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					  Gem Cutters News
            Award Winning Bulletin of the Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore, Inc.
                                 Baltimore, Maryland
                     Volume 60, Number 6        June – July, 2011

Program Notes                             Our Favorite Tools
                        from Pat Baker                                                                 by Carolyn Weinberger

     Calvert Cliffs, on the western           Our April meeting featured a                 Bernie Emery told us that some
shore of our Chesapeake Bay, is fa-       unique topic -- “my favorite tools”.        cell phone screens can be used as a
                       mous for its       President Mary asked members to             polarizing filter to help look at gem-
                       Miocene age        bring in and talk about the tools that      stones and gemstone rough. Turn
                       geological         they use in creating their cabs, facet-     the table down on the screen and
                       strata    that     ed stones and jewelry. Needless to          slowly turn the stone.
                       contain nu-        say, we had an eclectic assortment
                       merous fos-        of “professional” and “home-made”               Linda Goldberg’s favorite tool
sils. The deposits are exposed in         gadgets and tools.                          is an ordinary knitting needle. It’s
cliffs up to 100 feet high between                                                    useful in a variety of applications.
Chesapeake Beach and Drum Point                Leading off, Mary described sev-
in Calvert County, just north of the      eral pairs of small pliers that she finds       Steve Weinberger had three
nuclear power plant. These cliffs         indispensable in making her bead            tools - an Andre Aligner®, used to
contain the most complete section         necklaces and earrings. She also dis-       help align stones if they become
of Miocene deposits in the eastern        played a Pantone® Color Guide that          misaligned after transferring during
U.S. Although the cliffs have be-         she uses.                                   faceting. He also had a dop handle
come more unstable in recent years,                                                   used to keep fingers from being
you may have collected there -- or            Richard Meszler brought in a            burned during stone transfers and a
at least in the waters lapping their      bezel pusher he’d made from acrylic         gizmo that allows for miniscule ad-
shore looking for shark’s teeth.          material. The acrylic helps prevent         justment of height under a micros-
                                          damage to metal bezels. He also
     We’re in for a treat this month as   brought an burnisher that he’d made                            continued on page 5
Lloyd Gleason, a member of the Chesa-     from agate.
peake Gem & Mineral Society Maryland
Geological Society and American Fossil
Federation will talk with us about this
national treasure. He promises to bring    In Search Of...
images of the cliffs, fossils that he’s                                                                 from Bernie Emery
found there along with several of the
fossils that he’s personally collected.

    We don’t do programs on fossils
very often - come and broaden your
knowledge base (and perhaps see
what you’ll look like in a couple mil-
lion years!). Our meeting as usual,
begins at 7:30 pm.
                                                 Mary’s Musings
                                                                           by Mary Keller, President

                                                     Thank you to everyone who brought their fa-
                                                 vorite hand tool(s) to the May meeting. The fact
      The Gem Cutters Guild is a founding        that some were not usually allowed out of their
member of the Eastern Federation of Min-         home studios made the pleasure of their being
eralogical and Lapidary Societies, Inc. and      shared with the rest of us even more gratifying.
affiliated with the American Federation of       Thank you again.
Mineralogical Societies.

About our Guild:                                      It was great to have another well attended meeting with lots of goodies
      The Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore,        for Show and Tell. Looks like lots of members and prospective members have
Inc. was established in order to allow its       been very busy.
members to gain knowledge and skills in
gem cutting, jewelry making and in iden-
tifying and evaluating lapidary materials.            Some upcoming activities include another “Bead N’ Brunch” June 12, the
Through field trips, exhibitions, and coop-      September 24 and 25th show, and fall classes. If there are any classes you
eration with other societies, we endeavor        would like to see offered, or perhaps teach, please let Richard Meszler, me, or
to further not only our own knowledge, but       one of the board members know. The successful basic beading class was the
also that of the general public.
      Meetings are held on the first Tuesday
                                                 result of member requests. As of this writing, we have not heard if InterGem
of each month except January, July and           will make a booth available to us at the July Timonium show. If they do, this
August at our workshop which is located          will be a good opportunity to talk to potential members and talk about our
at Meadow Mill at Woodbury, 3600 Clipper         classes and show. Not to mention free parking and admission to the show. I
Mill Rd, Suite 116; Baltimore, MD 21211.
                                                 usually bring projects to work on, but rarely get time to do much work.
Meetings begin at 7:30 P.M. Visitors are al-
ways welcome. Dues are $30 per year for
families and $18 for individuals. More in-           I look forward to seeing everyone at the June meeting.
formation and directions to our meetings
can be found on our website, <www.gem-                                                             Mary>.

              President - Mary Keller

           Vice President -Joe Gehring           Nibbles & Noshes
          Recording Sec’y - Sallie Miller

     Corresponding Sec’y - Trinh Phan               We had a groaning table of goodies at the May meeting. Thank you to
                                                 everyone who brought something. I doubt if anyone went away hungry!
          Treasurer - Steve Weinberger
                                                     For our June meeting Jen Wilde, Lani Miller and Steve Page have signed up
      Past President - Richard Meszler
                                                 to bring the caloric (or maybe non-caloric) repast.
20010 - 2011                       2011 - 2012       We’re still looking for a volunteer to help
Jan Anderson                    Wayne Homans
Richard Hoff                       Anne Millar   set-up and take-down the food table at our
Gene Miller                      Dave Mitchell   meetings. It’s really not a tough job and would
                                                 give Pres. Mary one less thing to have to worry
Editor:                                          about each month. Please give her a call and
              Carolyn Weinberger                 volunteer.
                  PO Box 302
           Glyndon, MD 21071-0302

      Deadline is the 15th of each month
      Non-commercial reprint permission
      granted to non-profit organizations
           unless otherwise noted.

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                      Page 2
May Meeting MInutes                                                              Board Notes
                                                         by Carolyn Weinberger              from the Board of Directors

    The May 2nd meeting of the           Unfinished Business – none
                Gem Cutters Guild
                was called to order      New Business – none
                by President Mary           Items in the Show & Tell display
                Keller at 7:35 pm.       were introduced by Pat Baker.
                Minutes of the April
                meeting were ap-             Mary announced that she had
proved as printed in Gem Cutters         brought a cake in honor of the               Our Board of Directors met at
News. Treasurer Steve Weinberger         Guild’s 61st anniversary.               the Workshop on May 9th. The en-
indicated that the Guild remains                                                 tire board was in attendance plus
solvent and that members wishing              Following the coffee break, sev-   Parliamentarian Carolyn Weinberger
a full report should see him during      eral members described the tools        and Show Chair Bernie Emery.
the meeting break.                       that they considered their favorites
                                         when working on various creations           Items discussed included the ac-
    Linda Goldberg, Membership           in their shops.                         quisition of some equipment from
Chair, introduced visitors. She in-                                              member Joe Sobrio. The Board will
dicated that many had applied for            The meeting was adjourned at        make an offer for two faceting ma-
membership.                              9:10 pm.                                chines plus a 10” Raytech saw. The
                                                                                 other equipment and materials from
     Sunshine Chair Pat Baker reported               Submitted by                Joe will be sold at auction sometime
that she had not heard of any illness                Carolyn Weinberger          later this summer or fall with the
among members. Carolyn Weinberg-                     Secretary pro tem           Guild retaining a percentage of the
er said that she learned that Bob Hud-                                           sales total and the rest going to Joe
gins was in the hospital with a bone                                             and his family.
infection that would sideline him for
several months.                                                                      A brief discussion about the up-
                                                                                 coming ACGME was held. Dave has
    Class Planning chair Richard
Meszler reported that classes were
                                         Sunshine                                already had several members volun-
                                                                                 teer for committee chairs:
                                                                from Pat Baker
going well and that the committee                                                    Wishing Well- Richard Hoff
would begin work on the fall 2011            The only news I’ve heard is that        Gem Mine - Wayne Homens
line-up shortly.                                         Bob Hudgins has a           Ticket Sales - Sallie Miller
                                                         nasty bone infection.       Information - S. & C. Weinberger
    Bernie Emery reported that con-                      He’s at Kernan’s, but       Displays - Pat Baker
tracts for our September show were                       should be coming            Printed Material - C. Weinberger
signed and that all dealer spaces                        home once the infec-
were filled. The question of whether     tion is out of his system. Then he’ll   Additional help is needed for demos,
or not the Fairground air-condition-     have several months of inactivity       ticket takers, set up and take down,
ing system would be operational was      while he recovers.                      decorations and media advertising.
yet to be determined. Dave Mitchell
asked members to begin thinking              Please remember to call or e-           A brief discussion about future
of volunteering as committee chairs      mail me with your news --- good         relatively local field trips was held
and to start planning their displays     or bad, so that we can let the rest     with Mary expressing a desire to
                                         of the club know what’s going on        have a group trip to DC for a visit to
     The Guild is tentatively set to     in your world.                          the Smithsonian.
have a booth at the InterGem show
at Timonium this July, but as yet have                                               The next Board meeting will be
not received a contract.                                                         held on Monday, June 13 at 7 pm.

