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Messages - Aussie Sapphire

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Gemstone Faceting / Re: Gemmasta GFE3 Manuals
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:01:44 PM »
I only have the GF4 manual.


Gemstone Faceting / Re: please advise on lap choice
« on: October 20, 2019, 10:02:00 AM »
The Creamway and Greenway laps are quite specific so best used if you have a lot of particular material.  The Darkside will be a lot more versatile.

Creamways are a zirconium charged lap so well suited for all quartz material - also good on peridot and beryls.  Brochure available here:

Greenways are a chrome oxide charged lap so well suited for beryl - also good on other material such as quartz, tourmaline, garnet.

However, both are not general purpose laps - in contrast, the darkside is designed to be more flexible in that you use the polish best suited to the material (obviously a bit less convenient than a "just add water" lap).  Facet flatness should be reasonably similar across the three.

However, use of #100k on a diamatrix should also be suitable for all sorts of material such as tourmaline.

Others will hopefully have advice on cutting lap choice and differences between polish laps.

cheers Leah

Gemstone Faceting / Re: Polishing zircon
« on: October 05, 2019, 07:50:12 AM »
Hi Frank, no, the 10x headband loupe is neasured differently, it is about 3x in an eye loupe. 

When looking at the Donegan Optivisors (headband loupe), the lens are are marked in dioptre values which is NOT the same as magnification.  This can cause a lot of confusion with people when they think their DA10 Optivisor should mean x10 magnification.
As Flash notes, a dioptre value of 10 is equivalent to about x3.5 magnification.

When buying a loupe of any kind, make sure you know which system is being used.  Most manufacturers use magnification power which is simple to understand but there are a few (including Donegan) who use Dioptre value instead and the numbers are not the same.

Also keep in mind that if a x10 loupe works well, a x20 loupe will not be twice as good.  Tempting to think that stronger magnification is automatically better but you need to pick the strength to suit the job you are doing.  Stronger magnification means a smaller depth of field so more difficult to keep the item in focus.  Of course for competition cutting, you need good magnification to see quality of polish but for general faceting, a good quality x10 loupe is the common choice as it hits that sweet spot between good magnification and ease of use. 

Most cutters will have a range of options as they work though - head loupe while they are cutting and a hand loupe for closer checking.


Tell Us About Yourself / Re: Hi everyone
« on: September 26, 2019, 02:19:08 PM »
Welcome to the forum.


Sorry - have not seen a Patriot so cannot give any advice.  Hopefully others can assist.

From memory, they may have used an odd size dop and spare dops were difficult to source.   Most will will use quarter inch brass (or occasionally aluminium) to make dops with a variety of keying methods but I just have a feeling that Patriot/Omni used a weird size for some reason.  If you have a more standard size, then often dops from another machine may fit - they can often can be used no problem or can easily be manufactured if you have or know someone with a lathe.
 Probably not a deal breaker but maybe check on that before making the final decision.

Slow supply is definitely a big problem for just about all the manufacturers - seems impossible to get machines in a timely fashion.  Probably the main reason why we gave up on stocking them - was just too frustrating for both us and customers.

Forum Announcements & Rules / Re: Login "Banned" Error
« on: August 12, 2019, 12:13:24 PM »
Might be something to do with ip addresses or firefox ad-ons triggering forum security. Big of a surprise first time it happened.MB

That is likely.  We use a spam filtering software on the forum to try and reduce the flood of spam but it hooks into a database where suspicious ip addresses are flagged and this can sometimes cause false positive reports.  Anyone who is affected by this and where a refresh and clear cache does not work - please email us at our aussie sapphire address with your email address or username and I will manually delete the ban.

It is inconvenient when people are caught up in this but without the software, the forum becomes completely unusable because of spam so it is a trade-off.  We will always delete a wrongly imposed ban for proper members.

Leah (admin)

For Sale or Swap / Re: Faceting Designs Book
« on: July 17, 2019, 12:08:56 PM »
Good job.

Good luck with the book.


Saws and Diamond Blades / Re: ebay - plans for 16" saw......
« on: July 17, 2019, 12:07:50 PM »
If anyone takes the plunge and has a go at building something, I am sure everyone would be interested to see the end result.


Cabbing and More / Re: Expandable drum
« on: June 20, 2019, 05:36:54 PM »
Crystal belts versus Eastwing versus Silicon carbide?

Best and most economical option for moderate use taking in to account purchase cost.

They are all different.  Crystal belts are uncharged so you can add your own polish - usually some kind of diamond compound.  Eastwind belts are USA-made diamond (resin bond) belts - good quality but expensive.  We offer cheaper Chinese made diamond belts as well.  Have a few customers who prefer the USA belts - many who use the cheaper ones.  The advantage of diamond belts is that they will last quite a bit longer than silicon carbide - how much longer is variable.  The should also cut more consistently over their lifespan.

Silicon carbide belts are cheap as chips but wont last as long as the diamond belts.  They will also "fine up" as they wear so will cut a bit differently over their lifespan.

Hope this helps.


There are quite a few members here who have used Lamberts in Thailand.  That is probably the most popular option used over the years - they can be very slow though.  There is another company in Sri Lanka that I have heard used with good reports - details just escape me at the moment.  I have not heard any feedback from India - would proceed with caution there.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Specific Gravity test
« on: June 03, 2019, 05:54:01 PM »

If you download this document, it will explain the whole process:;sa=view;down=9

Basically you need a good set of scales and a "rig" so you can weigh the stone in air and in water.  Use the calculation in the document to work out the specific gravity value - it is an excellent non-destructive id test.


Saws and Diamond Blades / Re: Cutting glass bottles
« on: June 03, 2019, 02:32:29 PM »
in the late 70's there was a similar product made by I think named K-Tel or similar (older version of Kleva products).I had one and it worked, basically a rotary glass cutter.

I remember seeing that ad on tv - check it out here (it is good for a nostalgic chuckle):


Location of the Month / Re: NSW - Tingha Sands
« on: May 01, 2019, 04:06:10 PM »
Owners at Tingha Sands have been quite definite about this decision and putting it out there as much as they can.  I can appreciate that this is disappointing for fossickers but it is their right to make this decision.

Suggest people wanting to look for quartz in the Tingha area contact the people at the Tingha Caravan Park - those guys are very helpful and can point you in the right direction for spots to look, etc.


How to post Pictures & other FAQ / Re: Jade ring
« on: April 30, 2019, 07:26:00 AM »
This is the ring in question:

How to post Pictures & other FAQ / Re: Jade ring
« on: April 28, 2019, 09:01:37 AM »
OP is located in Melbourne area and cannot find a jeweller locally who is able to repolish this jade ring.  Is there anyone in the region who may be able to assist her?


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