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Messages - Aussie Sapphire

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Whats New at / Re: Website Upgrade
« on: November 20, 2018, 06:28:13 PM »
Website looks great guys, well laid out and easy to use. Just one thing, couldn't find any Facetron machines or parts, do you still deal with them?

Thanks - the products have moved around a lot but hopefully in a more sensible way.  There will be a few gaps though - I have had to recreate all the products so it has been a massive job. So if there is something you need that you cant find, just message us.

However, regarding Facetron, we actually gave up this dealership to Brett at Gemhunters Haven a few months ago.  So he now has all of our stock of spare parts and accessories including dops, splash bowls etc. 

We work with Brett quite a bit - he is a good bloke and is a bit more hooked into the faceting scene than us so it seemed like a good fit for him and allows us to focus a bit more on our core range.

There has been a big backlog at the factory during this year - Jeff has had to have major back surgery which has impacted quite significantly on machine production but Brett should have most important bits and pieces on hand.

There is still some more work to do to bring over our other information and articles but the major transition seems to have gone smoothly so big sigh of relief about that.


Whats New at / Website Upgrade
« on: November 19, 2018, 05:04:33 PM »
Website upgrade is happening TOMORROW !!
Tuesday 20th November 2018

Our website will be unavailable most of the day while we migrate data and get everything ship-shape. We look forward to a new more efficient and convenient system. Products have been shifted around quite a bit but hopefully will be easier to navigate.

Email us if you have any queries or would like to place an order while we are offline -

Cheers Leah

Tumblers and Media / Re: Cerium oxide
« on: November 13, 2018, 07:27:14 AM »
Not actually true - that is just how the rare earth minerals look when they are refined to various degrees - the pink is most common with the white being refined to a higher level.  We call it cerium oxide as the main ingredient but there are often trace amounts of other rare earths in there - eg. thorium.  Tin and Aluminium Oxide are different materials.

Rule of thumb (guideline only) is that cerium is generally good for stone in the 6 to 7 hardness range (which does include the quartz group) - if you are working with harder material at 8 hardness (often topaz, garnet or beryl), then you need tin or aluminium oxide.  9 Hardness stone (ruby or sapphire) of course needs diamond which may or may not work better than oxides on softer material as well.


Cabbing and More / Re: Problems with Polishing
« on: November 12, 2018, 05:10:38 PM »
Thanks for the idea's fella's, I use 100grit, 220 360, 600 and then 1200, then onto a cotton pad with tin or Cerium Oxide 3,000.  Its only since Ive been using the Diamond Wheels that I have found the problem, prior to this I was using the Silicone Carbide wheels 100, 220, 400, 600 and 1200 and didn't have the problems.

Tinker beers

Do you mean you use a #3000 wheel in between #1200 and your final polish with tin or cerium?
Going from #1200 to final polish is quite a jump if I have misunderstood your sequence.

At what stage are you going from hard diamond to soft diamond?  #600?


Tumblers and Media / Re: Cerium oxide
« on: November 07, 2018, 08:20:02 AM »
The colour is more of a purity issue - ie. some types have had other trace amounts of other rare earth metals removed which is part of the reason for the higher price.

To answer the original question, it is not that the pink has had anything added - more that it has not been removed.

Cerium comes in a variety of particle sizes.  Dont take the 1.5 micron as gospel.  The type we sell is 2.0 micron.  Other suppliers may have slightly different specs.  Because we sell to glass artists and scratch repairers as well, we use suspension treated cerium.  So you will see tiny "crystals" in the product which can be a bit alarming but these dissolve in water and help keep the cerium in suspension for longer.

Thenk you Fullerton for that info - I saved that on a link many years ago but lost it when the website went down.  Good to have it as reference again.


Whats New at / Aussie Sapphire News
« on: November 03, 2018, 08:16:54 AM »
Just a bit of advance notice that we are in the process of upgrading our website.

The new site will hopefully be quite a bit easier to use and we are taking the opportunity to refine how we list items and clear out a bit of deadwood.  Still working on it but we will announce here when it is just about to launch.

One of the new features is that we will be offering Zip Pay as a payment option.  This is kind of a credit system where you can buy goods, get them interest free with a flexible period to pay back over time.  It will be available for orders from $50 up to $1000.  Sorry - due to the higher fees charged by Zip compared to PayPal or credit cards, we are not able to offer any club discounts on Zip Pay orders.  But if you want to smooth out your cash flow, this might be an option you could use.  If you have a Zip Pay account and would like to use this option NOW, just email your order through and we will generate it for you.

We will also be instituting a new discount system for club orders (or orders from people entitled to a club discount).  In the past we have used discount codes but this is a bit clunky and often doesnt work as it should.  So when the new site launches, we will be using a new system where you can add items to the shopping cart and click the "Create Quote from Cart" button - this will reserve your order and we will then apply any relevant discounts and provide our normal payment options (PayPal, Credit Card, Bank Deposit).

We are working to move our customer and order history data over but you may need to reset your password when using the new site.