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                             Page 3
Welcome New Members!
                                           fromLinda Goldberg, Membership Chair

    We’re delighted to welcome                      Andrea Shipley                    Matthew (Matt) Zimmerman
eleven new members this month.
                                          A native of Germany, she and her              Matt was born in Athens, Geor-
                Bob Hixson joins          husband have two children. An-            gia and he and his wife have two
               wife Margye as a           drea’s interests include jewelry, lapi-   children. Matt is an attorney with
               member. Bob’s a na-        dary, travel and languages.               interests in lapidary and jewelry.
               tive of Texas and is a
               retired city planning
               and environmental
               specialist. His inter-           Pepi & Michael Shongo
               ests include minerals,
               fossils and jewelry        Pepi and Michael are natives of Bal-
               fabrication as well        timore. Both are involved in early
               as photography and         childhood education. Interests in-
               travel.                    clude minerals, lapidary, jewelry and     Birthdays
                                                                                                      from Linda Goldberg
                                          fossils as well as helicopters, para-
                                          normal investigations, photography          Wonderful birthday wishes this
                                          and the Civil War.                        month go out to:
   Lani & Charles (Chaz) Miller                                                               Anne Millar - 6
                                                                                            Yolanda Griffin - 7
Lani and Chaz are both natives of                                                            Emily Brooks - 9
New York state. They have three chil-               Nathaniel Weiss                          Adam Block - 10
dren and both are employed as studio                                                          Jill Gansler - 12
jewelers. Both interested in jewelry,     A native of Maryland, Nathaniel is                 Stanley Dorf - 19
minerals, lapidary, fossils and Lani is   currently employed as a bench jew-                 Joy Woelfer - 20
also interested in the textile arts.      eler. His interests include jewelry            Rochelle Coleman - 21
                                          and lapidary as well as a art.                   Sans Gundlach - 23

                                                                                       The birthstones for June are
         Manzar Moghbeli                                                            a choice of Pearl, Alexandrite and
                                                     Zoe Whitman                    Moonstone.
A native of Tehran, Iran, she and her
husband have three children. Her          A native of Oscoda Michigan, Zoe             For July celebrants include
interests include lapidary, jewelry,      has two children and is employed as               Nathaniel Weiss - 3
sewing, knitting and calligraphy.         a hairstylist. Her interests include                 Tim Baker - 4
                                          lapidary, jewelry, gardening and                    Mary Keller - 4
                                          baking.                                             Marge Lake - 12
                                                                                          Steve Weinberger - 18
            Vida Shams                                                                       Jackie Orsini - 19
                                                                                              Lani Miller - 19
Also a native of Tehran, Iran, Vida is                                                       Theo Pinette - 20
married with three children. Like her                                                       Wayne Homens - 26
mother Manzar, her interests include
jewelry and lapidary.                                                                  Birthstones for July are Ruby and

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                               Page 4
May Show and Tell                       Favorite Tools
                       from Pat Baker                                                               continued from page 1

     Once again the talents of our      ope that is used for photographing             Pat Baker demonstrated a mini
members were on display in our          microscopic specimens to avoid            butane and oxy-
Show & Tell case at the May meet-       depth of field problems.                  gen run torch as
ing.                                                                              well as a shank
                                             Carolyn Weinberger brought a         sizer and brace-
    Joy Woelfer, just back from EF-     jig that’s used for folding liners for    let gauge.
MLS Wildacres showed off some of        micromount boxes.
the emerald crystals she collected                                                    Pam Jeffries brought in a piece
on a field trip to the Hoot Owl Mine.       Stan Dorf told us that he uses a      of oak step tread that she’d carved
She also proudly showed the two         bicycle spoke as a poker tool for sol-    out to make a jig for fabricating pod
cabs she cut during class taught by     dering. It’s embedded into a dowel        shaped metal forms.
Bernie.                                 rod to make it easier to handle.
                                                                                      Joe Gehring talked about using
    Kyle Raddin, one of our guests,         Lois Schwartz uses paper              corundum wheels to work on grind-
displayed a ring he’d carved in Lois’   wrapped covered with tape in-             ing metal shapes.
wax carving class. The casting was      side of a ring. The wax is rolled
done by Shelly Walck.                   around the paper cone to form                 Wayne Homens mentioned the
                                        the wax ring shape, then the pa-          tube shaped covers on the edges of
     Linda Goldberg displayed ex-       per is easily removed.                    the Genie water containers as his fa-
amples of the seven projects that                                                 vorites because they save his wrists
participants in the PMC Certifica-          Hattie Wolf loves her bent            from bruising.
tion class had to make along with       chain-nosed pliers.
finished jewelry made by teacher
Barbara Becker Simon and Dina Al-
exander. (See Linda’s article about
the class on page 6).

     Matt Zimmerman had several
silver rings that he’d polished and
shaped by hand.

    Joe Gehring displayed a not-
yet-finished bracelet made during
Pat’s Reactive Metals class.

    Pat Baker had several samples                                                Pam J’s necklace
from her Reactive Metals classes and
the PMC Certification class.              Joy Woelfer’s cabochons

   Pam Jeffries brought in several
more pendants she’d made.

