Bead Work
Buyer's Guides
Chain Making
Collecting Guides
Designs & Patterns
Faceting
Fossils
Gemstones
Geology and Earth Science
Gold & Mining
Jewelry Making
Lapidary
Meteorites
Rocks & Minerals
Rockpups
Smithing
Stone Setting
Wire Work

References for Rockhounds
Lapidary

Modern Lithic Arts Journal V1 Order This Book
Modern Lithic Arts Journal V1
Volume 1 - January 2005
by The Lithic Artists Guild
Soft cover, 9" x 12", 110 pages, copyright 2005
Sample page

Modern Lithic Artists Journal Volume 1 is a full sized, full color, coffee-table style art book showcasing and documenting reproduction artifacts as well as contemporary axes, points, knives, daggers, jewelry, pipes, eccentric art pieces and more, crafted by 100 of the most accomplished and talented modern knappers and lithic artists in the world.

Prepare to be impressed and amazed at stone age technology mastered by modern stone knappers and executed at the art level! Modern Lithic Arts Journal presents page after page of knapped works of art guaranteed to fetch ongoing "Hey honey. look at this one"s!


Beginning Cabochon Cutting DVD Video Order This Video
Beginning Cabochon Cutting DVD Video
Produced by Marina Shoupe
Runnig time 93 minutes, copyright 2006

In this tutorial DVD featuring lapidary artist Jim Barzee, you will learn:

• How to elect your preform
• How to shape your preform with a trim saw and a band saw
• Dopping
• Chalkboard theory with regard to equipment, grinding and polishing
• Visual instructional step-by-step grinding, polishing and summary

See a Lapidary Artist grind and polish a cabochon in real time!


Carving a Jade Triple Mobius Ribbon DVD Video Order This Video
Carving a Jade Triple Mobius Ribbon DVD Video
Produced by Marina Shoupe
Copyright 2013

In this tutorial how-to video featuring New Zealand jade artist Donn Salt, you will:

• Learn the best stone orientation while working with Jade
• Learn to explore Nephrite Jade grain direction for strength
• Learn how to set up, use and make the best tools for this project
• See how to carve a Jade Mobius Ribbon, step-by-step
• Learn innovative techniques for finishing a Jade carving

See a Jade Artist carve a mobius ribbon, step-by-step!


Cheap Thrills for the Lapidary Artist DVD Video Order This Video
Cheap Thrills for the Lapidary Artist DVD Video
Wood Lap Tutorial
by Marina Shoupe
Runnig time 100 minutes, copyright 2006

In this tutorial how-to video featuring lapidaries Jim Barzee, you will be shown how to:

• Build a Wood Lapidary station for under $200
•Take a preform to a polished cab at your kitchen table
•Understand how polishing works with the slow and gentle Wood Lap

See a Lapidary Artist polish a cabochon in real time!


The Flat Lap DVD Video Order This Video
The Flat Lap DVD Video
by Marina Shoupe
Running time 73 minutes

In this tutorial how-to video featuring lapidaries Jim Barzee and Jim Kelly, you will be shown:

• How to Flat Lap for a couple of bucks
• How to use a Flat Lap machine and its parts
• How to use the Flat Lap to address problem areas
• How to Flat Lap and fine polish a cabochon
• Chalkboard theory with regard to equipment, grinding and polishing
• Visual instructional step by step Flat Lap and summary

See a Lapidary Artist flat lap and polish a stone in minutes!


Jade Carving a Jade Bangle DVD Video Order This Video
Jade Carving a Jade Bangle DVD Video
by Marina Shoupe
Running time 75 minutes, Copyright 2010

In this tutorial how-to video featuring Canadian jade artist Deborah Wilson, you will:

• Learn the characteristics of different jades.
• See what tools are needed for carving small to large pieces.
• Learn how to chose a block of jade and carve a bangle.
• Pick up many hints & tricks from an internationally known Jade Artist.
• Learn the stages of working jade; from the selection of the rough to the polish.

See a Jade Artist carve a bangle, step-bys-step!


