Beginner Instructions, Professional Results
Gemstones are naturally beautiful, but you can make them glisten and shine. This beginner's guide covers all the techniques you need to know: tumbling, cutting, face polishing and more. By following the authors' simple approach, you'll create finished stones worthy of displaying, selling or making into jewelry.
- pertains to a wide range of popular gemstones, from agates to turquoise
- prevents frustration, with detailed photos and easy-to-follow instructions
- offers helpful tips from the authors' years of experience
- provides information about recommended equipment and supplies
- briefly introduces jewelry making, with seven simple jewelry projects
Rock hounding is more than a hobby for author Jim Magnuson, it's a serious and rewarding avocation that helps him connect with nature. He has been an avid hunter and student of various gems, minerals and fossils since his childhood, when he first began to hunt for stones in his native state of Illinois. In addition, Jim enjoys sharing his passion not only through showing and gifting some of his finds, but also through writing, another lifelong interest. Throughout Jim's career as an Information Technology professional, he has developed his technical writing skills while creating new processes that reduce complexity and improve efficiency. These same skills proved to be invaluable as he set out to create a modern-day guide for beginning agate hunters. Jim is also a member of the Minnesota Mineral Club and enjoys attending other rock and mineral clubs as a way to further his learning and branch out into other types of agates, gemstones and geology. Rocks and lapidary work are both a rewarding personal avocation and a profession for Val Carver. While he is both educated and established as a practicing chemical engineer, his life has been centered around rocks, gems and minerals for the past 20 years, including ownership of a first-class lapidary supply and rocks, gems and jewelry business in Princeton, MN (Minnesota Lapidary Supply and Rocks & Things). This is not to say that Val has abandoned his engineering background and training, because he has continually leveraged that expertise to develop innovative lapidary tools and processes. It has also enabled him to work closely with lapidary wholesalers to both develop and procure high quality and economical lapidary tools and supplies. Val is always looking for ways to help his customers achieve success and satisfaction with their rockhounding and lapidary areas of interest, and he takes personal time to consult with them as they explore and learn some new machine, tool or process. Val's direct style helps hobbyists at all levels to skip through "layers of frustration" that often occur in the early learning stages. He has given the same energy and focus to helping create this book for lapidary hobbyists so they might experience the same personal rewards that he enjoys. Carol Wood took up professional photography as a means of satisfying a lifelong passion for creating and sharing things of beauty. She has a keen eye for seeing perspectives in things that on the surface appear to be mundane or quite simple. Given her training and natural instincts for perspective and complementary lighting that enhances visual clarity, Carol is able to produce high-definition photographic images that enhance but don't distract from the given subjects. These skills are essential in providing a guidebook that novice agate hunters can use as a just-in-time visual reference guide. In addition to Carol's photographic pursuits, she also enjoys outdoor activities with her friends and family, especially activities that have both a mental and physical component. As a result, she has become an avid rock hound in her own right and has gradually built a collection of beautiful agates that adorn her home in northern Illinois. Carol has also developed a personal interest in making jewelry pieces using gemstones she has found, and thereby has become familiar with many of the lapidary tools and processes in this book. Carroll would have a hard time choosing between the joy of finding a beautiful gemstone and that of completing a lovely new jewelry piece!