    Dave Mitchell had an etched
metal tray made by his Aunt Henri-
etta Mace who was one of the char-
ter members of the Guild.
                                                                                  PMC pendants
                                            Dave’s tray

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                               Page 5
Precious Metal Clay at the Gem Cutters Guild
                                                                by Linda Goldberg

    On April 8, 9 and 10, 2011, about      class in PMC™. Participants learned        the certification. Certification brings
                  a dozen women            techniques of working with PMC™            enrollment in the Rio Rewards spe-
                  from the greater         through completion of seven proj-          cial purchase program (discounts
                  Baltimore      area      ects. Course objectives learned (and       on PMC™ purchases) and a one-year
                  spent 24 intense         mastered) included:                        membership in the PMC Guild. By
                  hours with a true        	 •	Making	and	using	simple	tools          hosting the certification class, the
                  national treasure,       	 •	Creating	organic	forms                 Guild received a new kiln which can
                  Barbara Becker Si-       	 •	Working	with	geometric	preci-          be used for PMC™, lampworking
                  mon, learning the        sion                                       and enameling, among other uses.
techniques to work with Precious           	 •	Assembling	dry	sheet	to	make	          Best of all, we had an opportunity to
Metal Clay (PMC™).                         a form                                     learn these new techniques which
                                           	 •	Working	on	a	hollow	form               so beautifully complement the oth-
     PMC™ (as described in the PMC™        	 •	Carving	dry	PMC                        er jewelry making crafts and tech-
RioRewards booklet) “is a pliable,         	 •	 Making	 and	 using	 a	 rubber	        niques.
putty-like compound containing ac-         mold
tual silver powder. It can be molded,      	 •	Setting	a	stone                            Watch the class fliers for an an-
textured and layered using simple          	 •	Rehydrating	dry	PMC                    nouncement of an introductory PMC
modeling tools to make pendants,           	 •	Using	PMC	paper                        class to be held at the Guild.
earrings and other types of jewelry        	 •	 Double	 firing	 and	 torch	 firing	
- even small sculptures. A product         PMC™
of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation        	 •	Creating	a	mirror	polish
of Japan, PMC™ looks and feels like        	 •	 Applying	 liver	 of	 sulfur	 black	
children’s modeling clay, though in        patina
fact there is no ceramic content in it     	 •	Sizing	rings
at all. Instead, a non-toxic binder and    	 •	Soldering	sterling	findings	into	
water are mixed in careful propor-         place
tion with tiny particles of pure silver.   	 •	Using	shrinkage	creatively
The resulting material can be han-         	 •	Making	slip
dled just like clay - rolled, stretched,   	 •	Using	Aura	22
formed and assembled into intricate        	 •	Using	the	PMC™	syringe
designs. Once the design is com-
pleted and the piece has dried, it can     Whew!!
then be safely fired in a compact,
bench top kiln where the water and             Working through lunch, stu-
binder are driven off. The resulting       dents completed seven projects,
piece is identical to                                       including a fine sil-
the object that was                                         ver ball point pen.
crafted, but now of                                         We also benefit-
100% pure silver”                                           ted from the artis-
and reduced in size,                                        tic sensibilities of
shrinking between                                           Barbara, who was
12% and 28% de-                                             honored in 2007
pending on the                                              with second place
product formula-                                            for metal clay in the
tion used.                                 prestigious Saul Bell Design Award
                                           Competition. An engaging and high
    A first for the Gem Cutters            energy instructor, the time flew by
Guild, the Guild partnered with Rio        as each participant presented com-
Grande in holding a certification          pleted projects for credit towards

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                   Page 6
A Look Back – 61 Years of History, Part 2
                                                           by Carolyn Weinberger

    The bond of friendship among          bulletin. Another dozen members          here in Baltimore. Elsie Kane White
                      those pioneer-      were added to the roster and the         was chairman of the show which
                      ing members         Guild co-hosted (with the two other      featured fantastic displays includ-
                      who     joined      founding clubs), the first ever EFMLS    ing gems from the Smithsonian – a
                      during 1950         Convention which was held at the         4700 carat golden Burmese sap-
was strong. There were lots of field      Willard Hotel in Washington DC.          phire, a phenomenal rubelite tour-
trips where members searched for                                                   maline from the Roebling Collection
Williamsite, cuprite, garnets, un-            Things hummed along well dur-        and some fabulous dioptase crystals
akite, calcite, pyromorphite, and         ing 1952, 1953, and 1954. During         from Tsumeb, Namibia. Other dis-
many more specimens both lo-              this period, the Guild decided to        plays included a jade carving valued
cally and in Virginia and Pennsyl-        have a speaker at the monthly club       at $20,000 (1956 value), gems from
vania. There were open house par-         meetings. These speakers came to         both the Walters Art Museum and
ties at the homes of members too          discuss gems, minerals, jewelry, min-    Baltimore Museum of Art and the
and participants enjoyed viewing          ing and many other related subjects      Smyth diamond collection. This was
the varied collections of individual      and included some very well known        quite an impressive assemblage and
members. James W. Anderson, the           individuals including local jewelers     generated considerable coverage in
“father of the Guild” was chosen as       and personnel from the Smithso-          the media and with the public. Liv-
the first president and David Wallis      nian Institution. Another 50 people      ing in a more open and less litigious
as vie president.                         joined the Guild during those three      society made it possible for muse-
                                          years and Clinton Davison became         ums and private collectors to display
     During the first few months the      the first “two term” president.          these valuable gems which today
                Guild also became                                                  cannot be so easily done because of
                involved with the              Our first show (called an Exhibi-   insurance regulations and the addi-
                founding of an um-        tion) was held in February, 1955 at      tional cost of security guards which
                brella group – the        the Roosevelt Park Recreation Cen-       many museums now require to be
                Eastern Federation of     ter in Hamden where the Guild met        stationed at their displays.
Mineralogical and Lapidary Societ-        for meetings. This was a one day
ies (EFMLS). Gem and mineral clubs        affair and members had displays              Speakers at the Convention in-
throughout the country ahd previ-         of their work arranged on tables.        cluded Paul Desautels of the Smith-
ously organized “federations” in an       There were no dealers present and        sonian, Mary Mrose from the US
effort to further share ideas. Clubs      no members were allowed to sell          Geological Survey and Dr. Theodore
on the east coast felt that a similar     either. The event was open to the        Lowe from the Walters.
organization was needed to serve          public at no charge...and from all
their needs and so representatives of     reports, the hall was very crowded           Membership continued to grow
the Gem Cutters Guild met in Wash-        with those wishing to learn more         as did our annual “exhibitions”, now
ington, DC with representatives of        about our hobby.                         being held at Dumbarton School.
the Mineralogical Society of the Dis-                                              These subsequent shows followed
trict of Columbia and the Lapidary            Later that year the Guild once       the same routine as the first one --
Club of Washington, DC (now the           again joined the two Washington          with members displaying their cre-
Gem, Lapidary & Mineral Society of        clubs in hosting the EFMLS Conven-       ations, minerals and gems and no
Washington, DC). Representing the         tion in Washington, DC, but this time    admission being charged.
Guild were David Walls, Leslie Mihm       the AFMS also held its convention at
and Edward Geisler.                       the same time. The Guild was defi-          By the early 1960’s the Guild
                                          nitely moving...and definitely get-      was well established and meetings
    The year 1951 was a momentous         ting recognition!                        were alive with excitement, fabulous
one for the Guild too. Besides club                                                speakers, sharing and learning.
meetings and trips, the first issue           The following year, 1956 was an-
of Gem Cutters News rolled off the        other important year in our growth          Next month we’ll look at the
press. True, it was only 2 pages long,    as the Guild hosted the EFMLS in         1960’s.
but it is the forerunner of our current   convention at the Emerson Hotel
Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                              Page 7
Mineral IQ Test                             Internet Resources
                     by Anita Westlake                                                                   by Lorraine Johnston
          from Tips & Trips, April 2011
                                            Inspirations, Part Two: Faceting!              Jim Perkins, whose work has
    1. What is black mica called                                                       been featured in Lapidary Journal,
                                                Among the prettiest of pretty          designs stones such as the stunning
                 2. What color streak       rocks are the clear faceted stones.        atypical Portuguese cut. You can
                 does hematite leave        If admiring them is not enough of          see Jim’s work and that of others at
                 on an unglazed por-        a delight, you can learn to cut your       Lapidary Journal’s instructional site,
                 celain tile?               own, about which more is said be-          <> –
                                            low. But first, the inspirations. We’re    enter ‘faceting’ in the search box.
                 3.What does pseudo-        fortunate to live in the Internet era
                 morph mean?                that offers easy, instant access to tal-       Designs by Jim, Wayne Emery,
                                            ented faceters.                            and Ernie Hawes, all members of the
                4. What is the purple                                                  US Faceter’s Guild <www.usfaceters-
variety of quartz called?                        One of the most impressive of>, are featured at the Fac-
                                            faceters is John Dyer, who specializ-      ette manufacturers’ website, <www.
    5. Are diamonds found in me-            es in concave and fantasy-cut stones.>.
teorites?                                   John has won thirty-six faceting
                                            awards since 2002—six awards in                 Award-winning work by numer-
     6. In the mineral kingdom, what        2011 alone. See <www.johndyer-             ous other designers can be found
is a halfbreed?                   >.                                 at the American Gem Trade Asso-
                                                                                       ciation’s website, <>,
   7. Johann Wolfgang von Geothe                Andrew Gulij produces aston-           under their “Spectrum Awards” link.
had what mineral named after him?           ishing gem-intrusion work consist-              You can begin faceting in Steve
                                            ing of smaller stones embedded in          Weinberger’s Gem Cutter’s Guild or
   8. What mineral is 4 on the Mohs         larger stones. There are no words for      Wildacres faceting classes. A more
Hardness scale?                             the beauty of the outcome. See to          patient, fair, and tactful teacher can-
                                            believe: <              not be found. Steve’s class not only
   9. Which mineral is a natural            intrusion_1.html>.                         sees one through faceting that first
magnet?                                                                                stone from start to finish, he also in-
                                                                                       cludes comprehensive information
    10. Which is the stalagmite and                                                    about purchasing the right faceting
the stalactite?                             meteor showers?                            machine and evaluating rough.

