A lapidary looks chaotic because there are many tools needed to complete any one project. The good thing about the chaos is that it can be fairly contained in a small space.
I started the shop several years ago with $300.00 and a dream to have a sense of fulfillment in my life again. The shop grew quite fast as I poured my heart and soul into it.
I now have a well-equipped lapidary bursting with rocks and minerals of all sorts and I am bursting with all kinds of crazy ideas that I showcase on Etsy.
Take a photo tour to have a close peek at the chaos. There you will see some of the equipment needed. Here are the 10 (not so easy) steps involved in getting treasure to you.
1. The never-ending quest for new aquisitions. This is achieved via mining, digging, range hunting, trading, shopping, garage sales, estate sales, swapmeets, conventions, networking with "pickers", diving, snorkling and beachcombing.
2. Process the incoming treasure, count, weigh & record. Then I have to find nooks & crannys to store it where it can be found again.
3. Verify & Identify via the science of gemology. Knowing what the material consists of is important when cutting and finishing it because all the different minerals have different ways it needs to be handled and sold.
4. Cut & rough shape on an arbor. We use diamond saws and wheels to do this. Different blades and diamond grit wheels are needed for differing materials.
5. Exacting finishing is done on the flat lap. This involves more shaping and polishing. Sometimes this is done via a tumbler or a vibratory polishing unit or a series of both. Several types of compounds are used to achieve a perfect polish. Sometimes stuff is carved or beveled on a rotary unit using different shaped diamond burrs.
6. Holes are strategically drilled according to how a stone looks best and how it will hold up to the abuse. An ultrasonic drilling unit is the best choice for the job as it is less invasive than a standard rotary unit and it makes cleaner less visible holes.
7. Finished materials are sorted, weighed, strung, recorded, filed & photographed.
8. Time to showcase the little beauties on Etsy!
9. Now we have to find a safe place to store them until they sell.
10. Package the sold stones. Since gemstones are Mother Nature's treasured gift to us, I treat them like a treasure from beginning to end. I decorate their shipping box to reflect the creative process then when the box finally arrives at your house, there is no question that treasures are waiting inside for YOU!
Around the web
Suz (motorcycle in back)
I love turquoise! I collect older Southwest sterling and turquoise jewelry and my motorcycle is a turquoise color too!
Clem is my husband. He enjoys using the ultrasonic drilling unit a lot more than a rotary tool. There is far less loss involved and the work is cut in half.
Sorter & Stringer
DeDe is an expert pearl knotter trained in hand tying on silk. She has a keen eye for sorting and grading which helps us to provide the best selections for you. If you need your heirloom pearls re-strung then convo her here.
Fashion Trend Advisor & Materials Scout
Opal has had a long career in upper management in the women's fashion industry. She has a keen eye for style and upcoming trends and helps us stay "fashion forward". Convo her here if you need consulting when designing your bead ensemble.
Miss Mini Pearl
She is the "Pearl". I am the "Raven". She likes to lay around and wait to get tickled.
Accepted payment methods
- Money Order
- Other Method
I gladly accept holds, reserves, and layaway but please notify me promptly to let me know what to expect. Any unpaid orders will be cancelled within 24 hours if you do not contact me to make proper arrangements.
I strive to keep shipping as low as possible. Beads are boxed for safe arrival and sent as economically as possible. I will automatically refund overages amounting to more than $2.00. You may stockpile and request combined shipping.
Returns and exchanges
Your feedback is highly valued and appreciated but please be gracious and contact me to resolve any issues before leaving negative or neutral feedback.
Additional policies and FAQs
• Anyone wishing to re-print intellectual property may simply ask permission and in most cases, permission is graciously granted.
• The representation of the material you are choosing from is subject to a strict code of conduct & honest disclosure as set forth by the FTC, AGTA, JVC & Gemaddicts.com. If you notice a discrepancy in any listing, KINDLY send a convo, remember I am human and it is possible to have made a simple error or omission in a listing. For more information on FTC guides on selling gemstones, see http://www2.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.pdf
• Ultrasonic drilling services offered by writing to: suznellis [!at] rcn.com
• Custom lapidary services offered on all products sold. Do you need simple adjustments made or alterations to stones? Send a convo with your requests!
• Now you can see video of The Raven and Pearl's featured gemstones at: http://theravenandpearl.weebly.com