A primary lapidary art form used at Wyoming Jewelry Arts is faceting. Many of our jewelry items include faceted transparent and opaque gemstones as part of the overall jewelry piece. And while faceting can be one of the most rewarding lapidary activities in terms of personal accomplishment, it is the hardest form to score a degree of proficiency. It takes a gentle hand, a gentle mind, lots of time, and some luck to facet a beautiful gemstone. John Sinkankas describes faceting in his Gem Cutting Manual: "A faceted gem in one in which the outside is covered with flat polished surfaces called facets. Reflections from the surface and from the interior of transparent faceted gems provide many twinkling patches of light which appear and disappear with the slightest movement and lend brilliancy even to gems which are quite colorless. The amount of brilliancy is dependent on optical properties of the gemstones themselves and the way in which the facets are cut. Perfectly clear gem material can be fashioned into lively sparkling gems by the skilled cutter or conversely, can be made into dull and lifeless gems by ignoring the optical properties which make brilliancy possible."
In March, 1997 a certificate of incorporation was obtained from the State Corporation Commission for the Commonwealth of Virginia. This certificate authorized VETA Sciences, Inc. of Sterling, Virginia to transact business subject to applicable laws. I became the first President and Chief Operating Officer for the Company. Years earlier I had done considerable electronic research on my own into the microwave arena of non linear junction detection. Simply stated; a target containing a non linear electronic junction or multiples thereof is radiated with an extremely pure radio frequency source. If the target contains nonlinear junctions the pure frequency source is altered producing mixing products and new radio signals. Detection of the mixing products becomes the solution. Even before the first transistor or solid state diode, I was a ten years old building crystal radios not realizing then that the crystal was actually a non linear junction device as was the crystal substitute iron pyrite. Much later I learned that lode gold is usually found in a quartz crystal matrix and guess what, the non-linear principal is displayed when gold ore is radiated with a radio frequency source. The idea of non destructive radiation of gold bearing geological formations has outstanding potential for major gold discoveries.. Unfortunately, the outlay of money and equipment has become too much. This project is presently on hold. VETA which means vein(as in gold) in Spanish, will have to wait.
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Heart pendant crafted for a Valentine gift. A small natural Ruby (corundum) is set in a 14k gold rabbit ear bail. The bail is attached to cut and polished pigeon blood agate, which is diamond drilled to receive the bail. See enlarged view for more details.
One of a kind sterling silver bracelet with set cabochon of epidotized granite from the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming. Construction required using three different temperature grade silver solders. See enlarged view for more details.
Custom faceted Standard round brilliance (SRB) cut vaseline glass weighs about 30 carats. The enlarged view shows tiny included air bubbles. This is an antique type of glassware prized by some collectors. See enlarged view for more details.
Small 1/8-inch slab of a very rare Wyoming mineral called minyulite. The slab was back lit to show the almost emerald gemstone look of this exhibit. See enlarged view for more details.
During the last several years, I have made a concerted effort prospecting for diamonds in Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. Joined by my partner Max and, as always, Maggie the dog, we have visited numerous suspect locations in search of the "Mother" of all gemstones. Diamonds are formed close to the earth's mantel under conditions of tremendous pressure and high temperatures. Most diamonds were formed during the first developments of this planet and most remain at the the mantel at a depth of a least 100 miles. Rarely, the pressure becomes so immense, that a pressure release effect is created. A stone pipe forms at the edge of the the mantel and extends upwards to the Earths surface. This pipe diameter can be as little as a few feet or several hundred feet. The host magma which is forced up the pipe consists of the rock forming mineral kimberlite. It is in this kimberlite that diamonds are found. The large diameter kimberlite pipes of South Africa are good examples. A number of less rare minerals are sometimes included with the kimberlite; these can include crystals of garnet, chromium diopside,and peridotic minerals. Kimberlite is a soft mineral and over millions of years it weathers and decomposes. Harder minerals like garnet which were part of the original mix become free crystals found wherever?
A prospecting technique I and others use is to inspect any hills for tiny mineral rocks which were once part of a kimberlite. Ants are great collectors of small rocks and their rocks are indicative of surrounding rocks and minerals. The thumb picture above shows tiny pyrope garnet and chromium diopside crystals collected from ant hills below Green River, Wyoming. Also, click on the above thumb for more information on the prospecting process.
Incredibly old crystals formed only a billion years after the big bang! Estimated by petrologists to be approximately 3,400 million years old, these perfectly formed pinkish zircon crystals have remained unchanged with time. Only a few millimeters long, these doubly terminated crystals exhibit scientifically perfect angled facets and because the mineral zircon in one of hardest gemstones, there are no scratches on the facet faces. They are shinny and clear.
Formed in the uplifted metaphoric rock which composes much of the Beartooth Mountains of Wyoming and Montana, these tiny crystals were weathered from host rock and washed into drainage streams. One creek head watered in the range is Ruby Creek, it is located just north and west of Clark, Wyoming. During normal panning for gold and heavy minerals these beautiful crystals can be collected and, because zircon is a high density mineral, the crystals pan out easily with any gold and other heavy minerals.
One technique used in gemstone identification is fluorescence. These crystals fluoresce yellow when exposed to short wave ultraviolet (UV) light.
Copyright 2006 Veta Sciences