Lapidary Drilling Tutorial DVD Video Order This Video
Lapidary Drilling Tutorial DVD Video
Produced by Marina Shoupe
Runnig time 86 minutes, copyright 2006

• In this tutorial how-to video featuring lapidaries Jim Barzee, you will be shown:
• All the equipment you will need for drilling
• Tips on pre-drilling set-up insuring your success
• How to drill a fine hole through a preform
• How to drill a fine hole through a cabochon
• How to drill a fine hole through a tumbled stone
• How the hardness of different stones come into play while drilling
• Examples of what not to do

See a Lapidary Artist drill a fine hole in real time!


Advanced Cabochon Cutting Order This Book
Advanced Cabochon Cutting
A Gem Cutter's Handbook
Assembled Stones - Special Shapes - Star Stones - Cat's Eyes - Opal
by Jack R. Cox
Soft cover, 5.5" x 8.5", 64 pages, copyright 1986

The first book in the Gem Cutters Handbook series, Cabochon Cutting, covers the basics of producing that type of gem - slab and trim sawing, preforming, dopping, girdling, smoothing, polishing and jewelry setting. After the hobbyist has learned these basics, he's ready for more advanced techniques. So, presented in this companion handbook, Advanced Cabochon Cutting, are instructions for cutting special shapes such as hearts, crosses, teardrops, loafs, stars and freeforms. The techniques involved in working hard materials such as chrysoberyl and corundum with diamond abrasives are presented. Dedicated chapters cover how to properly orient phenomenal stones such as cat's-eye and star chrysoberyl, quartz, garnet, sapphire and moonstone. Other chapters cover working with opal and present information on finding and orienting the fire in opals, special dopping and cutting techniques for opal and making opal doublets and triplets. Techniques for cutting and polishing jade are also presented in a chapter dedicated to working jade.

Chapters include: Special Stone Shapes, Assembled Stones, Cat's-Eye and Star Stones Part 1, Cat's-Eye and Star Stones Part 2, Cat's-Eye and Star Stones Part 3, Cutting Opal Part 1, Cutting Opal Part 2, and Cutting Jade.

Advanced Cabochon Cutting is concise and well illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. The cabochon making techniques presented are tried and proven and have withstood the test of time. This highly recommended book presents a great deal of valuable how-to information for a very modest price and belongs in the library of every lapidary hobbyist.


Cabochon Cutting Order This Book
Cabochon Cutting
A Gem Cutter's Handbook
by Jack R. Cox
Soft cover, 5.5" x 8.5", 64 pages, copyright 1986
Sample page

Cabochon Cutting provides an excellent primer and introduction to cutting and polishing cabochons for anyone interested in learning more about this very popular facet of the lapidary hobby. It answers all questions from how to slab rough with a slab saw, how to saw cabs from slabs with trim saws, how to grind and shape cabochons, how to polish gem materials and how to set finished cabochons in jewelry.

Chapters include: Dopping Gemstones, Preparing Stones for Shaping, Grinding Gemstones, Smoothing Gemstones, Polishing Gemstones, Using a Trim Saw, Using the Slab Saw and Setting Your Cabochon Gems.

Cabochon Cutting is concise and well illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. The cabochon making techniques presented are tried and proven and have withstood the test of time. This highly recommended book presents a great deal of valuable how-to information for a very modest price and belongs in the library of every lapidary hobbyist.


Gem Cutting - A Lapidary's Manual Order This Book
Gem Cutting A Lapidary's Manual
Second Edition
by John Sinkankas
Hard and Soft cover, 11" x 8.25", 297 pages, copyright 1955,1962.
Sample Chapter Page     Sample Chapter Page     Sample Chapter Page
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Sample Chapter Page     Sample Chapter Page     Sample Chapter Page
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Sample Chapter Page

More than 50 years have passed since the first printing of John Sinkankas's Gem Cutting, A Lapidary's Manual in 1955, now long out of print in any edition. Yet to this day, this often recommended and much sought after book from the golden age of lapidary in the 1950s and 1960s remains the authoritative how-to book and reference on the hobby and art of lapidary. No other book on lapidary has since been authored with the authority, experience and knowledge of John Sinkankas that is as comprehensive in scope or as clear and thorough in its explanations and discussion of lapidary processes and techniques.

