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[Issue #6]

                H i g h l i g h t s

Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Techniques

        November 24, 1997 Issue #6

Highlights Editor:
~ Dr. E Aspler <@Service> newsgroup modarator:
~ Peter Rowe

Introducing Highlights
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^From: Peter Rowe

Attached are a number of recent messages sent to the usenet
newsgroup, This group is a moderated
newsgroup, and as such will be found to be pleasantly free of off
topic spamm, unlike most non-moderated groups on the net these
days. Advertising is generally limited to non-commercial items
such as used tools, for direct posting to the group. On topic
commercial ads and web site announcements and the like are
combined into a single weekly digest post, keeping advertising
visibility acceptable to most readers. You can access with any newsreader software if you ISP carries
the group in it’s news server, as almost all do. New messages or
replies can be posted to the group in the same way as with any
other newsgroup, though because it’s a moderated group, there will
be a time delay, usually of about a day, before you see your
message in the group (except, as noted, for ads, which will be in
the digest post at the end of the week.) Only ascii text posts
are accepted. No binary data such as image files or HTML coded
messages, please. A monthly FAQ, detailing acceptable posting
guidelines, is sent the beginning of each month, or may be found
in the dejanews archeives at .
Not-for-publication contact with the moderator can be sent to If not for publication, please be sure to
indicate that fact in your message.


Peter Rowe


// – N-E-W – //

“Lapidary equipment for sale”
~ Henry Maresi

~ (Weirdieguy)

“Jade Cove Nephrite”
~ “David R. Clayton”

“Test for Nickel silver or pewter??”
~ (Junkyblank)

“Need advice in cutting chatoyant jade”
~ “David R. Clayton”

“Rock tumbling”
~ (Exquzmwa)

// – C-O-N-T-I-N-U-I-N-G – //

“Molten silver, how to remove impurities.”
~ (Joseph Bowersmith)

“Radioactive Gemstones”
~ bb300@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald G. Coughlin)
~ 1 Lucky Texan

// – H-E-L-P --//

Orchid H i g h l i g h t s

// – N-E-W – //

Lapidary equipment for sale
From: Henry Maresi

3/4hp Great Western combination Belt & drum sander Procraft
polishing lathe (Like New) “Rocks” 3/4hp 12" drum sander + 12"
disk polisher (called “Bill Wheel”) Fordom flexshaft with motor &
chuck (used for 10 minutes) 6" drumsander & grindstone (used 1

e-mail me for further or to make an offer…

From: (Weirdieguy)

Greetings: Most people casting pewter these days use a R.T.V.
compound to make split molds that they gravity pour. I have never
had any problems casting this way. Some years ago I did build a
cen-caster out of hardwood, a bushing with a bolt for the shaft,
and a short spring for powering it. I used steel cans for the
parts that had to be around heat from the torch. Good Luck, Don

Jade Cove Nephrite
From: “David R. Clayton”

Come to the annual Jade Festival held at Pacific Valley School in
October of each year. Jade Cove is 33 miles below Big Sur
(approximately 60 miles south of Monterey).

If you cannot make it to the Jade Festival, let me know what you
need and I will try to put you in contact with the appropriate

David Clayton

Test for Nickel silver or pewter??
From: (Junkyblank)

how does one tell the difference between hard pewter and nickel
silver…what acid or chemical test could I do??

Need advice in cutting chatoyant jade
From: “David R. Clayton”

I want to make some cabs and a pendant out of a chatoyant piece of
green nephrite jade. The rough is a core that is 4 inches long by
1-3/4 inches in diameter. There is a chatoyant band that is 1
inch thick that runs across the diameter of the core and through
the length of the core.

Is there an optimum angle to cut the jade in relation to the
chatoyance to maintain the maximum chatoyant effect?

David Clayton

Rock tumbling
From: (Exquzmwa)

Hi! I’m sending this message in hopes that some of you may be
able to answer a few questions I have regarding rock tumbling. I
recently built a rock tumbler which uses a five gallon container
for holding the rocks.