    11. What is another name for                19. Where in outer space do me-            If after mastering basic facet-
pyrite?                                     teorites originate?                        ing, you’d like to travel farther into
                                                                                       the territory of concave and fantasy
    12. What is a “thin section”?               20. Which mineral has variable         cuts, see concave machines made by
                                            hardness?                                  Ultra-tec (
   13. What’s the difference be-                                                       and poly-metric instruments (www.
tween magma and lava?                          21. What is the principle use of The latter also
                                            bauxite?                                   includes several intriguing photos
    14. What is silver/clear mica called?                                              of marbles that have been faceted ...
                                                22. What is “quicksilver”?             who knew?
    15. Is amber a mineral?
                                              23. Why is Rancho La Brea fa-                To share websites or topics for
    16. What are aa and pahoehoe?           mous?                                      future columns, Guild members can
                                                                                       contact me using the information in
   17. What’s the difference be-                 24. What common natural glass         the Guild roster. Arrivederci!
tween a meteorite and a meteor?             is still used in eye surgery?

    18. Do meteorites come from                                 answers on page 16

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                    Page 8
                    by Richard “Pete” Peterson from Pueblo Rockhounds, May 2011

     INTRODUCTION: Catlinite [Pip-       formed by the metamorphism of              pouches or in wrapped bundles
estone] is a rock that was a favorite    sandstone. In some areas, 12 feet of       along with other sacred parapherna-
material of Native Americans for         quartzite must be removed to reach         lia. After smoking the tobacco ashes
making pipe bowls, especially those      the layer of Catlinite.                    were disposed of in special places.
tribes who lived on the Plains, Other                                               Pipes had an identity, were a valued
decorated items for ceremonial and            The quarries are located in           possession, and were frequently
religious purposes, and articles for     southwestern Minnesota in Pip-             buried with their owner.
personal adornment, were also made       estone County, near the city of Pip-
from the stone. By ca 1700, the Da-      estone. The location was reported as            Pipe designs varied over time
kota Sioux controlled the Minnesota      early as 1702. The rock is also found      and by the time of Catlin’s visit in
pipestone and distributed the stone      in Minnehaha County, South Dakota          1835, the simple tube of earlier
only through trade; it found its way     (southwest of Pipestone). The South        times had developed into elbow and
as far east as Georgia and west to       Dakota stone is cut from the same          disk forms, as well as elaborate ani-
the Pacific coast. Catlinite from the    geologic strata as that quarried at        mal and human effigies. In the 19th
Minnesota quarries is sometimes re-      Pipestone, Minnesota. The word pip-        century, the pipes found their way
ferred to as sacred pipestone.           estone is frequently misused to de-        through trade into white society.
                                         scribe a wide range of materials used      Bowls were sometimes carved effi-
    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The           in crafting pipes. True Catlinite can      gies honoring white politicians and
name Catlinite was derived from          be distinguished from other pipe-          explorers; sometimes the images
the artist George Catlin (b 1796 -.d     making materials by using a streak         were far from flattering. The Pawnee
1872). Catlin traveled and painted       plate (a small tile, of unglazed porce-    and Sioux were master effigy carvers.
extensively in the American West         lain) and the Munsell Soil Color Chart.    The T-shaped bowl we recognize to-
and visited the Minnesota quarries       Catlinite has a streak which falls, only   day became widely associated with
in 1835. Catlin is generally credited    within hue 5R on the color chart.          peace pipes because the white ne-
with first bringing the stone to the                                                gotiators usually encountered them
attention of mineralogists ca 1839.          THE PIPE IN ITS SPIRITUAL CON-         at treat ceremonies.
                                         TEXT: Ceremonial smoking marked
     THE ROCK: Catlinite is a meta-      important activities of the Plains              Ceremonial pipes were used by
morphic claystone, a type of argil-      people; rallying forces for warfare        the Lakota Sioux as a means of con-
lite. It is a fine-grained rock, com-    against rival groups, prior to the         veying prayers or wishes to the cre-
monly colored by hematite. The           trading of goods and hostages,             ation forces or beings. The tobacco
often mottled or speckled stone is       ritual dancing, and in medicine cer-       mixture that was burned in a pipe
grayish to brownish-red to dark red      emonies. The pipe bowl, stem and           and the resultant smoke was thought
in color. It occurs embedded as a        tobacco were stored in animal skin         to carry those prayers. The pipe was
12 - 18 inch layer in a hard matrix of                                              smoked in personal prayer, as well
Sioux quartzite. The quartzite was                                                  as at collective rituals. It served as
                                                                                    a means of conveying the thoughts
                                                                                    of the smoker. Assembling the pipe
                                                                                    (i.e. connecting the bowl with the
                                                                                    stem) and the smoking mixture sym-
                                                                                    bolically formed a bridge believed
                                                                                    necessary for successful communi-
                                                                                    cation with non-humans that influ-
                                                                                    enced fates and outcomes.

