Removing emeralds from Matrix
I recently got a handful of emerald rough from NC. Most is not much more than cabbing grade, but there are a few I suspect I could facet a small stone from of decent quality. My question is, is there an efficient method to remove the remaining black schist(?) matrix from these stones?
I thought maybe they could be run in a rock tumbler using something softer than they usual silicon carbide grit, that would remove the schist without removing emerald. Maybe regular silica sand, or steel shot? What would you all recomment for an efficient means of cleaning away the remaining matrix from these stones without removing too much actual emerald material.
I cleaned one using a dremel tool with a steel high speed cutter type bit in it. This was effective, as the steel bit removed the matrix stone readily, but was not hard enough to grind the emerald. The problem with this method is that it pretty much ate up the bit in the process of cleaning a single stone, and it took forever.
From Telarin - July 10, 2007 at 14:26:43