FaceTips for August

July 25, 2018

By Duncan Miller

Jewellers sometimes ask for the impossible, and it’s a challenge to try and oblige. This design was developed to cut the citrine for a dome-shaped ring. It had to be a ‘classical’ mixed cut with curved girdle lines to match the curve of the top of the ring. This design requires a preform to get the girdle facets the right size. The relative depth of the pavilion tiers affects the angles of the triangular corner facets, but these can be tweaked to reach the meets.

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These are two fluorites facetted by Duncan Miller from a single piece of Riemvasmaak rough bought recently at Open Day from Rockey Ollewagen. The stones are 32,5 ct and 66,0 ct, and full of small inclusions, which makes them sleepy. 

 

Southern African Lapidary Stones to watch out for:

July 25, 2018


SODALITE – this is generally sourced from Swartbooisdrif, near the Kunene River in north-west Namibia. It has a Mohs hardness of between 5,5–6, is generally fine grained, and works very well.

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Encouraging the Curiosity of the Next Generation

July 25, 2018

Matt Lurie (5 years old), who lives in Johannesburg, was curious as to the make-up of an (amethyst) Spirit quartz crystal so he bought one for R10 in Johannesburg and de-jacketed/exfoliated/peeled it, to satisfy his curiosity! The images below were taken by his dad (Robert’s son) Dan Lurie.

   


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Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art

May 24, 2018
Once the grain silos of Cape Town Harbour

Built in 1923 the old silos in Cape Town Harbour were used for storing grain awaiting export, and were in operation until 1995. Today they house a modern art gallery. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Jochen Zeitz, (former CEO of Puma) and the incredible architectural imagination of the Heatherwick Design Studio, the building is now a magnificent place to visit. The old round tubes of silo have been cut away in specific places to open up a central ...


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Faceting

May 7, 2018

Here are two stones that Duncan Miller cut recently from rough he bought two months ago at Open Day. The yellow citrine (from Johann de Jongh) has only 58 facets, is 22 mm wide and weighs 37 ct. The design is ‘Xephyr’ by Arya Akhavan (yes, with an ‘X’). The light green fluorite (rough from Rob Smith), is the first one he has ever cut. It has even fewer facets, only 36, is 15,5 mm wide and weighs 16,2 ct. The design is slightly modified from ‘Six Shooter’ by the late Jeff Graham.  ...


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Visit to Mineral Services and the Exhibition “Messengers From The Mantle”

March 29, 2018


By kind invitation of Professor John Gurney, 25 club members visited Mineral Services on 24th February to see his exceptional exhibition “Messengers from the Mantle”. This irreplaceable collection of kimberlites was initially created for the 35th International Geological Congress at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in September 2016, and was displayed again at the 11th International Kimberlite Conference in Gaborone, Botswana in Septembe...


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Field Trip to Yzerfontein

March 29, 2018
Sunday, 18th March

Pictures speak louder than words.


Brunsvigias alongside the West Coast road


24 members learning about an example of gabbro


Coastal erosion from the winter storms of 2017


An igneous breccia dyke


A 70,000 year old archaeological midden


Inspecting rocks on Schaapen Eiland


Iron pyrites


Inclusions of gabbro in the breccia dyke


Inclusions of chilled wall rock in the monzonite

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Faceting

January 17, 2018

 A magnificent 63 carat sphalerite from Aliva in Spain (http://gem-sphalerite.com/) cut by Duncan Miller. The design is Marco Voltolini’s “Superstarfish Dome 80”.

 

 A unique type of blue-green garnet has entered the gem market. The garnets reportedly come from a deposit near the border of Tanzania and Kenya. GIA’s Carlsbad laboratory obtained a small parcel of blue-green rough material and two faceted stones for examination. Unlike traditional blue-green garnets that exhibit a colo...


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“Tripping” in Namibia

November 24, 2017

The word “tripping” can have two meanings:  a tour or journey, or an unintentional slip, blunder or happening.  On this occasion both senses of the word applied. Malcolm and his friends covered a lot of ground and saw a wide variety of things when in Namibia, but not without incident.

To start off with, by the time Australian Graham landed in Cape Town, he had lost his passport, which necessitated a return to Johannesburg and the Australian Consulate for a new one. He then flew from JHB...


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Faceting

November 24, 2017

 

“Eye of the Storm” a faceting design created by Robert W. Strickland on 12th September 2017, in honour of those who suffered loss in the Caribbean hurricanes of 2017.

This design was first published in the United States Faceters’ Guild newsletter of September 2017.

When photographed directly into the centre of the culet, all the crown facets go dark, and the only light is in the “eye”, but viewed from other angles, the stone ...


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