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 Post subject: Arizona Gem Silica
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:34 am 
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I picked up this piece of Arizona gem silica at a local mineral show this week and plan to have it cut into cabs. The piece is over 300 carats and is from the Inspiration mine in Globe according to the seller. I have not worked with this material before and would like some suggestions on how to approach cabbing it. Would you maximize for yield or purity of color? Would you try to cut around the inclusions or leave them intact? I’m planning on sending this to Sri Lanka for cutting and want to give them some good instructions. If someone here is interested in cutting this I would be happy to hear from you.

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Image

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Last edited by Sam Baar on Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:01 am 
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I know most of the folks on here would say.. go for purity of color before size, as would I. You can never go wrong doing it that way. It looks like you could get some good solid color pieces from it but also get a couple cabs with the growth lines and "inclusions" for a more unique look. It sure would be nice if you could find someone here in the states to cut it for you. I have never had anything cut in Sri Lanka but I would like to be able to convey exactly what I wanted and needed from a piece like that so there wouldn't be any waste and you would get exactly what you wanted. Great looking stuff. the color is awesome

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:59 am 
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What are finished cabs of this material retailing at nowadays?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:33 pm 
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I think its beautiful the way it is. Would make a great cabinet specimen. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Thanks amethystguy, that sounds like a good approach. I figure I’ll draw some shapes on the photos to give them an idea of what I want unless I find someone here that will cab it.

Hi Barbra, I have no idea what this material retails for as cabs but I would be curious also. I purchased this piece for myself and wasn’t really thinking about resale.

Hi Elvis, I agree I like it just the way it is but I’m hoping the cabs will be slightly translucent in the right light. It’s pretty opaque right now but it’s also about 2cm thick.

Just for fun here is a photo with my LED maglite shining through the piece.

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Last edited by Sam Baar on Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:11 pm 
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This material is often carved free form to get the most return from the rough.
Couldn't agree more about isolating the real gem quality portions and cabbing them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:01 pm 
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Hi Sam,

I have some notes as to pricing I've seen over the last year. The freeform TL carvings can be around $40/ct, but if you are able to get any of the really fine cabs that are TL-STP and of a usuable size that would be great. These I have seen a couple of times priced around $100/ct at what were supposedly wholesale prices. Some of that type of material has been faceted as well.

Neat piece, I was in Mesa and didn't see anything like that. :wink:

Brad

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:09 pm 
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I've hardly ever seen a suite of cabs from this material... Maybe that's an idea for the solid color parts of this chunk? 'Been done already with other fine cabbing materials...

Obviously, there are some unavoidably patterned (even 'eye') pieces in it too... Different challenge. Perhaps carving even. Nicely finished and suitably sized "melon beads" may even turn up in fine settings even...

Just thinking out loud. That vivid turquoise is intoxicating! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:36 pm 
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valeria102 wrote:
Obviously, there are some unavoidably patterned (even 'eye') pieces in it too...


I think cabs incorporating the patterns could be quite nice... perhaps even (IMO) nicer than the "solid" color cabs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:16 pm 
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http://www.rockdeco.com/gempage.htm

Rock Deco has Arizona Gem Silica cabs listed in a range from $50 to $140 per carat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:59 am 
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Thanks all for the suggestions and thanks Brad and Empress for the pricing information. I’ll post some pictures when the cutting is done.

Brad are you living in AZ part year now or just here for the shows? I was looking for familiar faces in Mesa. Sorry I missed you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:32 pm 
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I think that cutting in Srilanka is going to leave you less than impressed. The quality of facetting in srilanka has improved leaps and bounds in recent years, but the quality of cabbing is very far from good.
As mentioned above have it cut here in the US for best results. cut some clean and some with inclusions, with material this expensive it should be cut by an artist, not a guy at a jampeg machine with making money in mind.

If you pm me I can send you a list of reccomended cabbers/cutters in the USA or if you are at Tucson I could possibly even do it for you myself.

All the best - Mick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:57 pm 
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I keep finding myself coming back to this thread. the color on that piece is awesome, Sam. It's mesmerizing! Thanks again for posting the pics. I think I am going to try and acquire some of that myself

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:57 am 
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I am a purest; I would cut for color and pattern. The slab appears to be thick enough to slice into at least two slabs for cabochon cutting. That color is absolutely fantastic.

John

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 Post subject: gem siica
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Hello Sam

Nice piece of silica! Sending that out to Sri Lanka is not a good idea! Luckily for you since the material comes from AZ already, there are cutters in AZ who are very familiar with cutting Gem Silica. If you'd like to email me I'll be happy to put you in touch with a cutter close by to you.

ciao for now

John


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