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Treating Spectrolite


#1

As a beginner at working with spectrolite, I have learned that some
stones are treated or enhanced in some manner with paraffin. I don’t
know at what point in working the rough use of paraffin is
appropriate, or the manner in which it is used, but presumably as a
sealant, perhaps similar to Opticon? Does anyone have any
and/or advice on this treatment?

Thanks

Gail


#2

gail - haven’t been online much & just got your direct email at the
same time i read your orchid post - the secret to polishing
spectrolite/labradorite is the grinding: if you’re working with
chunks of rough the best first step is to use a grinding wheel
(coarse side to preform it to flatness) then you have to grind
through the grits from about coarse/medium on corundum/emery cloth
discs (i cut circles from sheets of the stuff & daub on a circle of
specks of ‘stick n’ peel’ glue from the fabric store to make psa
discs) to 1500 grit & finish up with some diamond paste on the rough
side of leather discs (i cut old buckskin pieces or jackets or skirts
into circles - ditto with the glue) - by the time you’ve gone through
the grinding you will have gotten rid of the fracturing layers, for
some reason the worst part is on the surface & i suspect it is from
rough handling during the original mining - i wouldn’t use any
filler, even though it takes more effort to grind/polish you will
have a piece you don’t have to worry about having its shine 'melt’
away (plus the paraffin will not be permanent if it’s applied to a
surface not sufficiently ground & polished - especially in warm
climates) - just don’t select any pieces/chunks with deep fractures
or deep flakes missing. the great thing about labradorite compared
with the opal i cut is: you’re usually a second away from grinding
off all the color/fire in opal but it’s hard to cut past the
color/fire layer in labradorite! hope this helps some - will be glad
to answer more questions if you have them - just have patience - ive