I have several questions:

  1. What is the best tumbling speed for the tumbler (container is
    10.5 inches in diameter, 33 inches is the circumference). I’ve
    read that the best speed to use depends on the size of the
    tumbler, however, I haven’t seen a chart or formula that shows how
    to calculate the best size.

  2. What would be a good grit to use? (I built the tumbler so I
    can remove the sharp edges off about 400 - 600 lbs of rocks that I
    have in an aquarium. Average rock size is about 5 to 10 lbs, and
    rock is red granite. I don’t want the rocks to look polished, I
    want the rough look, but don’t want them to pose a threat to my
    fish - so only the sharp edges need be removed. It seems a waste
    to purchase and use the amount of course grit that would be
    required for this amount of rock since I don’t want to go as far
    as would normally be the case when tumbling rocks. Are there any
    good choices for the grit other than the course grit normally used
    in the first step of tumbling?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

Curtis Little

// – C-O-N-T-I-N-U-I-N-G – //

Molten silver, how to remove impurities.
From: (Joseph Bowersmith)

You did not say if you are looking for a refining flux or a flux
for producing a bright tough ingot, or if this is just for

One of the refining fluxes for silver uses 48g fine white sand, 8g
sodium carbonate, 4g salt and 2g potassium bysulphate.

One of the bright casting fluxes for silver is; 15g powdered
charcoal and a pinch of ammonium chloride.

If you are just trying to protect silver in a crucible from
oxygen in the air as you are melting it for casting. Just use

use boric acid for gold only. It has too high a melting
temperature to protect silver adequately.

When doing any type of casting and using fluxes use adequate
Ventilation. Avoid breathing the fumes produced by the melt

Joe B.

Radioactive Gemstones
From: bb300@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Donald G. Coughlin)

Received a few responses via private e-mail and this will
clarify equipment used. Some replys were negative and others
positive, so I should explain that I am not a professional in the
field – only a concerned gemstone collector.

The package includes a Micro-Roentgen Radiation Monitor, a
highly sensitive geiger counter. Software included gathers
radiation data from the RM-60 by way of computer’s printer port or
serial port and stores data to disk while computer is running
other programs.

Software also allows user to scan days, weeks or even months of
stored radiation data.

The RM-60 detects, displays and/or continuously monitors low
levels of ionizing radiation including low levels of radiation
from bricks and other building materials. It can also measure
small amounts of radiation from contaminated foods, beverages,
chemicals, etc.

Alarm system allows you to set an exact alarm level between 1 and
30,000 microroentgens per hour. It measures alpha, beta, gamma,
and x-ray radiation. You can detect and display levels of
radiation as low as one microroentgen/hr to as high as 30,000
microroentgens/hr. Typical background radiation averages 11

The monitor can operate alone if desired (I used it often that
way) or the two modules included can be combined to use with the

There is an intensive interface manual included on diskette.

I want to make it clear that I am not an agent for this
equipment and for this reason I am not posting the source where it
can be purchased (unless authorized by our moderator?) If anyone
is interested please send an e-mail and I can supply the source.
I paid $150 US for complete outfit but prices will probably be
higher now since that was five years ago. Worth the money as far
as I am concerned!

I would prefer you hold off e-mailing me if possible since there
could be an avalanche of requests, though probably on a few… I
repeat – I have no connection whatsoever with the company
concerned but would be quite happy to share if
desired. – Don Coughlin: There cannot
be a crisis next week. My schedule is full.

From: 1 Lucky Texan

Howdy Don, I have often wondered where one could buy
new/used/refurbished ‘survey meters’? I’m sure the tubes/crystals
are about the same but the electronics should be more advanced
nowadays. Any thoughts? Carl 1 Lucky Texan

End of Highlights Digest

// – H-E-L-P – //