                                                                                         CRAFTING AND SHAPING: Cat-
                                              Sioux Catlinite Effigy Pipe           linite is soft enough to be carved
                                                  Bowl circa 1880
  Catlinite blocks, ready for carving                                                                continued on page 10

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                Page 9
Catlinite                               Huge Gold Nugget Found
                continued from page 9                                                                   by Steve Weinberger

with stone or metal knives and              Another huge gold nugget has           lbs.) and is believed to be the larg-
drills. Native Americans tradition-     been found, this time by a landown-        est nugget from California still in ex-
ally used bow drills; the tip of the    er on his property                                          istence. (Who knows
drill was fashioned with a quartz       north of Nevada                                             how many others
point which (when combined with         City, California. Us-                                       were melted down
water) could bore out even the          ing a metal detector                                        during the gold rush
hardest pipestone. They then em-        in an ancient stream                                        days?) By compari-
ployed moistened, thin rawhide          bed near the old                                            son, the largest Cali-
strips rolled in pulverized quartz,     Mother Lode min-                                            fornia gold nugget
that were stretched with a bow          ing camp of Wash-                                           owned by the Smith-
handle. The bow saw was used to         ington, he found the nugget in Feb-        sonian weighs 80 troy ounces.
rough-shape the blanks for the pipe     ruary, 2010.
bowl. Bowls could then be shaped                                                       Placer nuggets are the product
with gradations of sandstone. After         The “Washington Nugget” has            of erosion in a modern or ancient
shaping, the bowls were polished        been described as a placer nugget          streambed. They usually have well
using water and progressively finer     and is thick and oblong and resem-         -worn surfaces with rounded edges.
abrasive grits, then worked with an-    bles a “squished loaf of bread”. It
imal hide, and finally hand rubbed      weighs 100 troy ounces (approx. 8               The Washington Nugget was
with buffalo tallow or facial oils to                                              sold at auction in Sacramento, CA
complete the polishing.                                                            this March to an anonymous buyer
                                                                                   for $460,000, well above the actual
    Today, the rough rock can be                                                   value of the gold at todays market
cut and shaped using common,                                                       price (May 20th) -- approximately
carpenter hand tools. A regular         REFERENCES                                 $150,000. Why the higher than spot
hacksaw blade can rough-shape                DeMallie, Raymond J.(ed.) 2001.       value price? The nugget has much
the blank. The blank can then be        Handbook of North American Indi-           more value as a collectors item than
scraped with a file, rasp, or knife     ans. Plains, Vol. 13 Parts 1 & 2. Smith-   it would were it to be melted down.
blade, then smoothed with various       sonian Institution: Washington, DC,        Perhaps one day it will be on display
gradations of sandpaper. If de-              Holmes, William H. 1907. Catlin-      at a gem show or in a museum.
sired, the piece can be incised us-     ite. Handbook of American Indians
ing any thin, sharpened tool. The       North of Mexico.                           References:
piece can then be gently heated              Bureau of American Ethnology          Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA.
and rubbed with beeswax (fat and        Bulletin 30. p. 217- 219 in Pt./vol. 1.    January 9, 2011.
facial oils still work). The item can   Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Govern-          Bloomberg Business Week,
then be immersed in cold water to       ment Printing Office: Washington, DC.      March 17, 2011
harden the wax that was worked               King, J. C. H. 1977. Smoking Pipes
into pores of the rock. Finally, the    of the North American Indian. British
item can be polished with a soft        Museum: London, England. 63p.
cotton cloth.                                Sigstad, John S. 1970. A Field                              Washington
                                        Test for Catlinite. American Antiquity
                                        35:3, 377-382.
                                             Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.
                                        org/wiki/Catlinite, Also see nicoti-
                                        ana, peace pipe, various others.
                                             Woolworth, Alan R.(ed.) 1983. The
                                        Red Pipestone Quarry of Minnesota:
    Catlinite pipe bowl probably
                                             Archaeological and Historical
      used by Chief Black Hawk
                                        Reports. Minnesota Archaeologist
     Black Hawk State Historical                                                              California Gold Country
                                        42(1-2). Minneapolis, MN
         Site, Rock Island, IL

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                               Page 10
Star Stones                                 Digital Antique Metalsmithing Books
                        by Mary Prosek                                                                    by Carolyn Weinberger
          from The Opal, October 2007
                                                Charles Lewton-Brain and the Ga-        with easy access through an interac-
    The optical phenomena of some           noksin Project (           tive table of contents. The $1.35 fee per
gem materials to display a single           have announced a their plan to digitize     eBook will allow you to install, read and
ray of light on their surface is called     more than 40 complete rare antique          print the material on a single computer.
chatoyancy, a French word meaning           metalsmithing books and make them           Proceeds will be used towards the Ga-
cat or catís-eye.                           available to the public. There will be      noksin Project.
                                            a minimal charge for each download -
     Gems displaying this character-        currently $1.35 per volume.                      Thus far, the following volumes
                  istic exhibit a single                                                are available.
                  undulating narrow             The books being digitized cover         	 •	 Educational Metalcraft by P.
                  band of white light       special techniques including chas-          Wylie Davidson, 1913
                  with a changeable         ing, repousse, engraving, soldering,        	 •	 Metal-Work, Chasing and Re-
                  luster. Another opti-     construction, patination, silversmith-      pousse for Home Art Workers by Frank
                  cal effect is shown       ing and more. Included in the books         G Jackson, 1903
                  when some gem             are a variety of “recipes” for alloys       	 •	 Decoration of Metals - Chasing,
materials exhibit more than one ray         and metal surface treatments. Some          Repousse and Saw Piercing by John
of light. These rays will cross or inter-   are handwritten, others typeset.            Harrison, 1894
sect each other at some central point                                                   	 •	 Watchmakers’ and Jewelers’
or points on the surface of a cut and           Plans are to release volumes grad-      Practical Receipt Book, 1892
polished gem. This phenomena is                             ually over the next few     	 •	The Private Book of Useful Alloys
called asterism or is more commonly                         months. The books will      and Memoranda for Goldsmiths, Jew-
known as a star.                                            be available as pdf files   ellers by James Collins, 1871
                                                            and the reader will be      	 •	Repousse Work for Amateurs by
     The cause of asterism or chatoy-                       able to search for spe-     L. L. Haslope
ancy is attributed to tubes, or                             cific text and images
needlelike inclusions within the
gem. When these foreign inclusions
are highly uniform in alignment
within the gem, they will be capable
of concentrating and reflecting or               Gem materials which are ca-            the gem’s physical shape and optical
transmitting the light which enters         pable of displaying a ray or rays of        properties. Any change in the physi-
the gem. However, this potential will       concentrated light will usually show        cal shape of the gem will also exert
not be effectual in the form of a ray       some indication of this phenom-             a change in directions, focus and
or rays if the gem does not have the        enon in the form of a satin sheen or        magnification of the ray or rays. Spe-
optical shape necessary for focus           silkish luster while in the rough state     cial care and star-making cups must
and magnification of the light. When        and when exposed to an incandes-            be used when lapping the stones in
the foreign inclusions are aligned          cent type of light. The area in which       order to achieve the desired effects.
only in one direction with the gem,         the sheen or silk is most intense
a single ray of light will be possible.     will usually yield a star or catís-eye          Read up on this technique be-
If the alignment is in two directions,      effect. This area should be tested          fore attempting to cut a star stone.
then the gem will have the potential        with a testing fluid such as STP mo-
of emitting two rays of light which         tor oil and marked prior to shap-           Source:
will intersect each other at a central      ing. The gem is shaped so that this            “Star Gems” - author Douglas L.
point or points on the gem creating         area will become the approximate            Hoffman, 1967.
a star with four legs. When the align-      apex of the gem’s dome or curved
ment is in three directions, three in-      surface. Approximate is mentioned
tersecting rays can be emitted which        because the ray or rays will tend to
will produce a six legged star.             shift their location slightly as shap-
                                            ing progresses. This shifting is at-
                                            tributed to the relationship between

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                    Page 11
Ultrasonic Cleaners
                  from Micromounters of New England Newsletter, November, 2010

