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Least wasteful way to cut cab



I have a different question today.

Last week I purchased and sawed open a 6 inch diameter geode with my
trim saw.

Inside was a whole bunch of very small (1/4 inch wide and high), very
pale amethyst crystals sitting on a two inch thick bed of pale
lavender quartz all around the inside of the geode.

Since I’m intending to developing skills in cabbing but not yet
faceting, I was how experienced lapidarists would approach the
question of most efficient use of the contents of this type of geode.

  1. Do I prefer the crystals? That is, do I try to saw the geode so
    that the length of each crystal in the interior gets its maximum
    length of quartz from the bed?

  2. Do I prefer the bed? That is, do I carve off the rough rock and
    carve away the crystals from them bed, then just determine the
    largest possible pieces of lavender quartz available for construction

Or do I do something else?

Thanks in advance,
Andrew Jonathan Fine


Something else. Buy some amethyst rough and leave the geode as is.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


Not having seen the picture, I personally would try to save both the
crystals for making pendants and the solid sections for the cabs.
you might even go so far as to try to get some of the solid with the
crystals - that way you could put a “cap” on the polished rough and
have the crystals coming out of it but hanging downward.

laurie kern
Adventures of An Aspiring Silversmith


there are two things you could do that I can think of
offhand…firstly, don’t destroy the drusy/crystals! These are
popular these days!

i would suggest either dividing up the geode into smaller, nearly
flat sections (for example, triangular wedges)…If the pale quartz
is 2 inches thick, you could then use a trim saw to cut away the
crystal part with about 1/4 inch of base. The edges of the drusy slab
could be smoothed as well as the back side. Then, the rest of the
base could be cabbed as solid amethyst material.

Otherwise, you could make slices from the geode, which would make
rings of material, at least from the central area. You could then
slice up the rings to make what would be a cross section of the
material, with crystals visible on the bottom of it. Polish both
sides of the slice…it would be kind of like making a tongue with
crystals on the end…grind away the rough outer shell. If it’s thin
enough, you should get light passing through the amethyst base as
well as the crystals. Don’t make it too thin though, as you may loose
your color.

Hope that helps…



Andrew without actually seeing the piece it’s hard to say but if you
look at the geode there are possibly sections of drusy which would
make drusy cabs. The sectons with the crystals might be cut in a
cross section to the geode then shaped on the bottoms to give a cab
you can bezel on the bottom or use tabs or? and get some interesting
crystals which would lay more flat on a piece.

Dave Owen