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Chinese Pietersite

Just a quick note to Thomas and Dave:

Before you cut into your Pietersite slabs (or rough), please be sure
to both don a dual-caister respirator and add some sort of
surfactant (i.e. soap) to your cabbing unit’s coolant reservoir! As
beautiful as Pietersite may be, it can also be pretty nasty stuff to
handle. For those not yet aware of it, Pietersite is a brecciated
Tigereye (a.k.a. Crocidolite; a.k.a. a partial to complete,
pseudomorphic replacement of quartz after asbestos) which, as even a
cursory glance will tell you, is still fibrous in nature. About
thirty years ago (geez- can it really be that long?), while my
family and I were visiting his neck of the woods, Alan Roup gave me
a chunk of the stuff to try cabbing. Although most of it was fairly
solid, there were several pockets of pure, unadulterated "rock wool"
that had to be worked around, and, if I hadn’t been wearing a decent
mask…? So, like most other “beauties”, just beware that there’s a
potential for a “beast”, when cutting this stuff, okay? (Oh, and
while you’re at it, be sure to soak your slabs in a few washes of
alcohol or detergeant, if you’ve sawn them with oil as the
cooling/blade-wetting agent… The minute spaces between the fibers
sometimes practice a bit of capillary action, which can leave you
(as it did me) with some unusually fragrant finished cabs. {:o)

Hope I’ve helped!

All the best,
Doug Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith
Turet Design
P.O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476
Tel. (617) 325-5328
eFax (928) 222-0815