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Montana gems


#1

I have a customer who came back with some rough gemstones from a
Montana tourist mine and is interested in having them cut and
polished. Since this is something I have no experience with I will be
contacting the local gem and mineral club folks but wanted to get
some advice from you all. The stones are supposedly garnet and
sapphire. The garnets seems to have a nice red color and the saphs
are pretty light and would need to have some heat treatment to make
them more colorful. The rough are between 4-8 mm. Are these worth
faceting and what kind of stones would be the result? My customer
would probably like some jewelry made from them even if they are not
spectacular just for the personal connection. Thanks for your advice.

Charlie


#2
The rough are between 4-8 mm. Are these worth faceting and what
kind of stones would be the result? 

4-8mm is very small… could that measurement be in error?

Lorraine


#3

Charlie,

If the stones are the near spherical form Montana sapphire rough are
commonly found in the 4 mm stones will yeild approximately 20 point
faceted rounds the 8mm should yield approximately a 1.75 ct round. (
the flatter rough forms obviously will have a lower yield ratio.)
Color, of course is a big factor in worth, and heat treating usually
will improve the color of the rough…not always. Finally the
emotional value usually exceeds the intrinsic value of these
"self-mined" goods; so for your customer it is probably very worth
it to have this done. The stones may or may not be substantial, hard
to tell not seeing the rough; but it is always worth it to have a
happy customer. Montana garnet has a very nice red most of the time
and will cut very nice looking finished stones…cost of cutting
usually out weighs the value of the stones unless they are large
pieces…but again there is the emotional value there.

My personal opinions voiced, millage may vary, from one with quite a
collection of Montana goods.

Paul D. Reilly