It feels even longer than it probably has been, but at last I finally finished the baker's dozen stones that were dopped in preparation for the faceting demonstration the first weekend of August. Now that fall is just about here and the shows are over for a while, I hope to get back to a routine which has a lot more faceting time included.
Here is pictured one of the last off the dop - a 5.08 ct. lemon citrine which is 18.7 x 7.0 mm. and was another experiment with the fantasy machine tools I am still learning to use.
Pictured below are a few more stones started at a local club show as part of a faceting demonstration, and then eventually finished at home later. The previous set was from the show by the club to our north, so these are from the show put on by the club to the south.
The first is a 9.81 cts. lemon citrine that is 12.4 mm. across.
Next is a 6.12 cts. prasiolite quartz 11.6 mm. round. For this one, the crown was shaped into a dome before a few flat facets were placed on it.
And of course, I had to include hexagons. This lemon quartz gem is 12.2 mm. wide and weighs 7.16 cts.
This is another citrine at the other end of the color range. It is 2.39 cts. and 8.6 mm. across.
All of these gems have concave facets on the pavilion so really sparkle. And they are all from rough material obtained in February during my Tucson adventures.
Did I mention that I liked hexagon shaped gems?
These were started as part of the faceting demonstration at a local rock show and then provided a base for learning more about using some other tools on the fantasy machine.
4.48 ct. smoky quartz, 10.2 mm. concave facets on pavilion and apex crown.
lemon citrine, 6.69 cts., 12.1 mm, compound concaves on pavilion with the slitter tool
5.13 cts., smoky quartz, 10.8 mm., similar to previous using slitter tool to make small compound concaves on pavilion
Instead of the typical step cut crown, this 12.39 ct. smoky quartz has a series of steps across the entire upper side of the stone. With the concaves on the pavilion, the result has a stone that looks like it has rows of tiny LEDs hiding inside.
This 4.58 ct. Amethyst is among the last stones cut from rough purchased in 2018. The stone is 11.0 mm in diameter and has concave facets on the pavilion. Now it is time to start working on the new rough purchased during my 2019 Tucson adventures.
Here is another result of initial experiments with the fantasy tools. This 12.98 ct. smoky quartz was cut with v-groves on the pavilion instead of the rounded concaves that have been used for previous stones.
After a number of failed exercises trying to get up to speed with the V-groove tools that came with the ULTRA TEC Faceting fantasy machine, this stone was a step in the right direction.
The grooves were more curves rather than straight sided and my attempts to polish were only partially successful.
The stone is smoky quartz, 6.68 carats, 11.4 mm across
The Tucson rough I bought wasn't all green. Here are a couple other parcels that followed me home.
This is a parcel of garnets from Malawi brought to the USFG event by Dan Lynch. The purchase price was going to finish a children's library in one of the mining communities. When these are cut, sales will go to a UNICEF sponsored program for high school scholarships for Malawi girls.
This is a handful of lovely amethyst obtained from Farooq Hashmi. His handful was a few more than this.
The madera citrine from Steve Ulatowski is incredibly clear. Maybe I should have taken a handful of those as well.
Oregon sunstone. I'm still not sure about sunstone. Probably will know a lot more by the time these are cut.
I have returned home to a wet and chilly CA Central Coast from Tucson 2019 and trying to get back into reality and a normal routine again.
Nothing serious broken this year except possibly my budget. That does mean I have a lot of new rough to facet during the rest of 2019.
My initial purchases tended to be green. (Mali Garnet, Chrome Diopside, Arizona Peridot, Prasiolite)
Day 8 Thursday
Thursday morning was warmer than the previous days and the sky was cloudy. Steve convinced a few of his New Era Gems staff to join the Sentinel Peak walk. Ryan brought his drone and demonstrated its capabilities when we reached the base of the “A”. It was tiny and he put it though maneuvers that were like a mechanical hummingbird. Then he showed some of the other features which were equally impressive.
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Club show opened at 10AM. By the time I got near at 10:30, the convention center parking had almost no spaces left and there were long lines to buy entry tickets. I first went into the ballroom off the main hallway. The quality of the material the vendors there were showing was not like your typical club show items. It reminded me of what the InterGem shows were like when I first went to those in the early 1980’s (before they turned into mostly bead shows.)
In the back row of the ballroom, I found the UltraTec booth. Robert Mendoza was there showing the machines and I had the opportunity to ask a couple questions about my fantasy machine as well as show him some samples of I had accomplished with the Fantasy machine in the past few months.
Then down to the main hall. Like the AGTA show there, it was huge and the items in the vendor cases were upscale. There was very little in the lower end of the mineral, gem, etc. market that one typically finds at a club show. Towards the center of the room were the displays from club members. Also there were exhibits from the Smithsonian, the GIA and similar institutions. This was definitely not your average club show!
It seemed that the front side of the room had gems and jewelry vendors. Towards the other side were the mineral vendors. Quite a few of them were in tall display cabinets and one could easily feel you were looking at a museum exhibit. Of course the prices for those pieces were not for the faint of heart and light of wallet. Three zeros before the decimal point was not unusual where prices were actually shown.
As afternoon progressed dark clouds got darker and by evening we were having some rain showers.
Day 9 Friday - Packing Up
Friday was the last day of the adventure. The morning started with additional rain showers. These eventually went away and blue skies eventually broke through for a short time midday.
It was time to sort through things, make sure the suitcases would hold everything for the return trip, and take one last trip around the area. The official time for the Pueblo show was over and most of the vendors there were packing up. Quite a few vendors in some of the other freeway shows were also closed that day.