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 Post subject: Cutting malachite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:47 pm 
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HI all,

I as a general rule do not do repairs but a friend of mine has a Malachite heart that I gave them and they broke the tip off it.

I want to reshape the tip without poisoning myself with the arsenic, I have a respirator, any other words to the wise? (Or words for me??) :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:21 pm 
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John - I cab as well as facet - Malachite doesn't pose a big problem unless you're inhaling the spray/dust or licking your fingers or stone (don't laugh, that's how many people wet the stone to see what's happening!).

Given that you'll only be doing a small amount of grinding, as long as you use lots of water and wash your hands carefully afterwards you should be fine.

Another material you should be wary of is abalone shell - I didn't know it was toxic until after cutting several pieces. I was a kid at the time and it doesn't seem to have caused me any short or long-term harm except for that twitch and giggle that I get when seeing beautiful stones!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Be sure to wear a mask.
I got a very serious case of copper poisoning when I was in my early 20's cabbing vast amounts of malachite and azurite. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Be sure to wear a mask.
I got a very serious case of copper poisoning when I was in my early 20's cabbing vast amounts of malachite and azurite. :(


That's also when her hair turned red. Copper red.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:26 pm 
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Barbaiba. :P

Don't feel bad, I used to facet lead fishing sinkers. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:37 pm 
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JB wrote:
Barbaiba. :P

Don't feel bad, I used to facet lead fishing sinkers. :)


I bet they clogged the laps. What did you use for polish?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:45 pm 
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I licked them. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:20 pm 
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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
Another material you should be wary of is abalone shell - I didn't know it was toxic until after cutting several pieces. I was a kid at the time and it doesn't seem to have caused me any short or long-term harm except for that twitch and giggle that I get when seeing beautiful stones!


I got sick on malachite when I had the cab business ages ago. I should have known better...no excuse.

And everyone knows about cinnabar and orpiment, right?

I once saw a beautiful little carved Chinese cinnabar bottle in a museum. Considering that a couple of countries used to use condemned convicts to mine it, I wondered what crime the artisan did to deserve that job.

Orpiment has a really high RI, something like 3. Oh, I'm just DYING to cut that stuff... :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Hello Jon,

I wonder if the guy that cut this lived to cut anything else;
http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/ULTRA-RARE-EYECLEAN-1-79-CARAT-FACETED-REALGAR-CHINA-NR_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQitemZ180273623843


Hello John,

Other than holding your breath and washing your hands, not much to add except that malachite likes to separate along the banding and heat encourages it.

Tony.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:55 am 
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Quote:
I wonder if the guy that cut this lived to cut anything else; (Realgar Link)


Looks like he was feeling worse and worse by the time he got to the crown. Maybe the previous stone looked better.

I can see taking certain risks if something makes a beautiful stone valuable to collectors, but really do draw the line at faceting rat poison.

BTW, I have been getting emails recently from people regarding "Reactor shielding glass". Some of it is a high lead/lanthanum flint that can be cut with the same cautions as lead glass.

Some of it is uranium glass. There is an early thread here on one I cut.
Don't do it. It's butt-ugly, no one wants it, no one will buy it*, and if you inhale the dust, you're playing the lung cancer lottery.
It's a risk/benefit thing.

* I did get a couple of emails. One person wanted a "huge" pendent for their mother in law, and the other wanted one for an ex-wife. I assume they were joking.
Realistically, you cannot GIVE the stone away. For a few years I was collectiing "Vaseline Glass". Bring a geiger counter to a yard sale, find a piece, and the owners beg you to take it away, free.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Wow. That Realgar photo brings new meaning to the saying, "cut with an axe."

I'm not so ashamed of my meets now!

:D

-Allan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Thanks for the tips!

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http://www.johndyergems.com
Artisitic and designer gems

http://www.ultratecfacetingmachine.com
Authorized Ultra Tec dealer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:26 pm 
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brimsjewelry wrote:
Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Be sure to wear a mask.
I got a very serious case of copper poisoning when I was in my early 20's cabbing vast amounts of malachite and azurite. :(


That's also when her hair turned red. Copper red.


My hair color is a naturally occuring product!


Clairol's #33R.


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