Sunday, September 11, 2016

Laminating an Aquamarine and Amethyst

 

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-finished

The finished product.

 

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst -rough

First I select the material.

A piece of Brazilian amethyst and a piece of Zimbabwean aquamarine.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-carving

Then I carve them into two shapes that are mirror images.

I only concentrate on the inner curves at first.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-seat-check

Normally if I have to set an expensive emerald or some other delicate stone I use a spray powder called seat check.

You fit the stone and the muti shows where the stone is still touching.

It also works well for gem carving.

As can be seen on the left side piece, the powder discolours where it touches, so that where you grind material off.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-clamp

High tech clamp.

I use HXTAL resin to laminate the two sides together.

I takes five days to harden.

I put masking tape on the clamp because if the resin comes into direct contact with the stone, it breaks the stone before it releases.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethystbull-dog-clamp

I also weaken the clamp by annealing the back part so that it holds the two pieces more gently.

  gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-laminated

 

Once the resin is hard the stone is ready for pre forming.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-preform

Preformed.

The resin ground off.

Now I dop the stone and cut it on my Imahashi gem cutting machine.
I was going to cut this stone into an oval, because an oval reflects light in a bow tie shape along a center spine.


I thought that the 'bow tie' would change colour as it ran down the center.
But the amethyst developed a surface crack, so I had to make it's shape round.


With round, there comes a more even reflection of light which is not really what I wanted.


No matter, you go with the flow.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-faceting

This picture was taken under an incandescent light.

I was cutting on copper with 7000 grit.

I clearly shows the different cutting surfaces between quartz and beryl.

The polishing rate is nearly the same, with the quartz lagging a bit behind.

I use a Batt lap with 50,000 diamond grit for polishing.

 

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-backside

View from the back of the gemstone.

gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst-complete

The stone came out at 10 mm in diameter and 3.6 carats in weight.

On my tutorial website I have a downloadable PDF here.

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