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 Post subject: Need help.......
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:44 pm 
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Hi everyone, I am new here. I went mining in the NC mountains with some family this past weekend and found a 129 carat Ruby so I am told. Can anyone tell me the expense of having this cut, the best way to cut it and how I can know if it is of good quality before getting into a heck of a big expense ? I am very novice so I need guidance. Can anyone help ? Many thanks........


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:42 pm 
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First question: Who told you it was ruby?

Find a gemologist in your area to find out what you have, then a faceter to let you know whether it's gem material; not all stones are gemstones.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:07 am 
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A Gemologist has already determined that it was a Ruby, but they wanted 80.00 per carat to cut it which seems steep to me, but who knows.....my problem is this......before I would get into that kind of money, I would want to know ( assuming what I have been told is true) whether the Ruby's quality is enough to sustain the cut price. I have been told by this same Gemologist that the cut stone would be worth 4 to 10 times the cut price ? Question: Assuming that the information given to me is correct, and that this is a pure raw Ruby, do faceters ever cut precious stones for half or quarter of the value ?


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:33 am 
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Regarding the cutting cost it is commonly not calculated from what the stone will be worth after cutting but from how much labour is needed (x dollars per hour or as in this case per carat) and also cover the wear on tools. Sometimes it is not worth cutting a stone and sometimes the cutting cost is just a drop in the ocean. Inbetween this and you have to decide.

If you could publish an image or preferably several from different angles of your rough piece there are a lot of people around here that might be able to point you in one direction or another in the case the identity of the rough is to be considered accurate.
Images with both overhead and transmitted light would be nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:34 pm 
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Thank you Conny, I will do so shortly. Many regards


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:25 pm 
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CraftyCritter,

First, stop and don't make any decisions. A price of $80 per carat seems rather high, to say the least!

Where are you in NC? If in the mountain area, get in touch with Rick at magma.com (Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association). There are faceters of every level in MAGMA and Rick will know just about everything there is to know about ruby from that area and faceter members-- everything!!

If you are in the Raleigh area, the Tarheel Gem and Mineral Club is meeting Nov 15 evening at the North Carolina State University Craft Center. There will be folks there who can help you with advice at that meeting, including myself.

Second, as far as faceting goes, it is normal that 75% to 80% of the rough is lost in the faceting process, and that is with generally well shaped rough. I wouldn't normally get involved in this, but last April a couple came to the club with a 125 carat well shaped white topaz rough they also found 'mining' in the mountains. They were told that they could get a 5 (five) carat stone out of it at a high cost per carat... A club member did cut it for them (not me) and the result was a 27 carat round SRB. Many of the offers to help out in the mountains could be bettered elsewhere.

GET ANOTHER OPINION!!! A facet grade ruby of that size would be a major find. A non-facet grade ruby of that size is not unusual -- you can buy them on ebay for $20.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:43 am 
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Thank you Bob ! Those were my thoughts exactly. These places have to make money somewhere so they depend on people such as myself to keep them rocking and rolling along. I know that all too well. I appreciate the advise and I am in the northern SC area. I have tried to upload a picture here for everyone to see but can't seem to get it downsized small enough to do so. I would love to preserve as much of the Ruby as possible if it is of quality. I just don't want to plow in head first not knowing. I try to do my research which is why I decided to come to the experts at hand. Thanks so much for your input. Exactly what I needed to hear. And if you know people in my area, I would love to know who they are. Kindly,
CraftyCritter


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Posting Pictures Tutorial


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:09 pm 
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CraftyCritter, you posted this picture on the thread for posting pictures.
I moved it here.

Is this the rock you have been talking about on THIS thread?

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Yes, one of them. It's blurry I know but could not get it to focus in


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:14 am 
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You realize that under the best of circumstances it is often impossible to identify a mineral or rock from a photo. When a photo is this out of focus it's not worth posting.

Really, it could be a piece of pizza.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:24 am 
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Even from this fuzzy picture it is clear, that if it is a rock, it is not clear, as in transparent. Could be pizza though, you are right.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:22 pm 
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What mine did you find it at? That will tell a whole lot. Consider that if it was a commercial mine and not Cherokee Ruby Mine or Mason Ruby and Sapphire mine, there is a 99% chance that it is cheap, non-gem material from Asia. They can buy that by the 55 gallon drum and salt it into the mud. At 129 carets, I would immediately suspect it is salted material if it was from a pay to mine place.

Even with places like Chunky Gal (WNC), Pobst Farm (near Charlotte), or some of the other places (most of them listed in Rick's (above MAGMA reference) book), there is rarely anything other than specimens.

If you can put it on a piece of white paper and not see through it, it is most likely not material for faceting. If you can hold it up to a light and not see any light through it, it may not material for even cabbing (for a ruby). If it does not backlight, that almost completely rules out faceting unless there are surface features blocking light (like schist matrix on Mason's material).

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:44 am 
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I will just echo what George already said.

Soaking Irvine SIOL would get rid of the staining and lot if coating if it is indeed corundum. But better images are needed. You are too close to the subject beyond the closeup focusing range of your camera. Back up a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help.......
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:07 pm 
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If you have a fair read through the photography section, you might find some pointers in how to take a photo of your stone that it may better be understood. Though that being said, nothing can be determined by photos alone the material of the mineral (if it is a mineral and not pizza) that you have before you.

A camera with the "flower" option which is commonly known as macro mode will also help in taking better quality photos of smaller items. Taking a photo on white paper or out doors in full sunlight will also help with the photo taking process.

To understand whether your mineral is of any quality will depend on determining a lot of factors, the fact that it could be corundum and red doesn't not make it gem quality material. We find kilos of 'fish tank' material that is on-sold to dirt-bucket dealers who salt the buckets with this commonly non-facetable material, for the tourists. I have rough mineral specimens from 300-1000ct in size with parts and sections that have opaqueness but not the gem quality transparency required for the sought after and highly prized gemstones.

Transparency, inclusions, colour, certification all of this can be determined by seeking a gemmologist in your local area. Try museums, jewellers, lapidary clubs or the local directory to see if there is someone who can offer the service to you.


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