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 Post subject: Questions about synthetic boules
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:55 pm 
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Hi! I've decided to dive headfirst into faceting and while I wait a month+ for my machine to leave the manufacturer I've been gathering up the other necessary supplies and of course, rough material.

One thing I don't have a sense of right now is how much can a beginner faceter get out of cutting a split synthetic corundum boule. How many large roundish/squarish gems can a beginner realistically expect out of a typical boule?

The flame-fused split boules are usually listed in price lists at 40g-50g. While I can figure calculate the carat weight and know the approximate dimensions, I obviously have no experience dividing one up to cut yet. Knowing that I could expect to get a minimum 4, 8, 10, etc largish practice pieces out of one would help me plan future purchasing.

Also, the forum search has lots of lists of natural rough suppliers that I'm looking into, but I haven't found many for synthetics except perhaps Rusgem (trying to get in touch with) and I think creativegems, and prettyrock. Are there any others notable places?

I've also occasionally seen people buying whole kilos lots of synthetic and I'm curious where those are found. (Not that I expect to buy so much starting off, but sounds interesting to know for the far future)

Thanks everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about synthetic boules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:07 am 
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I've also occasionally seen people buying whole kilos lots of synthetic and I'm curious where those are found. (Not that I expect to buy so much starting off, but sounds interesting to know for the far future)


For "simple" synthetics and simulants like flame fusion corundum, flame fusion spinel, or CZ, you can order them by the kilogram on places like Alibaba.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about synthetic boules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:01 pm 
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I think you may enjoy cutting some natural quartz stones first as they are softer and easier to work with that synthetic corundum.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about synthetic boules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:16 pm 
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Just a sampling of some synthetics. As you can see trying to give you a somewhat legit answer is going to be based on an individual boule, and the orientation of how you use that boule. I know, like what you have probably discovered that many resellers only provide the weight in which your going to purchase and no real dimensions, for a lot of good reasons 1. Many ranges in shape and size to a degree, 2. takes time to provide all that info on a relatively low price product., 3. They assume you already have that knowledge gained by either experience, years of pounding the aisles of tradeshows, etc.... 4. RESEARCHING the many processes of synthetic gemstones.

Start here maybe:
An Introduction to Synthetic Gem Materials
https://www.gia.edu/gem-synthetic

I would say that in practicality you would get 4 to 5 stones to start in a split boule, at a size comfortable for a beginner. If you utilized the material sensibly. Using a split boule of 80-100g full boule. You will probably be cutting sizes more in a 12-15mm range.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about synthetic boules
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 2:00 am 
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Especially the picture!
It was very helpful to see a couple next to each other with measurements for context.

If it weren't pandemic I'd actually go out and try to see examples in person at a show, but alas, maybe in 2021.

Quote:
I think you may enjoy cutting some natural quartz stones first as they are softer and easier to work with that synthetic corundum.


I have some random quartz lying around that I'll be sacrificing to just get the hang of dialing the machine in. Eventually I'd like to do a tour of the relatively inexpensive materials as a way to learn, syn spinels and corundum, natural topaz, cheaper beryls, etc. I figure by then I'd have enough confidence to handle more valuable stuff as I find them.

Thanks again everyone!


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