There will be be more news on this to come.


We have a few left over Darkside and BATT mandrels which may be of interest - left over from when we had the Polymetric dealership.


Shows and Events / Re: Gemfest 2018?
« on: September 20, 2018, 07:36:35 AM »
Event is on.

It is one of the more low-key events on the calendar but as I think Gemster and Bob (Lord Thunda) would realise after Gemorama, running/publicising these types of events is not as easy as it looks from the outside.  Lots of advice from everyone on how to do it better but when it is down to just a very small number of organisers (or even one), then there is only so much time, resources and manpower to throw at it.  I would hope that people out there give them a break and support them where they can.

Info here:

LONG WEEKEND FAMILY FUN AT EMMAVILLE GEMFEST[/size]This October long weekend (actually 29 & 30 September) the Emmaville Gemfest is on again at Emmaville Caravan Park. Market stalls, field trips, local gems and minerals, trading. See fluorescent minerals at night. Visit the Emerald Mine.Ffull program of things to do and see all weekend. For bookings, information call Donna 0429 347 249 or 67347 240.


Gemstone Discussions / Re: Insurance
« on: September 10, 2018, 07:03:46 PM »
The other issue is that sometimes even if you list a collection on your insurance policy, the company will insist that you upgrade your home security accordingly.  I know my boss got caught out trying to insure his wife's jewellery (quite a few expensive pieces that were important to them) - the insurance company would add them (listed, photographed, valued) BUT wanted him to put proper security screens on every single window and door plus a whole bunch of other upgrades.  The cost of doing that was exorbitant.  Not sure he went through with it in the end.

Something to check on.  No point paying for a lot of extra premium to cover your collection if they end up refusing to pay a claim because they think your house wasnt secure enough.


General Discussion / Re: Meroo River dredger caught
« on: September 05, 2018, 06:11:52 PM »
You should have seen the number of posts from rednecks supporting the idiot.  They should have confiscated his dredge and means by which it was placed there as well.

If he stole more than $2500 in gold, he's still made a profit.

It was weird that the first people to catch him were fishing inspectors - those guys take no prisoners if you do the wrong thing with fishing but they didnt do anything about this beyond report it to the police who then sat on it for ages.  If you do the wrong thing with fishing, there are really big fines, they confiscate stuff and they really dont muck about.  I can understand that it is not their jurisdiction but the amount of time it took to eventually get this bloke was unbelievable.

Lack of enforcement is the main problem here.


Tell Us About Yourself / Re: Hi
« on: September 03, 2018, 06:10:11 PM »
Welcome to ALF.

You are very welcome to post all and any questions.

You will find that each lapidary club tends to have a slightly different focus - some are really into field trips while others prefer to stick in the workshop and concentrate on cabbing, faceting, silverwork, etc.

I think the Diamond Creek Gem Club runs field trips from time to time - they might be worth checking out:

Leah (admin)

Trick is to find one with common interests close to you.  However, using social media can also help to put you in touch with people who might be keen for a fossicking tag-along partner.

Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Cabbing on the Road
« on: August 20, 2018, 06:50:49 PM »
Thanks for that Leah, I just thought the slant machine might be a bit easier to use sitting down at a table.

Perhaps but they were way less popular than the All-U-Need - at the time we thought the same as you but we were obviously in the minority compared to the customers' views.

Noticeably larger footprint though - the All-U-Need will be much easier to fit in a small corner of a caravan for instance.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Cabbing on the Road
« on: August 18, 2018, 04:47:12 PM »
Gerry Harvey was certainly one of the main ones complaining about GST on imports but it never worried us too much.  What he was really complaining about was not being able to charge high prices without being called out for it.  You cant blame customers for wanting to pay a reasonable price and checking the competition.

We pay it when it is due and our pricing is based on our whole import cost - GST is really not the biggest issue for us so we would prefer it to stay the old system for the very simple reason is that there is no workable system for collecting the GST.

If we have a shipment coming in that is likely to attract GST, we usually use a courier who has a proper system for charging the tax - if it goes through the post, that is just a big hassle as their system is non existent and ends up causing a big delay and extra cost for us.

We do find that people comparing prices dont always have an accurate view of the true landed price so that can be tricky for us.  For example, if you compare a small Lortone tumbler, our price might seem very expensive when comparing the USD price to ours but it doesnt account for the fact that they charge more for the 220V version, the exchange rate, shipping to Australia, local warranty, etc.  When you do that comparison correctly, the pricing is very similar and we are happy to compete on that basis.

We would prefer the old GST system purely because it is easier for everyone - I dont think they have really thought this one through and not all the issues have been sorted yet.  They have got Ebay charging GST but individual sellers are not subject to that regime for example and I dont really see how they are going to manage those in a practical way.  Not quite a level playing field yet.

Cheers Leah

Trip Talk / Re: Nullamanna - The journey of a sapphire
« on: August 16, 2018, 12:27:40 PM »
that is a beautiful sapphire - a real winner.

well done


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