    Ultrasonic cleaners are built to     tures, but these are the very basic     about 50—65 °C (149 °F), however,
serve different purposes. While in-      parts of a unit. The ultrasound is      in medical applications it is gener-
dustrial use has a large market, we      not effective without the clean-        ally accepted that cleaning should
are here to discuss                                    ing solution; it en-      be at temperatures below 38C to
the options avail-                                     hances the effect of      prevent protein coagulation.
able to a hobbyist                                     a solution appropri-
and more specifi-                                      ate for the item to       What is cavitation?
cally, a micro enthu-                                  be cleaned and the             Cavitation is the name of the
siast. You can find                                    soiling. While micro-     process where numerous gas
jewelry      cleaners,                                 mounters may be           bubbles are formed and expand
weapons cleaners,                                      perfectly happy with      in the liquid during the expansion
tabletop       models                                  distilled water, some     phase. This is a low-pressure phase
and models made                                        debris may be better      that in essence “cold boils” the wa-
just for your dentures. Obviously,       addressed with Super Iron Out or a      ter. The water vapor in the bub-
you should not do double duty            few drops of household dish wash-       ble condenses rapidly creating a
by using the same piece of equip-        ing liquid. Other fields of cleaning    vacuum-filled ‘cavity’. In the com-
ment to get the iron stains off your     may use many different types of         pression phase, the great amount
Palermoite that you would use to         cleaners, many of which would not       of pressure exerted on the newly
remove blueberry stains from your        work for our needs at all.              expanded bubble leads to a sud-
second set of choppers.                                                          den implosion of the bubble. The
                                             They are often employed for         liquid molecules collide releasing
    We will be looking at table-         cleaning of jewelry, lenses and         a vast amount of impact energy
top cleaners in this article. This       other optical parts, coins, watches,    that rapidly increases the local
distinction is in place because          dental and surgical instruments,        temperature producing a high-
some industrial-oriented models          fountain pens, industrial parts and     energy liquid stream that collides
are “recess mounted”, sort of like       electronic equipment. In everyday       with the surface of the object be-
a sink built into the counter top.       use such devices may be found in        ing cleaned. This collision agitates
The main advantage of tabletop           use in most jewelry workshops,          contaminants adhering to the
ultrasonics is portability. While        watch makers establishments, or         surface, effectively and efficiently
some of the larger units can be          in electronic repair workshops          dislodging them at micron levels.
extremely heavy when filled with         (where it could be used for clean-
solution (and shouldn’t be moved         ing an electronic device that has       Manufacturers
until emptied), when empty they          been exposed to particles which             In addition to Branson (Bran-
can be moved to any location in          hinder its operation).                  sonic), there are also models built
the shop, lab, or wherever ultra-                                                by Crest, GemOro, Hagerty, Soni-
sonics are needed.                           Ultrasonic cleaning uses high       cor, Sharpertek and SonixIV.
                                         frequency sound waves to agitate
What IS an Ultrasonic Cleaner?           an aqueous or organic compound.         What specifications are impor-
    An ultrasonic cleaner is a clean-    Cavitation bubbles induced by the       tant to you?
ing device that uses ultrasound          agitation act on contaminants ad-       	 •	 Capacity:	 How	 big	 are	
(usually from 20–400 kHz) and an         hering to substrates like mineral       the specimens that need to be
appropriate cleaning solution to         specimens, metals, plastics, glass,     cleaned, and how many do you
clean delicate items. Typically, an      rubber, and ceramics. This action       wish to clean at a time? This is a
ultrasonic cleaning machine may          also penetrates blind holes, cracks,    very important question as it will
include the following basic com-         and recesses. The intention is to       be one of the main factors de-
ponents: cleaning tanks and bath,        thoroughly remove all traces of         termining the size of ultrasonic
baskets, transducers, filter and a       contamination tightly adhering or       you will need. If you will only be
control panel. Obviously, every          embedded onto solid surfaces. So-
model has many additional fea-           lutions are mostly used warm, at
                                                                                                 continued on page 13

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                          Page 12
Ultrasonic Cleaners
                                                       continued from page 12

cleaning micros and don’t expect                                                  	 •	Use	the	basket:	objects	placed	
anything larger than a thumbnail       Prices                                     in direct contact with the bottom
specimen, the minimal capacity             You can buy a small ultra-             of the tank may reduce the effec-
will save you some money.              sonic jewelry cleaner at Walmart           tiveness of the cleaner, and pre-
                                       for about $20. This will be plastic,       maturely wear out the transducer.
	 •	 Heat:	 What	 manner	 of	 soil	    won’t have heat or variable speeds.        	 •	 Hot	 water	 may	 take	 the	 lus-
are you trying to remove? This is a    It comes with a small basket capa-         ter off some minerals, particularly
very important question, as it will    ble of cleaning small items such as        carbonates such as azurite.
determine whether or not a “heat”      rings and thumbnail specimens.
option will be necessary. Most         The consensus on Mindat’s mes-             Safety
tabletop ultrasonic cleaners come      sage boards is that it will not last,          As with all tools, precautions
in a standard, heated, and digital-    is not big enough and may put the          are always necessary! Keep your
heated models. It may be neces-        uninitiated into believing that all        fingers out of the unit when it is
sary because certain soils or clay     ultrasonic cleaners are worthless.         running!
may be very difficult to remove
without heat.                               The larger 1/4 gallon models          Bibliography
                                       that are made of stainless steel are           Branson Corp.: <www.bran-
    Ultrasonic transmission works      quite a bit more rugged, come with
best between 140 and 170 de-           1 year warranties, and with a bit of       works.asp>
grees Fahrenheit. Temperature          care can be relied upon to last for a Cleanosonic
plays a crucial role in the cleaning   very long time. A 1/4 gallon model         (Toll Free: 877-962-6847 ) is owned
process. The number of cavitation      will cost from $175 - $235.                and operated by WA Brown, a
bubbles increases proportion-                                                     Virginia Corporation, which dis-
ally to temperature increase. This     Some Best Practices While Using            tributes manufacturing, R&D and
happens up to about 60°C beyond        an Ultrasonic Cleaner                      inspection equipment to govern-
which cavitation begins to decline     	 •	 Some	 recommend	 using	 dis-          ment and industry nationwide.
and stops completely when the          tilled or (cooled down) boiled water. toll free 800-
liquid’s boiling point is reached;     	 •	Many	always	work	with	a	drop	          864-5022, located in Connecticut,
as the temperature and vapor           of unscented dish washing soap.            Sonicor has been designing and
pressure increase the cavitation       Others add a drop of ammonia.              manufacturing Ultrasonic Clean-
energy decreases.                      	 •	 Always	 test	 first	 on	 a	 lesser	   ing Systems since 1966.
                                       quality specimen.                     <en.wikipedia.
    Variable Speed Frequency           	 •	 Remember	 that	 the	 ultra-           org/wiki/Ultrasonic_cleaner>
variation, modulation, or sweep        sonic bath will get warm quickly      Tovatech, (973)
prevents formation of standing         while the machine is running.              913-9734
waves in the tank. A fixed frequen-    	 •	 Be	 careful	 not	 to	 shock	 your Mindat message
cy can produce a harmonic vibra-       specimens after removing from              boards.
tion that damages delicate parts       the ultrasonic bath.                           Member discussions at the Oc-
like electronic components. When       	 •	Be	careful	cleaning	fluorite	in	       tober Micromounters of New Eng-
operating in sweep mode, the ul-       an ultrasonic some brittle pieces          land monthly meeting.
trasonic generator’s frequency is      may turn out with internal cracks.
modulated slightly above and be-       	 •	 Hydrogen	 peroxide	 also	
low the central frequency, typical-    helps loosen up some things, but
ly ± 1-4 kHz. Until recently, sweep    careful with carbonates.
ultrasonics were only available in     	 •	Some	put	the	hydrogen	per-
industrial and high end profes-        oxide in a yogurt cup or a small
sional cleaning systems.               glass, then place that in the water
                                       in the ultrasonic.

