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Suggestions for white stones


#1

Greetings Oh wise and sage Orchidians;

OK now that I buttered every one up lets, have some fun. I have been
asked by a customer to make a ring for her son, the ring will be
machined from Titanium; she wants a Keystone shaped white stone. My
first suggestion was White Jadeite, Not overly expensive nor that
difficult to cut and polish.

But this lady wants something that is native to the North Americas,
(don’t ask, it’s a long story).

I was considering Jadeite for the obvious reasons, in truth cost
wasn’t the main one. My thoughts were running towards durability and
beauty. Add to that the stone cabochon will have to be tension set
or I’ll have to mill prongs and a bearing for the Cabochon. I vote
for a tension set, although I’m not sure how it will look on a mans
ring finger and with other than a faceted stone.

So I need the assistance of the wise and willing for suggestions of
a white stone that is reasonably durable, opaque, and is found in
North American (preferably in the United States of America) and a
stone that will accept some degree of punishment during the setting.

The customer suggested the stone being White Quartz, does any body
know where I can get some plain white agate??

All suggestions welcome
Kenneth Ferrell
www.shadras.com


#2

Hi Kenneth There is a material called prystene, pure white, often
used in intarsia, I do not know where it is from though, maybe Utah.

Just plain white? I suppose gold in quartz would be too fragile for
a tension set anyway. Hmm, some Montana agates have a white skin,
careful cutting may yield a usuable stone, but what a pain.

What’s that massive white agate filled with the black manganese
plumes, from Texas I believe.

You may be able to find an area sans plumes large enough to get your
stone from that. Of course there is opalite, often white but a
brittle material. Good luck!


#3

Kenneth,

Robert at Sweetwater has a stone that can be cut into white to
slightly yellow cabs. The material is a as hard as turquoise. It
polished very well. I think he calls it pristine. He mines it in
Arizona.

You can contact him at 520-445-0356, PO Box 3494 Prescott, Az
86302

If you can’t contact him contact me directly. I may be able to help
you out.

Lee Epperson


#4

Hi Kenneth,

I’m not certain if it is native to North America, but you might look
into Howlite. It’s the stuff that’s frequently dyed to be imitation
turquoise. It often has the distinctive black “spiderweb” inclusion
found in some varieties of turquoise.

For what its worth,

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


#5

Kenneth, I have found some great white quartz here on the beach in
San Diego County from Carlsbad south. I will check my rock pile to
see if I can up with a piece or two.

Have you considered Howlite? Terrie


#6

Hi Kenneth,

How “white” does the stone need to be? Are you looking for the
opaque dead-white white of, let’s say crockery, writing paper,
bristol board, plaster of Paris? (I’m afraid I missed the original
message).

If a slight translucency with just a faint, very faint, delicate
hint of blue is admissible I can supply white chalcedony from McKay
Head on the Bay of Fundy, in quantity, cut to cabochons in any size
or shape you might wish. Being chalcedony it is hard, tough and
durable (quartz, Moh’s 7) and takes a gleaming polish. I’ve always
picked the stuff up collecting - it’s so pretty lying there on the
beach - but kind of had to train myself to leave it there since I
never quite knew what to do with it.

If you’d like to email me privately I’ll gladly send you some
samples.

Cheers
Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada


#7

Hi Ken

Try some of our rockhound members that did agate in Oregon. There is
much white agate mixed with coloured agate that is found in Oregon.
Should be available through most of Oregon’s rockshops as well. Also
should be rather inexpensive.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.


#8

Hi Kenneth,

Pristine is magnesite. I think Pristine is a marketing name.
Magnesite comes in colors from white, green, golden brown to brown.
It is siliceous nickeliferous magnesium carbonate . The green type
is from Australia. White is also available from Australia and here
from AZ. The bright green is sometimes marketed as lemon
chrysoprase. Most everywhere else in the world it is white to light
brown. Hardness: 3.5 - 4

Picture #6 http://www.australianjade.com.au/myframes3.html Description
http://www.australianjade.com.au/faq.html#sili

Magnesite from AZ comes in pure white or is shot through with golden
browns. I believe the white magnesite from AZ is from Wild Horse. A
pictuRe:

I bought the australian rough at Quartzite this year but I’m sure a
google would come up with an AZ source.

