24 PM 
Started by John Robinson - Last post by vitzitziltecpatl
There really are experts everywhere, eh? Disclaimer here: I am not an expert.

My opinion: Let it dry out once to see if you really have "healthy" opal, then throw it back in the water.

If you have Ethiopian rough, much of it is hydrophane opal. It loses it's color in water. Most come back fine but some will come back looking slightly different after they've been wet and re-dried. You can identify hydrophane rough by the way it will stick slightly to a wet fingertip - or the tip of your tongue if you use the ancient technique of rocklicking.

Robin and I have a variety of rough, and it's been stored both ways over the years. The only type that really benefits from storage in water is Virgin Valley. Different mineral makeup from other types of opal, and the majority of Virgin Valley will crack/craze/fall apart as it dries out.

Other types of opal will crack or craze when dried initially - just less of it than Virgin Valley. Some opal will "never" crack, and some begins as soon as it begins to dry. Many cutters even hold their finished stones for some time after they're cut and polished just to make sure they're stable.

If you let your opal dry out to see what will or won't crack, your chances of cutting a stable stone from whatever did not crack might be slightly better than cutting rough that has never been dried. Once it has dried and cracked, throwing it back in the water and then re-drying again won't matter. The stresses from drying have already been relieved.

The rough will be prettier in the water, and it's easier to pick out the next piece to cut. There's also a school of thought that cutting and polishing "seals" the opal so it doesn't dry out and crack. Well, we've had cut and polished pieces be fine for months - and then one day there's a crack. Sitting in a gem jar amidst many other jars, one of them just cracks for no reason. Well, except that it's an opal... .

 on: August 18, 2017, 06:33:13 PM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by Jhon P
End cut that I polished. Stuff has a lot of fractures

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