Gem Cutting, A Lapidary's Manual is written for the beginner and expert alike. It deals simply with the fundamentals and leads logically into techniques and projects which will challenge even the most advanced cutters. The contents of Gem Cutting, A Lapidary's Manual are organized into 19 chapters: 1 Gemstones - The Raw Material Of The Lapidary; 2 How To Get Started; 3 Sawing; 4 Grinding; 5 Lapping; 6 Sanding; 7 Polishing; 8 All-Purpose Units; 9 Drilling; 10 Cabochon Gems; 11 How To Cut Cabochons; 12 Faceted Gems; 13 Faceting Equipment; 14 How To Cut Faceted Gems; 15 Spheres And Beads; 16 Tumbling; 17 Carving And Engraving; 18 Mosaic And Inlay Work; 19 Treatment of Gemstones. Appendices provide Mechanical Tables of RPM Verses Pulley Diameter and Rim Speeds For Saws And Wheels; Weights And Measures Useful To The Gem Cutter; Tables Of Angles For Faceted Gems; Magazines And Books. A comprehensive Index is included.

Advice is provided on selecting and buying rough gemstones, and how to examine them for best results. An important section on the description and treatment of gemstones was enlarged in the second edition to include more species.


Gem Tumbling and Baroque Jewelry Making Order This Book
Gem Tumbling and Baroque Jewelry Making
A Guide for Amateur Tumblers
by Arthur and Lila Victor
Soft cover, 6" x 9", 58 pages, copyright 1984
Sample page

Gem Tumbling and Baroque Jewelry Making is an excellent primer and guide for the rockhound who plans to tumble-polish their own stones. Features step-by-step practical and includes instructions on building your own tumbler.

The book is organized into two major sections, Tumbling - Part One and Baroque Jewelry Making - Part 2. Topics covered in the Tumbling section include: General Instructions, Coarse Grind, Flat Sided Stones, Grinding Time, Intermittent Operation, Find Grind, Polish Operation, Little Tumblers, Vibrating Tumblers, Gas Pressure, Grits for Tumbling, Preforms, Montana Agate, Hard Plume, Jasper, etc., Common Opal - Moonstone - Zeolites, Tiger Eye, Quartz - Amethyst - Tourmaline - Aquamarine - Citrine, Agatized and Opalized Wood, Thunder Eggs and Geodes, Beach Agates and Water Worn Material, Junkite, Obsidian and Apache Tears, North Idaho Garnets, How to Build a Tumbler, Tumbler Speed, Size and Design, How to Figure Pulley Size, Tin Cans and Glass Jars, Fillers and Linings, Breaking and Cleaving, Storing Grinding Compounds and Polish, Storage of Agates, Waste Disposal, Hardness of Stones, Table of Speeds and Grit Quantities and Conclusion.

Topics covered in the Baroque Jewelry Making Section include: Introduction, Selecting Stones, Slicing Baroques, Epoxy - The Miracle Adhesive, Other Adhesives, Caps, Upeyes and Rings, Other Uses of Epoxy, Baroque Bracelets, Keyrings, etc., Sliced Baroques and Miscellaneous, Agates Are Forever and Helpful Hints for Shop.

Gem Tumbling and Baroque Jewelry Making is concise and well illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. The gemstone tumbling techniques presented are tried and proven and have withstood the test of time. This highly recommended book presents a great deal of valuable how-to information for a very modest price and belongs in the library of every lapidary hobbyist.


How to Use Diamond Abrasives to Cut Gemstones Order This Book
How to Use Diamond Abrasives to Cut Gemstones
by Arthur L. Riggle
Soft cover, 8.5" x 11", 30 pages, copyright 1996
Sample page

Whether you are an experienced gem cutter or are a beginner interested in getting into the fascinating hobby (or profession) of lapidary, important considerations are the convenience and efficiency of the abrasives you use. These attributes are found in the use of diamond abrasives for the sawing, grinding, sanding, smoothing and polishing of gemstones. The "diamond way" is fast, clean and cool. Diamond lapidary equipment is compact, an important consideration for those with limited space. Not so long ago few of these abrasives were available to gem cutters and lapidary hobbyists, but modern technology has blessed lapidaries with a wide variety of diamond machinery, accessories and supplies.

