From mid-2021, newsletter articles are no longer posted separately here. Interested readers should scan through the newsletter headings under the ‘Newsletters’ tab.


Duncan Miller

The faceting articles published over the past few years in the Mineral Chatter have been compiled into a single 128 page document, available for download for those interested in saving all the articles together. To download the pdf file click here.

A 29,18 ct cuprite from Onganja, Namibia, cut by Duncan Miller and now in a private collection in Germany.

Browsing Archive: November, 2018

Two beached whales were spotted at Yzerfontein this past month, the first on 5th November and the second a few days later

Posted by Site Moderator Webmaster on Friday, November 23, 2018, In : Lapidary 

And last week this fish appeared at Milnerton Lagoon

Grey chalcedony and aragonite fish

This is the same fish as above, but much prettier “when still alive”, and seen under short wave UV light.

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"There’s treasure – I just have to find it"

Posted by Site Moderator Webmaster on Friday, November 23, 2018, In : My Collecting, My Collection 

Talking about treasure hunting, let me tell you my story … It’s a tale of two parts.

I’ve always been the poster child for the story told by Victor Borge:  “if there’s manure, there must be a pony.”  It’s in my DNA.

Truth be told, my first real life encounter with this approach was doomed. 

To understand it better, you’d have to know that back then Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at a swanky hotel cost R40-00 and a full seafood buffet at the same hotel with all you could eat cos...

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FaceTips for December

Posted by Site Moderator Webmaster on Friday, November 23, 2018, In : Faceting 
by Duncan Miller

This month I will show you how to scale a GemCad diagram to a different L/W ratio. This is very easy if the diagram is a fully meetpoint diagram, without a preform. You note the initial L/W ratio from the Print Preview and then click on Scale in the Edit menu. Here you check the X box because you want to change the proportions in the X direction, then enter the appropriate numbers to divide by the initial L/W ratio and to multiply by the one you want, and press OK. The next me...

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FaceTips for November

Posted by Site Moderator Webmaster on Sunday, November 4, 2018, In : Faceting 

By Duncan Miller

I started faceting in pre-GemCad days and found cutting ovals very laborious. I would cut the girdles by eye, using various oval templates, and placed the brilliant-style facets by eye too. Producing matching pairs was very trying. The advent of meetpoint faceting and GemCad overcame all these difficulties. Now there are lots of designs for ovals that are meetpoint, requiring no preform, with the girdle outline evolving out of the cutting sequence. You can access some of the...

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