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Blue Calcite


#1

Hi Folks:

I have a sensitive question: Would you make jewelry out of blue
calcite?

My husband is on a road trip and purchased a blue calcite pendant for
me. I understood that the seller threw in some rough for me to be
creative with and another cut stone [which arrived broken]. The
seller had shipped it in a priority mail folder without any bubble
wrap or cushioning. The pendant’s stone is loose in the silver bezel
[it lifts with the stroke of a finger]. My knowledge of calcite [I thought my husband had the mineral wrong - I was hoping for chrysocolla] is that it is very soft and can easily be broken or
scratched. So…what would you do? Return it or accept it and hope
for the best? From the price still on the back it was not
inexpensive. I hate complaining about a gift! That’s the sensitive
part!

Thanks for your help.

–Barbara

PS…anyone know of a used Pixie for sale?


#2

Hello Barbara,

Calcite is a truely soft mineral.As far as I can recall,more then 300
different types of calcite are known.Calcite is a calciumcarbonate
which is very sensitive for acids.Anything,starting from vinegar and
upwards,is or will attack your mineral.Household product and
chemicals can also damage your calcite gem. Calcite is(like you
already mentioned)very sensitive for pressure which is the reason why
your stone is losely set in its setting.Calcite is also sensitive for
strong light lke halogeen spotlight.The heat of the light will cause
your stone to crack and or lose its color.Same thing will happen if
your stone is exposed to sunlight.Forget procedure like boiling your
jewelry in clear hot water in order to solve the grease and dirt.Some
toothpaste whould even scratch your stone if they contain very small
sandlike particles. If your are thinking of cleaning your jewel with
an ultrasonic … wrong … don’t go for it … again cracking. It
whould be advicable to turn it this jewel and tell your lovely
husband that you love his idea and that his idea is more worth then
the jewel he bought for you.I’m sure he’ll appriciate those worth
without having wrong thoughts.Good luck. Regards Pedro
Palonso@t-online.de


#3

Barbara, Calcite is soft and does require special cutting to make it
useable for jewelry. Stones should be fairly thick and have
supportive girdles. In setting the stones the bezel must be well
annealed to allow it to be firmly pressed onto the stone. Calcite is
suitable for a pendant. On your loose stone you may want to place a
drop of glue behind the stone where it sets on the mounting. Then
carefully push the prongs or bezel in place. The glue will hold the
stone in place allowing you to put even pressure on the stone to
tighten it. I know, glue again. Do you want to save the pendant and
stone or ruin it?

Gerry Galarneau


#4

Barbara

If your husband is in the southwest there is a beautiful blue calcite
called Bisbee Ice and is from the copper mine in Bisbee Az. I
purchased some this summer on vacation and can’t wait to get some
rough to cut more. As far as durability I’ve seen some chrysocolla
and turquoise that that was softer. Try it and decide. Maybe cut it
in smaller stones and set in protected settings.

Fred


#5

Hello Barbara, 95 percent of the blue calcite that is coming out of
Bisbee is junk. Not only is it junk but it isn’t even cut correctly.
The natural tendency for a cutter is to slab the material in a
direction that produces the most slabs and is easy for the vice to
hold the piece, wrong. The slabs and resultant cabs are badly
fractured. If one has really top grade material and cut correctly the
stone could be used in a “Art” piece and look really great. However,
calcite is relatively soft and I wouldn’t recommend using it for
jewelry that is going to get heavy use. I bought several pounds of
excellent blue calcite a few years back. Shortly after that, I
purchased a substantial quantity of blue chalcedony. The blue
chalcedony is superior to calcite and I may be stuck with the calcite.
I will cut a few cabs for fun and the rest of it will be donated to
the local lapidary club, or put in dollar grab bags. Oh well. Will
Estavillo http://www.natureshop-gallery.com


#6

Barb,

I hear what you’re saying, but I see nothing good to be gained
by complaining about a gift. If you wish to know more about the
calcite you could ask the genrous giver, mentioning, as you do,
that some arrived damaged and that you want his advice on the
safest use of the gift calcite in jewelry. But most of all,
thank him.

And while we’re on the subject of gratitude, will someone please
send me Brian Adam’s address. I owe him big time. But through
two moves and two computer crash I’ve lost my whole address book
– you got it–two times.

Barb, if you get an interesting answer let us know. That stuff
is so soft that I’m reluctant to spend much time with it.

Enjoy your grinding,
Joyce Albers

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#7

Barbara, The seller should have taken care that such a soft
stone was well protected when shipped. Was the package insured? I
would recommend calling the seller and talking about it. Ask
him/her what the return policies are and explain the problems and
your observations about the packaging (nicely, of course!). It’s
my opinion that the package should be insured, it should be
protected when mailed, and the seller should be open to
discussing your options of return, exchange or claiming
insurance. If you run into problems or rudeness, just don’t buy
from them again. I’m not familiar with cutting blue calcite
(yellow, yes) but I love chrysocolla. It cuts nicely and it
pretty durable. There is some beautiful rough out there too!

Good luck,

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry
http://LapidaryArt.com

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