I swear the stones were larger before I measured them with calipers
I sorted the stones into three basic levels of quality: basic,
advanced, and final.
Finally, there’s cabochon quality.
Basic stones are those I would probably not shed tears over losing:
The crystal structure is either mostly or entirely intact but there
is heavy mineralization on two sides. These are the stones I want to
play with to find out the proportional distance toward the stone’s
center where the stars begin to show.
Advanced stones are either entirely intact bit with one side
mineralized, or is otherwise perfect except for one or more pitted
sides or broken points. These are where I would learn how to make the
most of a stone.
Final stones are precisely that. the stones of such high quality
that I would
want to have plenty of experience before even making an attempt.
Cabochon quality stones have an entire half either broken away or
Here’s my stats:
Grade/ Average Diameter/ Quantity
BASIC 8mm 78
BASIC 10mm 47
BASIC 12mm 30
BASIC 16mm 18
ADVANCED 5mm 84
ADVANCED 6mm 22
ADVANCED 7mm 39
ADVANCED 8mm 37
CABOCHON 8mm 62
FINAL 3mm 40
FINAL 10mm 20
FINAL 12mm 14
FINAL 14mm 77
These above were all the stones I did not throw aside into a jar as
useless: mineralized all over, mineralized seam splitting stone,
twinned crystals, or fragments.
The total count is 568 stones, about 60% of the original package.
I need help understanding what my plan of attack should be.
I can’t just dive in, not with a package this large. I need to be
thinking like general Sun Tzu here, and I need help from you, the
general staff, what the plan should be.
Which size stones are too small to be worth my time? After I finish
what grit of sanding or micron of polish should I expect to see the
beginnings of asterism? What grit and polish sequences is suggested
for these stones? Are stones considered more valuable as whole
spheres or as cabochons? Is there some way I can get asterisms from
some of the irregular pieces for inlay purposes?
(I have available a standard set of diamond wheels, a set of
foam-backed 3m abrasive wheels, a cerium oxide polish wheel, and at
least some foam wheels upon which I can place diamond paste. The 3m
and the diamond pastes are in microns, please keep that in mind).
When I attach the stone to the dop stick with wax, should I have
either a point or a facet at the apex to create asterisms? How far
into the stone, in percent, must I sand away to see asterisms? Will I
only be able to see it with my Optivisor?
Thanks in advance for answers to all the above questions.
Andrew Jonathan Fine