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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:46 pm 
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Believe me, I'd love to come down there sometime! Maybe I'll get a chance one day.
The schiller in these really is interesting--I ended up with a crapton of bytownite, about half of which shows the effect (it was supposed to be scapolite, darn it! But I paid pennies on the carat so I can't really complain). It cuts pretty different from normal moonstone or labradorite but the effect is nice. I had Nick facet one with the plane facing up and it is a very intriguing effect.
(side-note, I've said it before but be wary buying any Afghan scapolite with stray-yellow color weathered crystal surfaces, especially if it is cheap in bulk. I've seen at least two dealers selling it unknowingly as scapolite when it's actually bytownite, and they're not trivial to distinguish using normal tools).

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:06 am 
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I say keep the included material and see what it facets or cabes like. It could be very interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:31 am 
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I just went through the container of smalls/rejects and found another unmistakable moonstone piece. The shiller is very strong from both top and bottom, looks like it is all moonstone not a moonstone-labradorite sandwich. But it's small and a really awkward shape so I might just keep it as a specimen. Hopefully I'll get out there again within the next couple of months and this time I won't be leaving the translucent white pieces lying there.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:49 am 
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An awesome weekend of digging Lefty!
Its 4th of July and for us that means parades through town and beer & BBQ. The annual gopher annihilation & eradication. Small crowd this year maybe only 15 shooters. Mostly small caliber but we always end up taking out the big guns at some point and see how we do at the 500 meter range on unsuspecting fist sized targets. And then the pistols come out just to give them a sporting chance of digging new holes tomorrow. I probably cant hit a soda can at 50 yds but its fun to try. So not much prospecting going on here this weekend.
Very nice pan of stones, very nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:20 pm 
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Sounds like an awesome event! Unless you're a gopher :) Sounds like whack-a-mole but with a lot more noise and concussion. Someone should organize a cane toad eradication event like that here 8) - they were supposed to be a biological control approach to the sugar cane beetle in the 1930's but they ignored the cane beetle, bred up in their millions and spread all over Queensland, poisoning every creature that eats them with their lethal body toxins. Wouldn't be sporting though, they're slow and don't disappear down holes. But would be satisfying, I nearly lost several dogs to them after they mouthed the disgusting things.

Have fun at the BBQ and on the range!


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:38 pm 
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Here's the rock I picked up on the ridge above the gully. I don't know why I remembered it being a bright colour, might have been the soil it was lying on. It's chocolate-brown on the front and the back is a light brown/salmon pinkish colour. The back looks like melted ice cream and gives the impression of something that was flowing and then solidified fairly quickly. It's not as light as pumice but is certainly quite light for a rock that size. Some kind of basaltic scoria I'm guessing?

Image

Image

For whatever my close-up photography is worth - which isn't much - here's the piece I cut for dad. The stone looks so much better than the photo, light bright straw yellow/champagne with plenty of brilliance and an attractive fountain pattern.

Image

Despite what it looks like, there is heaps of sparkle coming up off the pavilion at normal viewing angle. I raised the culet angle a degree and a half because the one given in the design was 41 degrees, right on critical for feldspar.

My camera takes good landscape shots, just a matter of learning to make all the necessary adjustments for close-ups I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:30 pm 
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Scoria is right--it's a vesicular basalt for sure. Based on that texture it sure looks like it was part of a lava flow--nice pahoehoe-like shapes.

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:07 pm 
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Half-finished that bigger stone. It's most interesting feature is that it has ghostly silver-blue shiller floating through it. I hope it adds to the appearance and doesn't detract - it's showing the shiller effect through the pavilion with dopping wax as the background but when the background becomes reflective I hope it doesn't just look foggy. A lot of the average 10-15 carat pieces seem devoid of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:14 pm 
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With such a common material any sort of phenomenal angle is probably a good selling point. It's just less common and takes more effort to do so you won't be outcompeted at every turn.

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:49 pm 
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FWIW, much of my Oregon yellowish labradorite "sunstone" also shows a moon effect. I'm not sure whether to call it schiller, adularescence or, since it's labradorite, labradorescence -- which it isn't because labradoresence is colored, like spectrolite from Finaland or the top labradorite "Rainbow Moonstone" from India which some sell as peristerite.

Ow! My head hurts with all that confusing, circular and indefinite terminology. It reminds me of garnet trade names.

Let's just say it exhibits a nice whitish, un-zoned billowy rolling light effect like moonstone. I made some huge inroads in getting my cutting equipment dug out from 3 years of neglect today and with good luck and a brisk wind at my back I'll be able to cut some cabs soon. I'll post the before/after results if I'm able to produce anything interesting. Meanwhile, I'm beginning to wonder if it's really labradorite.

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:05 am 
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Stephen Challener wrote:
With such a common material any sort of phenomenal angle is probably a good selling point. It's just less common and takes more effort to do so you won't be outcompeted at every turn.