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                           Page 13
Major Mining Districs of Colorado
                                                    from Rock Lore, March 2010

    Colorado’s largest gold discov-      Golden and Boulder. As recently                monly known as soda ash – used
ery was the Cripple Creek district       as 1997 the mine produced about                primarily in the glass industry).
in 1893. This one district alone         500,000 pounds of uranium oxide.               American Soda plans to produce a
produced over 22 million ounces          The mine was closed in 2000.                   million tons of soda ash in 2001, its
of gold. The Cripple Creek district                                                     first full year of operation.
contains the sole remaining gold                Colorado is famous for its aqua-
mine in Colorado with an estimat-         marine, rhodochrosite, beryl, and                 Coal mining in Colorado be-
ed annual production of 240,000                             diamond        gem-         gan soon after the first settlers and
ounces in 2000.                                             stones. Diamonds            miners arrived in the Front Range.
                                                            were discovered in          The area around Boulder and Weld
     Gold prospectors in the Lead-                          1975. The Kelsey            counties once had over 100 produc-
ville area kept finding an unknown                          Lake Mine in Lar-           ing coal mines. Coal is still produced,
dark mineral in their gold pans. This                       imer County began           primarily from open cut and under-
was later recognized as silver ore      Kelsey Lake Diamond commercial      pro-        ground mines in the northwest part
and lead to the development of                              duction in 1996 and         of the state. Production in 1999 was
the Leadville, Gilman, and Kokomo         quickly produced some outstand-               almost 30 million tons making Colo-
districts, which produced about           ing gem quality diamonds-as large             rado number 11 out of 30 coal-pro-
1.9 million tons of zinc, 1.3 million     as 14 and 26 carats.                          ducing states.
tons of lead, 333 million ounces
of silver, and 3.6 million ounces of         Sand and gravel, crushed stone,            Reference:
gold through 1998. The Black Cloud       gypsum, limestone, clay, and other                 Mineral Information Institute
Mine was the last working mine in        rock materials are important com-              <>
the district and it closed in 1999.      modities that provide the basic in-
                                         frastructure materials for Colorado’s
    Molybdenum was discovered            booming economy of the late 1990s
in the Climax area around Fremont        and 2000s. Production of these com-
Pass north of Leadville in 1879. The     modities has increased steadily over
strange greasy metal had no known        the past decade. The Yule Marble
uses at the time of its discovery;       quarry in central Colorado produc-
however, by World War I, it had come     es some of the finest white marble
to be used as an alloy for hardening     in the world. Marble from the Yule
steel for armaments. The Climax          quarry was used for the Tomb of the
Mine continued to increase produc-       Unknown Soldier and part of the Lin-                               Aquamarine
                                                                                                     Mt. Antero, Chaffee Co. CO
tion through World War II and into       coln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
the 1970s. The state of the art Hen-
derson Mine in Clear Creek County            Two companies are
opened in 1976. Both mines pro-          using a solution mining
duced until a price crash occurred       process to produce so-
in the mid-1980s. The Climax Mine        dium bicarbonate (bak-
was shut down in 1986, and only the      ing soda) from bedded
Henderson Mine continues to pro-         nahcolite deposits in the
duce molybdenum in Colorado.             Piceance Basin of north-
                                         west Colorado. The new-
    Many uranium deposits were           est operator, American
discovered in the southwestern por-      Soda LLC, plans to use
tion of Colorado and in the Front        an additional process
Range during the 1950s. The most         to convert the sodium
significant uranium mine was the         bicarbonate to sodium
                                                                         Major mining districts of Colorado
Schwartzwalder Mine between              carbonate (more com-

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                           Page 14
Hints and Tips                                                                   Splash Casting
                   from Ed Wengerd’s Notebook, 1975 and other sources as noted          by Leo Hoffman,Wildacres, 2000

Another use for Elmer’s Glue            stones. This same scribe can also            If you have some scraps of silver,
    Make a 50/50 solution of El-        give you an idea as to the hard-         you can use them to create unusual
mer’s Glue and water to help you        ness of a stone. If you can see the      castings that can be used for pen-
maintain that “wet look” on all         mark, but have to look carefully,        dants etc. You will need a crucible to
types of materials, including shells    the stone is about 7 on the Mohs         hold the metals as it is heated, tongs
and slabs. Just brush it on and let     scale. If the mark is very bold, the     to hold the heated crucible, water in
it dry. If the specimen becomes         stone is about 5 and if the mark         an unbreakable container, and a bit
dusty or dull, just immerse in warm     cannot be seen, then the stone is        of borax to act as a flux.
water to remove the coating and         above 7 on the scale.
then reapply. (Note: Do NOT use                                                      Heat an ounce or two of silver in
this for water soluble materials!)      Eliminating Flats                        the crucible until it liquefies. Add the
                                            A while back, someone was            borax to minimize oxidation. When
    Ivory is one substance that         saying that he was having prob-          the metal is liquid, pour the metal
needs light and therefore should        lems with getting “flats” on his         into the water in one quick motion
never be stored in the dark. If it      cabs, that there was insufficient        so all the metals comes out at once.
has started to yellow, take 1/2         “give” in his wheels, and it didn’t
a lemon and rub it in some salt,        seem to make any difference no               Each drop casting is unique. By
then rub it all over the ivory. The     much pressure he applied. That                         changing the water
lemon will work on the yellow dis-      was his first mistake. Diamond                         depth, you can influ-
coloration. After the piece has         and corundum are two differ-                           ence the shape of the
dried, dampen a soft cloth with         ent animals; relatively speaking,                      finished casting. By
lukewarm water and rub the ivory        about the same difference be-                          adding pine needles
to give it a bright finish.             tween quartz and chalk.                                or rock salt in the bot-
                                                                                               tom of the water, you
Stabilizing porous stones                    If you “lean into” a diamond        can create interesting patterns.
     Stones that are porous are         wheel, you will get lousy results
difficult to cut or carve. Here’s a     (flats, etc) on your stone, and your         The finished castings can be tum-
method of stabilizing them that         wheel will wear out long before          bled or hand finished, drilled for pen-
you may want to try. Be sure to         their time. On diamond, you try to       dants, or fused to another surface.
do this out of doors or in a very       do your cutting (and everything
well ventilated area. Please note       else) by almost not touching the
that acetone is a highly flammable      wheel. Use essentially no force.
substance.                              Don’t “grind” the stone, let the
     Take a jar with a lid and add      diamond wear it away, but keep it
one pint of acetone. To this, add       spinning.                                form, you are going to have them
the complete contents of both the                                                on the final piece - can’t help it.
resin and hardener tubes of epoxy           The technique is simply to use
glue. Mix well and add the well-        the whole face of the wheel, and             And finally, practice, practice,
dried stones that you want to sta-      keep your cab moving. Any time           practice. Machines, like people,
bilize. Cover the jar and let it sit    you stop, you just bought a “flat”.      take some acquaintanceship be-
for at least four days. Remove the      Can’t help it ! It is the same prin-     fore your really know what you
stones and allow them to dry for a      ciple as sharpening a knife on an        can get out of them.
week. Your stones should now be         emery wheel. If you don’t want                                 by Ted Robles
ready to work.                          notches in your blade, you keep it          via Calgary Lapidary Journal. May
                                        moving.                                                                  2011
Using an aluminum scribe to tell
hardness                                    Do almost all your cutting
   An aluminum scribe is often          on the coarsest wheel you have.
used with a template to outline         If you leave any flats on the pre-