How To Use Diamond Abrasives shows you how to use diamond abrasives and equipment to cut cabochons and flat stones. Several methods are covered so you may select from those which best fit your needs and work for you. This book will show you how to use the various types of diamond abrasives to cut beautiful gemstones and display pieces with a maximum of enjoyment, convenience and cleanliness.

Chapters include: Why Diamond?, Sawing Gemstones, Dopping, Grinding with Diamond, Smoothing and Polishing, Equipment, Accessories and Supplies, and Special Techniques. How To Use Diamond Abrasives To Cut Gemstones is concise and well illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. The cabochon making techniques presented are tried and proven and have withstood the test of time. This highly recommended book presents a great deal of valuable how-to information for a very modest price and belongs in the library of every lapidary hobbyist.


Order This Video Opal Cutting Made Easy DVD Video
Opal Cutting Made Easy DVD Video
Step-by-Step Visual Instruction
by Paul B. Downing
36 minutes, copyright 2007

Opal Cutting Made Easy is a step-by-step visual instruction DVD by 3-time AGTA Cutting Edge winner Paul B Downing. Learn to cut like a pro! Paul shares all his inside tips and secrets to successful opal cutting.

Watch over Paul's shoulder as he takes a Coober Pedy opal from rough to finished cabochon. Each step is visually demonstrated and verbally explained in his mini-class on opal cutting.


The Art of Gem Cutting Order This Book
The Art of Gem Cutting
Including Cabochons - Faceting - Spheres - Tumbling - And Special Techniques
by H.C. Dake
Soft cover, 5.5" x 8.5", 96 pages, copyright 1987
Sample page

The Art of Gem Cutting explains how to buy rough stones, how to cut the gems, and how to choose and use lapidary and gem cutting equipment. This primer will get aspiring and student gemcutters off started off on the right path and builds an interest in the many facets of the fascinating hobby of lapidary and gem cutting.

This book is organized into four major parts: Cabochon Cutting, Facet Cutting, Special Lapidary Technique, and Useful Lapidary Notes. Topics covered under Cabochon Cutting Include: Sawing, Diamond Saw Blades, Sawing Coolants, Sawing Large Specimens, Grinding Operation, Grinding Wheel Hints, Side Wheel Grinding, Grinding Wheel Bondings, Sanding Operation, Discs and Drums, Belt Sanders, Dopping the Gems, Polishing the Gem, Slow Speed Polishing, Theory of Polishing, Polishing Methods, Cabochon Bezel Angles, and The Micron Sizes. Topics covered under Facet Cutting include: Diamond Laps, Orientation, Cutting the Facets, A System for Brilliant Cut Gems, Polishing Facets, Faceting Zircon, Facet Cut Topaz, How to Cut Amethyst, Facet Cut Sphalerite, Facet Cut Titania, Titania Doublets, The Rose Cut, Quartz and Beryl Angles, Development of the Brilliant Cut, and Acid in Polishing.

Topics covered under Special Lapidary Techniques include: Sphere Cutting, Polishing Spheres, Cameo Cutting, A Handy Lapidary Tool, The Tumbled Gems, The Horizontal Lap, Cutting and Polishing Transparencies, Drilling Cabochons, and Bracelet Cutting. Topics covered under Useful Lapidary Notes include: Cutting a Cabochon, Standard Cabochons, Polishing Jade, The Fibrous Gems, Cutting Asteriated Quartz Cabochons, Cutting Star Sapphire, Cutting Laboradorite, Buying the Rough, Coloring Agate, Types of Equipment, and Adapting Sanding Cloth.

The Art of Gem Cutting is concise and well illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings. The gem making techniques presented are tried and proven and have withstood the test of time. This highly recommended book presents a great deal of valuable how-to information for a very modest price and belongs in the library of every lapidary hobbyist.


Bead Work
Buyer's Guides
Chain Making
Collecting Guides
Designs & Patterns
Faceting
Fossils
Gemstones
Geology and Earth Science
Gold & Mining
Jewelry Making
Lapidary
Meteorites
Rocks & Minerals
Rockpups
Smithing
Stone Setting
Wire Work

Table of Contents

Bob Keller