PDF sources for any of Vargas' books?

I’m organizing a bit of faceting instruction with my home gem club (we’re having a local cutter come in and teach some people how to facet). However, in the past, he’s recommended that I pick up Vargas’ “Faceting for Amateurs”. On Amazon, Valorbooks, and most other websites I come across, it is prohibitively expensive. However, I have a friend who runs a print shop, so if I get a PDF, I can have it printed and bound. So, does anybody know any place where I can buy a PDF copy of any of Vargas’ books?

as a writer, copying books is the same as copying someone’s jewelry.

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Did you miss the part where I mentioned buying a PDF, or did you overlook that from the saddle on your high horse? Second, Vargas’ books are recognized references, and the place many other faceters have started. I would like to start faceting, but the current price point for books on Amazon is outrageously high, hence asking if anyone knows where I can purchase a legitimate PDF, as that would most likely be for cheaper than the $100+ per book I see on Amazon. Third, please consider how it looks for a neophyte to ask about a basic source, and immediately be sneered at for wanting foundational knowledge. Gatekeepers are never a boon for any sort of hobby, discipline, or craft.

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I don’t know anything about the book, but the following link appears to sell it for $55. Regarding copyright, I am more than happy to teach anyone who asks how to make what I make. That is not to say that I approve of copyright infringement, but there are lots of different ways to make the same piece of jewelry and I suspect that it would be hard to protect one of my designs. I would rather pass on what I know and love with the hopes that someone will find the same joy in it that I have found for the last 45 years. I am 70 with a couple serious health challenges. My wife will ask me, from time to time, what to do with my shop should something happen to me. I tell her that what is in my shop is nearly worthless without me unless I am able to pass on what is in my head along with what is in my shop. Gem clubs are a great way to keep what we do alive and I have instructed my wife and kids to give most of my shop to our local gem club when I am gone. This includes about 1,000 pounds of semi precious rough that I inherited from my father. It is just a pile of rocks unless someone knows what to do with them. These are just my thoughts and I don’t propose that others should share them…Rob


The whole process of sharing, trading, teaching, exchanging or giving away what we do is a pretty difficult process to deal with. I live with this every time someone asks me how I played that thing on my banjo or guitar. I tell them. I freely photo copy music with lyrics and chords and share them. I don’t charge for lessons. What I can’t photo copy are the arrangements someone like Bob Dylan might use for the song I am teaching. The internet is full of free information. But I am showing what I did and not necessarily how I did it. And these people as often as not go out and buy the books and videos, or take music classes.

As in music and so in jewelry work there is a lot of technical data that would be considered public domain. I don’t know about the Glenn Vargas books, I don’t cut stones. If I wanted to learn how I’d go and watch my brother. But I would also buy the best technical info I could find. Not because I was buying a secret but because the presentation was clear and made sense.

Rob and I have had the same two teachers to develop our styles. The first one was our Dad and the second was years of experience driven by trial and error. The end results are two smiths with different shops, styles and unique pieces of jewelry art. Like my Dad suggested I make bread and butter pieces that I price to sell in a reasonable market. And I make some art pieces that are one-offs and there are customers for those pieces too. Dad always said don’t be stingy. Showing someone how to solder a joint or anneal a bit of metal isn’t giving away your magic because you can’t give away your years of experience. People can try to copy my jewelry and be more or less successful but they can’t copy my stamps and don’t have my Hallmark.

My wife and I have had the same discussion about who gets what. I have two sons and a daughter who want parts of the shop but what they will get are tools and permission to carry on the legacy designs from my Dad, my own semi-proprietary designs, and designs of their own. All three have different styles and have shown a degree of skill at this work. What I can’t leave them is the experience. I have no doubt that Rob or someone else will show them what they ask about and the process will continue on.

My two cents.

Don Meixner


Beautifully written and your thoughts is what makes Ganoksin/Orchid so strong.

Share as much as you can, because one day in the far future what we are teaching is better than a few boring words on a tombstone! .:wink:
Now you all know why I’m obsessed with posting my essays into my blog!

After a lengthy post-surgery, I’m getting ready to write more essays. I’m sharing my setting techniques at ”no charge”!

Fondest regards to everyone.:wink:


Gerry, On my iPhone!


I remember one of the cutters at my local gem club mentioned Facet Shoppe online and gemworld.com. Their websites have the book for a really good price. Might be worth to contact them first to see if they have it/are still around.

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Rob, I understand completely what you mean about passing on your knowledge. One of the greatest regrets I have is never having sat down with my grandfather and learned what he knew before he passed away. I inherited his rough, and his machines (albeit in pretty poor condition from being in a shed for a decade and a half), but I would give anything to be able to learn from him.

Thank you for that link. It’s one of the few reasonable prices out there.

Don, thank you for chiming in, and I’m a little envious that you have a craft you can work on with your brother. Then again, me and my brother are fairly competitive, and have vastly different skill sets, so it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. But nevertheless, I very much agree with the “don’t be stingy” bit. I do jewelry as a hobby, and I feel that I would not be the person I want to be if I deliberately held back knowledge of something I’m so passionate about with someone else who also loved making shiny things.

DCadefdesigns, that is a fantastic two cents! They very well may not only have all the books I want, but also the updated versions of them! Thank you!