You're probably right there Stephen. It may be that more pieces have the effect than I have thus far realized - the dry, uneven surface of the stones as you find them doesn't really show it unless it's the really translucent "fully moonstone" bits - and all the others I have faceted to date are just a bright, light straw-yellow stone without the effect. Of course when you pick up 5100 carats, there's bound to be something interesting among it. Maybe dunk the whole batch of better pieces in baby oil or something and examine them individually.

What I'd really like to find is some clean, good sized bits of the bright orange stuff. It's almost the colour of an orange sapphire but the very few bits I've found were all very small and badly cracked.

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FWIW, much of my Oregon yellowish labradorite "sunstone" also shows a moon effect. I'm not sure whether to call it schiller, adularescence or, since it's labradorite, labradorescence -- which it isn't because labradoresence is colored, like spectrolite from Finaland or the top labradorite "Rainbow Moonstone" from India which some sell as peristerite.

Ow! My head hurts with all that confusing, circular and indefinite terminology. It reminds me of garnet trade names.

Let's just say it exhibits a nice whitish, un-zoned billowy rolling light effect like moonstone. I made some huge inroads in getting my cutting equipment dug out from 3 years of neglect today and with good luck and a brisk wind at my back I'll be able to cut some cabs soon. I'll post the before/after results if I'm able to produce anything interesting. Meanwhile, I'm beginning to wonder if it's really labradorite.
FWIW, much of my Oregon yellowish labradorite "sunstone" also shows a moon effect. I'm not sure whether to call it schiller, adularescence or, since it's labradorite, labradorescence -- which it isn't because labradoresence is colored, like spectrolite from Finaland or the top labradorite "Rainbow Moonstone" from India which some sell as peristerite.

Ow! My head hurts with all that confusing, circular and indefinite terminology. It reminds me of garnet trade names.

Let's just say it exhibits a nice whitish, un-zoned billowy rolling light effect like moonstone. I made some huge inroads in getting my cutting equipment dug out from 3 years of neglect today and with good luck and a brisk wind at my back I'll be able to cut some cabs soon. I'll post the before/after results if I'm able to produce anything interesting. Meanwhile, I'm beginning to wonder if it's really labradorite.


Yeah, it can be confusing. This stuff was listed as an orthoclase feldspar but Stephen points out that it's probably a plagioclase variety, given the environment it's found in. If I ever do end up selling a few of the more exceptional pieces I'd like to be very sure that the terminology I'm using is scientifically correct so I probably should send some to a lab.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:59 pm 
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Oddly enough, though I've heard of the white schiller effect occurring in Oregon sunstone I've never actually observed it myself, at least nothing that would show up without very careful examination. Most of my stuff is from the Spectrum mine, so maybe their particular patch just doesn't have much.

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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:03 am 
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Stone finished just on 13 carats. I gave up trying to photograph it, camera was absolutely resolute that it wanted to see it as nothing but a dull, yellowish plastic-looking block. Oriented the way it would sit in a pendent and in indirect light, it throws a very nice pattern in Jack Rowland's "Cardinal".

The shiller disappeared once the glue came off the pavilion and I don't think it adds anything to the stone. Just a slight haziness but that is overcome by the brightness. The shiller plane actually runs about 45 degrees to the table, orienting it the way you would for moonstone would have led to a significant loss of size, otherwise it might have added more interest.

This piece seemed a bit more prone to agglomeration scratching than any piece I've done previously, whether that's related to the strands of shiller-producing material running through it I don't know.

Anyway, it's a nice looking stone nearly three-quarters of an inch long - perfect for a pendent :)


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:25 am 
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The more I look at it, the more I like it. The colour tone is deeper than the usual light straw yellow, just about deep enough to justify using the word "gold" as a descriptor. Not sure if it really is slightly more saturated or if the effect is arising out of a combination of the physical size of the stone and the design, which end up creating a fairly deep stone. Hope it isn't too awkward to set.


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 Post subject: Re: Springsure labradorite
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:36 pm 
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Quote:
I just went through the container of smalls/rejects and found another unmistakable moonstone piece. The shiller is very strong from both top and bottom, looks like it is all moonstone not a moonstone-labradorite sandwich. But it's small and a really awkward shape so I might just keep it as a specimen


Curiosity got the better of me last night so I fashioned it into a small, freeform shape. In the harsh glare of the LED downlights of my workshop, it displayed a strong slivery-white shiller, though it seemed sort of concentrated to a large, mobile point like a star sapphire.

I brought it to work with me this morning. The day is overcast but there was a moment earlier on where we got some partial sunlight so I went and looked at it - it displays a beautiful iridescent sky blue! :o

I looked around to make sure it wasn't just reflecting some blue object nearby, couldn't see any - I really hope this is how it looks for real!!

I'm going to try and get back out there again in the next couple of months and I sure as hell won't be leaving the translucent pieces lying there this time or ever again!


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