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Congratulations to Stonemon and his White Plume Agate and Sandsave and his Coprolite!

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 on: Today at 02:01:10 PM 
Started by ileney - Last post by lithicbeads
The responses to this should be interesting. It has never been evident to me how typical stabilizers like opticon can work with nodules that are then cut as I am under the impression that the hardener does not penetrate far into the stone.

 on: Today at 01:56:55 PM 
Started by lithicbeads - Last post by lithicbeads
I have cut these and others from these places since this post and was stunned to find that the in situ jade which had  a clear rind and greenish color was actually opaque 1/4 of an inch in to the center. All of them. Normally we get a thick opaque rind in the rivers and may still have translucency in the center but
I have never seen the reverse before.I was not happy to say the least.

 on: Today at 12:24:04 PM 
Started by lithicbeads - Last post by ileney
Thank you for the pictures and information. I somehow missed this when it was posted. Very interesting and I’m so impressed you could identify it by sight. I find it very difficult to distinguish a number of green rocks because they all sort of look alike to me as rough, though very different once cut.

 on: Today at 11:16:10 AM 
Started by ileney - Last post by ileney
RE: How do I stabilize? What do I stabilize? Is this stuff hazardous? Does anyone know about the Blue Bell prospect?

I previously wrote about the expensive (at the time he got it) vintage unstabilized US turquoise that I was given by my dad. Additionally, I wrote about the "high hardness, unstabilized" turquoise I bought online recently from several vendors, relatively cheaply, presumably most of it from China, but probably not all (they claimed much of it was from Arizona but some of it was definitely from China).
A) I have never cut any turquoise before, but it was quickly apparent by feel and smell which had and had not been stabilized. The stuff I bought recently is mostly unstabilized, with the exception of the one larger rock, but only about 25% is close to the advertised "high hardness,"and even that isn't as hard as the stuff from my dad. The rest crumbles like chalk or is at least very soft, like rhodochrosite or even much softer.  I have pictures below.  I am wondering 1) if this stuff is hazardous given some of it crumbes to dust and is as muddy to cut as boulder opal 2) when / how to stabilize. Like, should I stabilize the pieces I was able to cab but which are proving hard to get a polish on and seem soft, or should I leave as is but set mostly as pendants or earrings where they'll be less knocked about. What should I use to stabilize? Opticon? Hxtal? 3) should I just throw some of it out since,despite the nice color, it's just so crumbly?
B) The three small pieces with very bright blue and green colors are from the stuff my dad got as a favor from someone who had a high end jewelry store specializing in Native American jewelry and employed several Native Americans who had obtained the turquoise direct from the mines. It was very expensive even then and I have a few ounces. These are my 3 small test pieces. When he got it, they said the mine had already been closed for many years due to a flood, so it was mined well before the late 1970's. He can't recall the name, but did NOT think it was from Kingman and after looking online, I was able to find that the Blue Bell prospect flooded some time before 1968. It was a mine described as four miles north of Coaldale and on the West side of the Monte Cristo range and primarily a variscite claim. "The turquoise occurs in veinlets, seams, and small nodules up to an inch in thickness and very hard and has a deep, sky-blue color rarely excelled...specimens with matrix have delicate brown cobweb markings..." So I think this might be what he gave me. Anyone familiar with it? Should I be grinding through the matrix completely or leave some for the spiderweb effect it seems to be giving? I think it is pure color below that. It's super hard and already taking a shine with 220 hard wheel preshaping.
C) Photos as follows:
1) new rough rocks, mostly soft
2)new rocks on left, but the vintage stuff is the three smaller bright ones to the right (or on bottom on my phone).
3)Presumably Chinese stuff. Definitely felt stabilized even without the paint smell
4)You can see how different the hard, vintage American stuff looks, even at only 220 grit; they are the three pieces on the right (but someghow show on bottom on my phone). But should I stabilize the lighter color, softer cabs(from the new stuff) to the left so they'll take a better polish or try zam or something?
5)The piece in back is newly purchased rough, stabilized, came from that big piece. The other pieces are also from the new stuff, appear unstabilized, have pretty hard turquoise and quartz, but the quartz is somewhat crackled, plus it has other stuff in it that is not polishing easily yet.
6) New stuff that just fell apart, indeed just like chalk. Now I understand what people mean by "chalk."

 on: May 24, 2018, 04:57:44 PM 
Started by AlexR - Last post by lithicbeads
 Very enjoyable!

 on: May 24, 2018, 12:35:17 PM 
Started by gemfeller - Last post by gemfeller
Jhon, first you shoot a video.  Most people use their smart phones; I use a video camera.  Then upload it to your computer.  Then you can upload it to YouTube or some "pay" site like Vimeo, that creates links and embed data.  I'm testing Vimeo because there's no advertising and it's a little easier to work with. 

Once you have a link you can post it here using the hyperlink button.  That's what I was really testing.  I inserted the link between the start and end code.  I was expecting to see just a clickable link but to my surprise the complete video uploaded.  Good luck with shooting your videos -- I've found there's a bit of a learning curve, or at least there has been for me.

Thanks to all who have made nice comments about the video and cab.       

 on: May 24, 2018, 11:54:51 AM 
Started by gemfeller - Last post by Jhon P
Ok how do you do that. Spheres are more interesting when seen in a video

 on: May 24, 2018, 09:54:47 AM 
Started by AlexR - Last post by Sapphireminer
Hi Alex love your work thats thinking outside the box.

 on: May 24, 2018, 09:50:09 AM 
Started by AlexR - Last post by AlexR
This is the only way to get money from a stone...  :)

 on: May 24, 2018, 08:40:41 AM 
Started by AlexR - Last post by 55fossil
   awesome work.  Really love the cameo, but I think the coin purse is a bit heavy for me.

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