Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Prices of fracture filling emeralds


#1

I recently had an emerald cab which is bezel set in an 18K yellow
gold ring fracture filled. What is the price - to the trade- that I
should have paid.? Or range of prices?

Thanks,
Betty Belmonte


#2

If you are going to have to do this you can do it yourself. but some
opticon from Stuller or rio etc. follow the directions. it isn’t
hard and you can sort of fudge it a little anyhow. It is really just
sort of filling the holes with epoxy. We had to fix a couple of
stones for customers years ago. It looked OK when we were done. If
there is residue left on the surface and there will be. We just
polished it off with a non abrasive pink wheel. Worked great!

good luck.
Dennis


#3
If you are going to have to do this you can do it yourself. buy
some opticon from Stuller or rio etc. follow the directions.[snip]
If there is residue left on the surface and there will be. We just
polished it off with a non abrasive pink wheel. 

Actually, one of the handy things about Opticon is that this need
not be true! You can soak the stone in the resin, or get it to
absorb with a vacuum, then wipe the piece, then soak it in the
hardener. Only the area where they mix will harden, which is to say,
in the cracks. Nothing left on the surface to polish off.

As an aside-- a couple of years ago, I had a really gorgeous, big
moonstone, almost totally clear, with just one fracture. I decided
to try opticon on it. I popped it into a little container of resin,
and it totally disappeared, except for the blue sheen-- I guess the
opticon has the same RI. Anyway, I forgot about it. Later, I
ransacked my studio to find it, but could not. I was very
distressed, as I planned to use it in a piece for myself, and it
wasn’t cheap. Months later. I went to use the little container of
opticon, and the stone wouldn’t sink in-- it was sitting on top of
the invisible moonstone. I was very happy to see it-- and it was
none the worse for sitting in opticon for months.

Noel


#4

I wonder if someone like Jim Binnion, John Burgess or Peter Rowe or
another of our experts would address this question of using vacuum
to get resin to be absorbed by a stone.

As I understand it the vacuum breaks the surface tension which
allows air bubbles to rise to the surface as in vacuuming investment,
etc.; but for the life of me I can’t understand how a vacuum would
get the resin to enter the stone. Now, if you used a compressor with
the stone enclosed in a sealed environment the resin might be forced
into a crack, void, etc.

Can someone more knowledgeable clarify?


#5

When you put the emerald in the resin you cover the stone, that is:
put it into a little cup and pour the resin over the stone to cover.
Then put under vacuum.

I’ve never tried the resin, but have used cedarwood oil on emeralds.
I just figured the vacuum was sucking out the air and displacing it
with oil.

Ray


#6

G’day; I feel very flattered to be put on the pedestal with James
Binnion and Peter Rowe!

However, this is one I can answer. Just putting the stone treated
with some type of filler under vacuum will not in itself put the
liquid into the crack/s. What the lack of air pressure will do is to
help withdraw any air that may be held in the crack under normal
circumstances. If the stone is then subjected to normal air
pressure, the new treatment solution will be forced into the crack,
taking the place of the now missing air that was in the crack
previously. This may need to be repeated a few times for complete
crack filling. If the filler liquid is very viscous, then repeats
will almost certainly be necessary.

Or have I just increased the confooshun?

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#7
I wonder if someone like Jim Binnion, John Burgess or Peter Rowe
or another of our experts would address this question of using
vacuum to get resin to be absorbed by a stone. 

I would be delighted to hear from someone more knowledgable on this,
but my take on it is this: There is air in the fracture; when you
suck out the air with a vacuum, you get the air out of the fracture;
when you release the vacuum, the resin is sucked in where the air
was.

Noel


#8
There is air in the fracture; when you suck out the air with a
vacuum, you get the air out of the fracture; when you release the
vacuum, the resin is sucked in where the air was. 

In the interest of full disclosure: I have no expertise in fracture
filling and have never been able to get Opticon to do anything
useful. But I’ve been a lapidary for about 30 years and have an
interest in the way stones are manipulated by heating, or by using
resins in treating and, or, in stabilizing. I take stabilization and
treatment to be different processes with different goals.

The process with Opticon might work for perhaps a mm in depth. People
I’ve spoken to who said they had success used Otpicon after the stone
had been cut and shaped. It was the final thing so as to avoid having
to go below the surface of the stone treated with Opticon.

I’ve also met people at Tucson and other places who treat stones and
are able to get the treat to penetrate throughout quite large pieces.
I’m living in an area where “chalk” turquoise has been successfully
treated for decades. Technology has advanced enormously in the area
of stone treatment and stabilization. It also requires very
sophisticated and expensive equipment to do it successfully.

I guess the point of clarification here is, that as i understand it,
is that Opticon is a superficial treat with little penetration
whereas there is stone treatment that will penetrate five inches or
so of material, perhaps more.

Just one person’s experience; I’m always ready to learn more. The
technology is fascinating.

Kevin Kelly
as of 8/24/06: www.kevinpatrickkelly.com


#9

Kevin,

While not an expert in the field, I surmise that in order to get the
resin in, you have to get the air out first. A vacuum will expand the
air in the fracture causing most of the air to exit; releasing the
vacum will “suck” the resin in. If pressure alone is used, the air in
the fracture will be compressed. The resin may trap the air in, but
the compressed air will forever be trying to blow the resin out!

Alastair