Karen Dave’


#9
Magnesite comes in colors from white, green, golden brown to
brown. It is siliceous nickeliferous magnesium carbonate ....The
bright green is sometimes marketed as lemon chrysoprase. 

Is this true of ALL lemon chrysoprase? So a better name would be
lemon (or lime) magnesite?? Why on earth would someone replace one
relatively obscure mineral name with another? Not as if they’re
trying to call it “jade”…

Tas <-- stomps off muttering


#10

Don’t know if it’s true or not, but why would some people market
smokey quartz as smokey topaz? Because it is more recognizable or
sounds more valueable. Chrysophrase is relatively expensive…what
would you be more likely to buy “chrysophrase” or a relatively
unknown magnesite (sounds more like something you might buy in a
health food store!) Misnomers always have and likely will continue to
plague the gemstone industry.

Jeanne

Jeanne Rhodes Moen
Kristiansand, Norway
http://www.jeanniusdesigns.com


#11
    Is this true of ALL lemon chrysoprase?  So a better name would
be lemon (or lime) magnesite??  Why on earth would someone replace
one relatively obscure mineral name with another?  Not as if
they're trying to call it "jade"... 

Actually, it would be more accurately called Lemon Chalcedony, since
Chrysoprase is a form of it…that is, unless there’s already a
variety of Chalcedony with that moniker. Why would they replace a
relatively non-obscure name like that? I suppose to give it more of
a variety association.

The really sad thing is, I’ve actually seen green Chrysoprase
advertised as “Australian Jade” so you’re right, its not like
they’re calling the lemon-colored variety “jade”…yet. All of these
misnomers that are attached to colored stones may add to the young
people’s trepidation in getting into the gem or jewelry trade as is
being discussed now in the Sad fact? thread. It really adds to the
confusion.

James


#12
  Actually, it would be more accurately called Lemon Chalcedony,
since Chrysoprase is a form of it 

Well, that’s true only if “lemon chrysoprase” is in fact a color
variety of chrysoprase. If it’s essentially magnesite, it’s a
different mineral altogether. Maybe I’ll just start calling it
"lime sherbet stone". Gorgeous stuff, but I hate to mislead
customers.

Tas


#13
Well, that's true only if "lemon chrysoprase" is in fact a color
variety of chrysoprase. If it's essentially magnesite, it's a
different mineral altogether. Maybe I'll just start calling it
"lime sherbet stone". Gorgeous stuff, but I hate to mislead
customers. 

Tas,

Absolutely true, I guess I should have read the thread more closely.
I was just focusing on ‘Chrysoprase’. And I agree with you about not
misleading customers. That only serves to add to the (hopefully
declining) mistrust that some jewelry consumers have.

James in SoFl who feels lucky that he’s not one of the miners in
Sierra Leone


#14

The lemon chrysoprase or what I like to call citron chrysoprase is
magnesite. However most the material I purchase as rough, to cut or
carve, is so highly silicated it is actually chalcedony colored by
magnesite. Now if you really want to confuse things, I believe that
when chalcedony occurs as an opaque material it is properly called a
jasper, so maybe the highly silicated material should be called lemon
jasper! No no, just kidding! there’s enough confusion already. The
term Lemon or Citron Chrysoprase is pretty well known for the
material.

The following link goes to a page from a mining operation that
describes the material pretty well. Note they mention the material
occurs with varying amounts of silica.
http://www.australianjade.com.au/myframes3.html no connection, just
an interested lapidary ;^) What ever you call it, it’s beautiful
stuff!