Gemology Blog

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Phil: Cabochon Master

(This article is republished here from the "Gem People" website, which is being closed because of difficulty in managing it.)

Phil's last name not shown as per his request: for security reasons.

Phil is one of those artist who have a very practical approach towards their work of art. When I was learning Faceting, he told me (and I have not forgotten) to use good quality gemstones even though I am just learning. Because good quality material will result in a gem, which I can charish rather than throw away after a while. Phil likes to cabochon and then he makes jewelry with it, thus making it usable.

In the pictures below see Phil showing off his cab at the Bendigo Gem show Sept 2004. I tried to shoot him together with his girl friend but she shied away. Both of them are seen in almost every gem show in Victoria.

I tried to take photos of his beautiful piece of Jade but my hands shook and the light was not very good that is why you may not be able to see the real beauty of the artifact.

Phil was the Secretary of Nunawading & District Lapidary Club (in Melbourne, Victoria) when I first wrote this article for the original website. Now he is the president. He teaches short courses in Silver Jewelry Making at the club. I did the introductory course, where he taught us how to make a Silver ring. Phil does not conduct cabochon courses, which is a shame.

Phil is plumber by profession. You would find him at the club most of his free time.
 Phil Showing His Rough Rocks

Phil Showing Off His Teeth
Phils Cabochon Closeup

Phils Jade Cabochon

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Anatase and Brookite Crystal specimens

On my trip to Pakistan (January 2006), this winter, I saw very nice little specimens of Anatase and Brookite. For me these were quite exciting crystal specimens because they they are very rarely seen in the markets. These specimens were allegedly from Waziristan, Pakistan.

Looking at Anatase, at first sight I thought they were zircon crystals on a clay matrix because of their high lustre. The seller said that it was Anatase and later on I found out that he was not lying. Actually the crystals had basal pinacoid which zircon does not have.

Brookite was also new to me. It was reddish brown very thin crystal. It surely has a very nice look to it but I realised that it was breaking off from the matrix very easily.

Below are two pictures and some more info about the two gemstone crystal specimen.

The TiO2 group is composed of rutile, anatase, and brookite and their crystal system Tetragonal, Tetragonal and Orthogonal respectively.

Brookite Crystal Specimen

Brookite Formula: TiO2
System: Orthorhombic
Colour: Brown, Black, Red.
Lustre: Metallic
Hardness: 5½ - 6

Anatase Crystal Specimen

Anatase Formula: TiO2
System: Tetragonal
Colour: Brown, indigo blue, ...
Lustre: Adamantine,Resinous
Hardness: 5½ - 6