First of all, with the exception of the large pieces on the bottom row, the turquoise in this picture is Bisbee Turquoise, originating from a mine outside Bisbee, Arizona. Furthermore, people recognize Bisbee Turquoise by it’s red / brown host rock. Coincidentally, Bisbee Arizona is only 100 miles Southeast of Tucson Turquoise.
Devcon © steel reinforce putty adds strength and also adds a flat surface for mounting the stone. As another benefit, it also adds height to the stone. Consequently, the epoxy portion of the turquoise is usually under the bezel of a piece of jewelry. Keep in mind that backing also adds weight to the cabochon. The seller establishes the price by weight.
Also, the turquoise in the photograph above is on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Consequently, the wax paper’s purpose is so the turquoise can peel off of the cookie sheet easily. Finally, the turquoise pieces with the Devcon © are split. At this point, the next step is attaching dop sticks to the separate pieces.
Most notably, a cabochon is a rough stone cut into convex shapes without facets. Most noteworthy, the stone is cut in sizes and shapes that best suite the jewelry layout they hope to achieve. In addition, they cut a specific shape and size, or they cut the cabochon into a Baroque or freeform shape. Ultimately, the cutter is trying to maximize their yield.
Moreover, backing adds strength to the stone. Not to mention, it is usually steel reinforce epoxy, which the craftsman apply to the stone. Finally, craftsmen uses the lapidary techniques to cut, grind, and polish.
In the same fashion, these days, more and more people use J.B. Weld ©. As a matter of fact, the advantage of this type of epoxy is the lower price. Also, another advantage is that you can mix the exact amount of epoxy you desire to back your stone(s).
Equally important, Bisbee turquoise is particularly vulnerable because it may have dynamite fractures, as in this piece. In addition, heavy machinery may drive over the ore, which also causes fractures to the vulnerable turquoise.
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