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                             Page 15
From the Federations                                                                  Mineral Test Answers
                                                                from Ye Olde Editor

                   Eastern Federation:                                                     1. Biotite
                       Candidates for office in the upcoming year (Novem-                  2. Red to Brownish Red
                   ber 1, 2011 - October 31, 2012 are introduced. They are:                3. False-Form
                   President - RJ Harris, 1st VP - Cheryl Neary, Treasurer - Lou           4. Amethyst
                   Budell, Editor - Carolyn Weinberger and members of the                  5. Yes, most notably in Canyon
                   Nominating Committee - Wayne Sukow and Loren Patter-               Diablo
                   son. A candidate for 2nd Vice President will be announced               6. A specimen of half silver and
at the annual meeting in Syracuse. Secretary Gerry Cox and Asst. Treasurer            half copper
Michael Patterson have an additional year to go on their two year term.                    7. Goethite
                                                                                          8. Fluorite
    With the combined EFMLS / AFMS Convention scheduled for this coming                   9. Magnetite
July in Syracuse, last minute information about the weekend activities is avail-          10. Stalagmite grows up mighty
able. Deadline for getting in reservations for meals etc. is June 1, however, if      from the ground. Stalactites have to
you are a day or two late, please give Ye Olde Ed a call and I’ll find out if they    hang on tight to drip from the ceiling
are still able to accept reservations.                                                    11. Fool’s Gold
                                                                                          12. A wafer thin slice of a miner-
    There is still room for you to attend the September session of the Wilda-         al or meteorite that is virtually trans-
cres Workshop. Information about classes being offered and a registration             parent. It is placed in a polarized
form are included. Go to <> and click on Wildacres for             microscope to identify individual
forms and information.                                                                minerals and their crystal structures.
                                                                                          13. Magma forms inside the vol-
    Safety Chair Ellery Borow discusses tool safety - the importance of using         canic chamber lava flows outside the
the proper tool for the job at hand.                                                  chamber and is visible to the eye.
                                                                                          14. Muscovite
    Auction Chair Cheryl Neary encourages donations for the EFMLS Auction                 15. No it does not pass one of
in Syracuse and discusses a few of the items already received.                        the five characteristics of a mineral
                                                                                      most specifically “inorganic”
                                                                                          16.Types of lava. Aa is named for
                     American Federation:                                             the sound one makes when walking
                          Last call for purchasing tickets for the Endowment          upon its rough surface pahoehoe is
                     Fund drawing. Now with an unprecedented 33 prizes,               ropy lava.
                     tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. Proceeds are invested and          17. A meteorite is a rock from
                     the interest from these investments is used to fund vari-        space that makes it to the ground.
                     ous AFMS projects - including donation of programs to the        A meteor is the LIGHT you see when
EFMLS library and badges for the juniors program. Tickets are available from          the meteoroid hits the earth’s atmo-
yours truly and will be available at the June meeting.                                sphere and briefly catches fire.
                                                                                          18. No-Meteor showers are cycli-
    Scholarship Foundation honorary recipients and the students they have             cal and are the result of comet trails
selected along with their field of study are introduced.                              intersecting with earth’s orbit.
                                                                                          19. The asteroid Belt between
    Dick Pankey, President of the American Lands Access Association comments          Mars and Jupiter
on how important it is to write letters to our own representative even if an issue        20. Kyanite
before congress isn’t one that will change how things are in our own back yard.           21. Aluminum
ALL of our representatives end up voting for ALL federal legislation that will have       22. Mercury (the liquid metal
an effect on our hobby and our ability to easily collect on public lands.             that used to be in thermometers)
                                                                                          23. The La Brea Tar Pits where
   You can download the AFMS Newsletter at <                       hundreds of animals were found
default.htm>.                                                                         preserved in tar
                                                                                          24. obsidian

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                  Page 16
    Sunday             Monday           Tuesday       Wednesday          Thursday                Friday               Saturday
                                                                                                             1                          2
                                                                                                                       Faceting Class

                                                                                                                     Possible Open Shop*
                                                                                                                      begins at 2:30 pm

                  3             4                 5               6                     7                    8                       9
                                                                                                                     Possible Open Shop *
Possible Open Shop *

                                                                      EFMLS / AFMS Convention & Show, Syracuse, NY

               10            11                12               13                   14                    15                      16
Possible Open Shop *                                                                                                 Possible Open Shop *

               17            18               19                20                    21                   22                       23
Possible Open Shop *                                                                                                 Possible Open Shop *

               24            25                26              27                    28                    29                       30
Possible Open Shop *                                                                                                 Possible Open Shop *

Possible Open Shop *

    * For Those Paying 2011 Shop Fees

Oddball “Stuff”
                                            via T-Town Rockhound, October 2004
	 •	 In	 George	 Washington’s	 days,	     are “limbs”, therefore painting them          would carve out a loaf of bread, put
there were no cam-                        would cost the buyer more. Hence              the wig in the shell, and bake it in the
eras. One’s image                         the expression, “Okay, but it’ll cost         oven for 30 minutes. The heat would
was either sculpt-                        you an arm and a leg.”                        make        the
ed or painted.                                                                          wig big and
Some paintings of                                                                       fluffy, hence
George Washing-                           	 •	As	incredible	as	it	sounds,	men	          the term “big
ton showed him                            and women took baths only twice               wig”.    Today
standing behind a desk with one           a year! (May and October). Women              we often use
arm behind his back while others          kept their hair covered, while men            the term “here comes the Big Wig”
showed both legs and both arms.           shaved their heads (because of lice           because someone appears to be or
Prices charged by painters were not       and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy              is powerful and wealthy.
based on how many people were to          me could afford good wigs made
be painted, but by how many limbs         from wool. The wigs couldn’t be
were to be painted. Arms and legs         washed, so to clean them they

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                            Page 17
      Carolyn Weinberger, Editor
             PO Box 302
      Glyndon, MD 21071-0302

    Visit us on the web at>

   Sunday                Monday              Tuesday                   Wednesday   Thursday           Friday             Saturday
                                                                               1          2                       3                        4
                                                                                                                          Faceting Class

                                                                                                                        Possible Open Shop*
                                                                                                                         begins at 2:30 pm

                   5                   6                           7           8              9                 10                   11
Possible Open Shop*                          Guild Meeting                                             AUCTION            Faceting Class
                                               7:30 pm                                            at the Chesapeake
                                                                                                     Club meeting       Possible Open Shop*
                                             Refreshments:                                        Women’s Club of Ca-    begins at 2:30 pm
                                            J. Wilde, L. Miller,                                  tonsville- 7:30 pm
                                                 S. Page

              12                     13                     14               15          16                     17                    18
  Bead “N Brunch       Board of Directors                                                                                 Faceting Class
     11 am                 Meeting
                           7:00 pm                                                                                      Possible Open Shop*
   NO Open Shop          Meadow Mill                                                                                     begins at 2:30 pm

              19                     20                    21                22           23                     24                    25
Possible Open Shop*                                                                                                       Faceting Class

                                                                                                                        Possible Open Shop*
                                                                                                                         begins at 2:30 pm

              26                    27                       28              29          30
Possible Open Shop*

    * For Those Paying 2011 Shop Fees

Gem Cutters News – June-July, 2011                                                                                               Page 18

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