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Sandblasting diamonds and sapphires


#1

Okay, I already know the anwser to this I think, but I feel
compelled to ask anyway- Is it okay to sandblast Flush set
diamonds and sapphires? (NO right ?) DeDe


#2

Hello Dede! Third time is a charm! Go ahead, blast away! It’s OK!
You probably have glass beads for your blaster, and you can hurt
some stones obviously. Just dot some nail polish on questionable
stones. Tim


#3

Blast away, DeDe, both stones take sandblasting just fine,
although I’m generally little more careful with sapphires -
sometimes I’ll put a dollop of fingernail polish over the stones
to protect them. Mike


#4

DeDe

The short answer is : maybe, But I’d mask the stone with a drop
of rubber cement or something else, just to be safe. I would
also limit my media to glass beads. The long answer is: As
someone who has sandblasted the bejeebers out of many many a rock
(My specialty is mineral preparation), I can safely say that
the average sandblaster won’t do much damage to a diamond or
sapphire. As someone who also facets stones, I can tell you that
the facet edges on any stone are usually quite delicate (the
sharper they are, the more delicate they are). So, just as with
the files in prior posts, damage can occur to the facet edges on
just about any material. You might not be able to see it with
the naked eye, but there will be damage. There may also be very
slight (again, this is a relative term) damage to the polish on
the stone. Much better to mask and be safe… Mark


#5

Yes DeDe It is OK to sandbast saphires and diamonds, especially
if you are using glass bead media. Be real careful with other
stones like quartzes and garnets. etienne


#6

Okay, I already know the anwser to this I think, but I feel
compelled to ask anyway- Is it okay to sandblast Flush set
diamonds and sapphires? (NO right ?)

Dede, I normally bead blast diamonds without protection. Anything
else can become a problem, however. I will coat my colored
stones with bee’s wax or an equivalent synthetic wax and go easy
on my work as I don’t want to blast off my protection. Note that
I bead blast. This is done with a glass bead media. Some folks
actually use quartz sand or other media that can be far more
destructive to stones if abused. Use some care and use what works
for you.

Bruce

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA certified Master Bench Jeweler
http://www.goldwerx.com
manmountaindense@goldwerx.com