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Author Topic: Blue John from Castleton England  (Read 499 times)

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Windenzee

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Blue John from Castleton England
« on: July 29, 2018, 11:37:10 PM »

Hi All,
I am off to the Peak district on the 10th August to visit the Blue John caves.
Havie been reading up about the stone but am uncertain whether it is worth my while to try and get some rough. Does seem to go through quite a process before they work it.
Has anyone had the chance to work this stone as it does seem a very lovely looking stone.
Thanks for your help
Karen
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lithicbeads

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 09:26:25 AM »

I have in the back of my mind it is flourite and flourite is a miserable stone for lapidary use , hard to polish  , cleaves too easily and is too soft to be worn. Ever heard of dulcote agate from over there?
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rocks2dust

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 09:41:20 AM »

I agree with much of what lithicbeads said. However, the lapidaries from the Victorian and Georgian periods did produce some spectacular pieces using old methods (i.e., not the modern aggressive grinding, sanding or polishing methods and compounds). I would want to simply go for the mine tours. Might be interesting to pick up a couple of reasonably priced small pieces of rough on which to experiment, though.
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Windenzee

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2018, 11:34:20 PM »

No I have not herd of dulcote agate and so will be looking out for some. Meant to be agates in the area that I am going to but shoud expect not much for the picking. Also I am very limited on my time so will be unable to go treking the mountains to look.
From what I have read, the BlueJohn is treated from the time it comes out of the mine - stablized once dried. Sounds like a long an expensive process.
The mine is still privately owned by 1 family and yes some of the work they produce is beautiful.
Looks like I am going to have to learn how to stablized stones but for now will not try working the Blue John. It is expensive to buy.
Thanks for the input.
Karen
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Sapphireminer

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 03:00:50 AM »

Hi Karen I have been down the cave were the blue john is mined I dont think you will be able to get any jewelry grade rough as its in such short supply they only mine a very small amount and they have a shop at the mine site were they sell the finised jewelry . Make sure you take a warm jumper its very cold down the cave and over 400 steps have fun its amazing  doing the tour.
Dave
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gemfeller

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 09:14:36 AM »

There was a Lapidary Journal article on the Dulcote agate and geode mine in the September 1977 issue.  I have it but don't have time to look it up right now.  Maybe I can get to it later in the day, or someone on the Forum  may have it.  As I remember it was the cover article but I've forgotten the details.   
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Windenzee

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 11:23:22 PM »

I am looking forward to the trip as I do not get out much. (home commitments). I do beleave there are 3 cavesin Castleton worth havong a look at.
Thanks for the advice re jumpers. Will certainly pack something warm.
Karen
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southerly

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Re: Blue John from Castleton England
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 02:58:09 AM »

Yep Blue John is massive fluorite. I read somewhere it is treated to make it harder so it can be worked, assume some polymer is added.
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