The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, October 22, 2020


From Stone Age to the 21st Century, Exploring Our Passion for Gems and Minerals.



Whether you're passionate about lapidary, or curious enough to attend a gem and mineral show, the world of geology offers an amazing spectrum of opportunities for both study and enjoyable hobbies.

So, are you familiar with lapidary? How about if I told you that it had been around since the stone age and still catches the interest and imagination of millions of people across the world, even today?

So, What is Lapidary?



Lapidary is the term given to the cutting and polishing of stone. Now you might assume that the caveman's focus was on using stone for manufacturing weapons, and on the whole, that's correct. However, there's also evidence that they had developed the ability to carve, cut, and engrave to transform natural materials into decorative items such as jewelry.

Lapidary now usually refers to the creation of smaller pieces from gem materials using four key techniques:

Tumbling. A great entry point to the hobby, tumbling involves placing the rough gems into a revolving barrel. Progressively finer abrasives are then added until the polished gem emerges. You could think of this as being the same type of process as takes place in nature with rocks in a stream or on a beach.

Tumbling can transform a dull stone into a beautiful piece ready for display or placement into jewelry. This a perfect family pastime, children are fascinated by the process, and it's a great inexpensive entry to the hobby.

Cabbing. This is one of the most common lapidary arts and involves cutting the gems so that they have a curved or domed top along with a flat bottom. The cost of equipment is higher than for tumbling, and it is a more complex process, but the resale value can be high, meaning that this could become a profitable hobby!

Faceting. If you have ever stood in front of a jeweler's window and seen the light sparking off the diamond pieces, then the chances are that you've been looking at a faceted gem. These geometrically arranged, flat surfaces or facets cover the surface of each diamond.

Faceting brings out the brilliance of the gem. They reflect the light entering the stone and bring it back to you in that telltale sparkle. While this technique can be highly profitable, you'll need to make a considerable investment in the required equipment, and then you'll need to perfect your technique. Faceting is an art, but it also requires a logic and planning process that can appeal to mathematicians and engineers!

Carving. As one of the most challenging techniques within lapidary, few go on to become experts within this field. Gem materials present limitations as to what can be carved, and so this approach requires extensive knowledge of lapidary techniques combined with strong artistic skills.

Cameo is the best-known form of gem carving with seashells and agates being common material choices. While cameos are generally destined to be used within jewelry, many carved pieces become stunning stand-alone pieces.

What About Mineralogy?
But not all finds are destined to be crafted. Many of us will remember the thrill of finding an attractive stone as we walked on the beach or while out on the trails. Perhaps you were remodeling the back yard or digging in the garden's annual bulbs when you came across something which caught your eye. As we hold that stone in our hand, we cannot help but consider its background. Wondering just how old it is and how it was formed are probably two of the key questions which cause us to seek out more information. From there, we discover the science of mineralogy, which provides answers to our questions and ignites a spark of desire to know more.

How Do You Identify a Mineral?
Do you know that there is no one single property of a mineral that would allow you to identify it? The Illinois State Geological Survey state that there are eight key characteristics that we can use in identifying minerals:

1. Tenacity, which measures how well a mineral resists breakage

2. Luster, which considers the reflection of light from the mineral’s surface.

3. Hardness is the resistance to scratching, measured by the Mohs scale of hardness, named after the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs.

4. Cleavage, which describes how some minerals can have the tendency to break or split along flat surfaces

5. Fractures, which are the rough nonplanar breaks which cut randomly through mineral crystals.

6. Color. This may seem one of the easiest ways to identify a mineral, but that can send us down the wrong track when used in isolation! That's because the color of a mineral can be significantly affected by chemical impurities.

7. Streak, which is the color of the mineral when it's in powdered form, which can sometimes be completely different from the color of the piece in whole.

8. Specific gravity, measured by comparing the weight of the mineral's and comparing it to that of an equal volume of water. Although this can be measured precisely within a laboratory, you can also get a sense of the gravity through handling.

Gem and Mineral Societies and Shows
Whether it's lapidary or mineralogy, across the US, there are societies and clubs which bring together those who are passionate about the geology of the world around them. Society meetings provide the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding while also networking with others who are keen to share their latest finds and new discoveries.

These organizations also have another strong theme, and that's in the form of education. The Tucson Gem & Mineral Society, for example, provides interactive classroom learning experiences that aim to inspire and inform both students and teachers.

Many societies also organize annual events, with the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society being the very first organization to bring together the hobby enthusiast, the public, and the professionals at their gem and mineral show. For four days each year, the event provides what can only be described as an unrivaled museum/shopping experience as thousands of visitors indulge their passion for world-class minerals.

The theme of captivating youngsters also runs through the society's annual show. Working alongside the students from the University of Arizona, they provide a fun yet educational experience for the younger visitors.

In a specially designated Junior Education area, children are challenged to explore a maze of educational experiments assisted by the university students. Once they've completed a mineral treasure hunt, they can bring home mementos of clearly identified specimens that provide a lifelong memory of this fascinating field of study. Perhaps this will inspire future generations to also discover and be curious about this amazing world that we live in.










Today's News

May 29, 2020

Musée Jacquemart-André presents a retrospective of the work of J.M.W. Turner

Wifredo Lam masterpiece to lead a collection of Surrealist and Modern art from Latin America at Sotheby's

Revolutionary War tomahawk auctioned in Pennsylvania for world-record $664,200

Christie's Paris Classic Week realises $6,048,279

The National Anthem's path to fame began with little fanfare

Atget's Paris, 100 years later

Practicing architecture in a pandemic

Art in times of coronavirus

Almine Rech opens charity exhibition of works by New Jersey and New York-based artists

Art Brussels launches online platform designed to benefit the fair's community of galleries and artists

Blue Star Contemporary snnounces plans to reopen to the public

CHART Art Fair announces presentation of 100% women artists for its 2020 edition

Joseph Bellows Gallery presents an online exhibition of works by Baldwin Lee

Tang Teaching Museum presents online exhibition 'Lover Earth: Art and Ecosexuality'

Palazzo Strozzi's Tomás Saraceno: Aria exhibition reopens Monday 1 June

Virus screening: 'Grease' draws crowds at Madrid drive-in cinema

National Portrait Gallery presents Shirley Purdie's Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

London Art Week Digital Summer 2020 confirms 50 participants

Art Gallery of NSW opens next Monday 1 June with free timed ticketing for entry

Christie's presents Imaginary Friends by Sir Quentin Blake sold to benefit Comic Relief

Lynden Sculpture Garden to open grounds to free social distance walking

Parrish Art Museum announces leadership transition

Oklahoma City Museum of Art to reopen June 6 to members, plans June 17 reopening to the public

Producer Shop: Everything You Need To Know

Why play online slots?

The Top 7 Greek Mythology Audiobooks by AllYouCanBooks

How Can You Find A Professional Proofreader Online

Things to Consider When Buying a Commercial Bounce House

Advantages of inflatable kayaks

From Stone Age to the 21st Century, Exploring Our Passion for Gems and Minerals.

Why are Horse Racing Tracks so Beautifully Designed?

Why you should hire a marketing agency that specializes lawyers for your law firm.

Top things to do in Rome

Nice Walking Tour -- Discover the New Point of View

7 Best Gifts for Kids Into Art





Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful