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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2014-02-17, 12:20am
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Default Goldstone Sources & Compatibility

I'm a member of the ASGB (Arizona Society of Glass Beadmakers) and we had our monthly meeting today. We were talking about bulk buys and I mentioned this source I'd found online for goldstone. I'm thinking I probably got the source from a thread on LE, though.

http://www.greatrough.com/rough_goldstone_blue.shtml

So I am thinking of buying some goldstone chunks, but when I mentioned how low the cost was, some of the members were "sure" it wasn't high quality or even compatible with 104 glass...In other words: too good to be true.

Long story short - I wrote an email to the fellow asking him if he knew what COE it is. He's a rock guy and did not know. However there is a comment on the website that says it's "compatible" with soft glass for glass beadmakers.

Does anyone have any experience with the goldstone from this website? Someone in ASGB was saying they thought it was 96 COE. The prices were phenomenally low and very much in my budget. However if I could find someone who can vouch for the goldstone or who knows whether it's compatible with 104, that would be a huge help.
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Old 2014-02-17, 7:47am
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I don't know, but I bought slabs from this site:
http://www.greatslabs.com/
and they made great stringer.

Well shoot, same site, just slab instead of rough!
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Old 2014-02-17, 10:42am
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I'm confused about how goldstone could have a coe?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldstone_%28gemstone%29
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Old 2014-02-17, 12:06pm
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Just make sure you encase the small chunk before pulling stringer.
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Old 2014-02-17, 12:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Just make sure you encase the small chunk before pulling stringer.
This seems to be what ensures compatibility, in my experiences. I've used chunks encased with whatever COE the base bead glass is (90, 96, or 104) with general success. Most failures (like stringer popping off later) tend to be because of tiny air bubbles caught in the encasing.

I've seen Indian glass beads wrapped with un-encased plain goldstone where the goldstone has virtually peeled off the base bead.

If any of the Phoenix folks want to play with goldstone or blue goldstone, I still have a bunch of large chunks from 1 pound pieces I bought in Quartzite several years ago. I've been pulling my own stringer with it ever since.
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Old 2014-02-17, 12:22pm
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I've bought the greatrough and it's compatible with 104. At least, the gold and blue are. I've never found a green Goldstone that played nicely with anything.
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  #7  
Old 2014-02-17, 12:26pm
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The best Goldstone I've gotten so far was from a knife knapping supply store online. I called to ask a bunch of questions and the owner totally honored my request to send the rough with really big sparkles. The stuff with tiny sparkles tends to fade out. It was the next best thing to getting to pick it out in person.
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Old 2014-02-17, 3:24pm
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Thank you Eileen, the www.greatslabs.com is the same guy as www.greatrough.com, but he has the red goldstone only on the first site, it seems.

Pat, I do encase before pulling as otherwise the goldstone tends to get muddy and doesn't sparkle anymore.

DesertDreamer, you haven't had any cracking with the goldstone you got at Quartzsite? That would be my biggest concern. If I encased it and pulled it and put it into a bead and then later the bead cracked that would be disasterous. So far, I have only used the fairly small 14mm or so chunks I got through Arrow Springs at the Gem Show in Tucson. This is the expensive stuff.

Glasshouse, do you have the name of the knife knapping store? I don't even know what knife knapping is, but if the owner is willing to send the really big sparkle pieces, that's awesome!

I'm still leaning on ordering from the fellow in Tucson (www.greatrough.com) however, as he is local and I could even (theoretically) drive to Tucson and pick out my pieces. It's just a 90 minute drive but the gas costs more than the shipping.

I had just never considered goldstone as having a COE, and in fact I was told you could even buy strings of beads and melt those to use to encase and pull into stringer. I wouldn't use beads though because the beads can be used to design and they have a hole in them which could trap air.

I appreciate all the responses everyone has contributed. It looks like it would be just fine to get the goldstone from the fellow in Tucson or anywhere that I can actually see what I'm buying.

I'm wondering why some people in ASGB thought there might be compatibility issues. They didn't even know the vendor I was talking about. It was also mentioned the goldstone might be from China (Oh no! Not that!)
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Old 2014-02-17, 3:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbeads View Post
I'm confused about how goldstone could have a coe?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldstone_%28gemstone%29
It's glass with copper particles... glass has COE's that matter if your glass is to live or shatters if the COE's are not compatible.

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Old 2014-02-17, 6:58pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by periwinkle View Post

DesertDreamer, you haven't had any cracking with the goldstone you got at Quartzsite? That would be my biggest concern. If I encased it and pulled it and put it into a bead and then later the bead cracked that would be disasterous. So far, I have only used the fairly small 14mm or so chunks I got through Arrow Springs at the Gem Show in Tucson. This is the expensive stuff.
No cracking with surface or encased stringer, either with 96 or 104 COE. I do a fair amount of both. I got it for $10/lb. I've whacked off large chunks at a time, slowly heated them in the kiln, then dropped them in a bucket of cold water. That makes it fracture but not always come apart. A few whacks with a hammer and you get useful pieces.
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  #11  
Old 2014-02-17, 7:07pm
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I've bought from them and used with 96 & 104. It's good quality and I would definitely buy from them again but they're always sold out of what I want!
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  #12  
Old 2014-02-18, 2:52pm
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Thanks Karen for your input about the encasing. Everything you guys have told has helped alleviate any worry about incompatibility.

Thanks Shawnette, it's good to know a few of us here in LE land have tried this goldstone. I feel much better about purchasing it now!

You guys have made my day knowing that I can happily purchase the lovely glittering stuff to my heart's content!

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Old 2014-02-18, 7:07pm
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From what I understand, Goldstone is only made in China and Germany now. The Chinese glass is 104 and the German glass is 96. A little birdie told me.
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Old 2014-02-18, 8:35pm
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I've also bought from them.
Great stuff and great prices.
Just takes the extra time to make it into usable sizes, but I bought a huge rock.....Val
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Old 2014-02-19, 9:18am
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I used to live in AZ and was part of a bulk order some years ago. It was good quality stuff.
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Old 2014-02-19, 12:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by periwinkle View Post

Glasshouse, do you have the name of the knife knapping store? I don't even know what knife knapping is, but if the owner is willing to send the really big sparkle pieces, that's awesome!
I wish I could remember. I tried looking in my email and search history but I completed the transaction by phone when I called to ask about compatibility. It was about a year or so ago. But it never hurts to ask whoever you're buying from if they can select the sparkliest pieces!!
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Old 2014-02-19, 3:42pm
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Oh, FosterFire and Glasshouse, perhaps you bookmarked the place? I find many things I can't remember in my bookmarks of the different browsers I use. I wish you could remember the names of the places you used to get goldstone from.

I just did a search on LE in the bulk buy section and someone in LE did a bulk buy in 2008 and it was with Great Rough.

I just got an email from my glass instructor and she said she had tried the goldstone from www.greatrough.com but her results were muddy. I value her opinion greatly. I wonder why she got such poor results? She certainly knows what she's doing.

So now I'm wondering what to do. Of course I'd like to get the most sparkle in a chunk, and I can't imagine who wouldn't want a sparkly piece of goldstone. But if the quality isn't very good, then it's a waste of money.
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Old 2014-02-19, 3:46pm
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I have bought goldstone from the glass suppliers and I've also bought goldstone beads from the local Chinese imported bead shop. I actually think the Chinese beads pull into nice sparkley stringers when encased. They are much cheaper than the glass suppliers but you must make sure that you quickly put it into the flame so that it cracks in half so you don't have air bubble issues after you encase it.
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Old 2014-02-19, 4:06pm
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I have also bought very cheap nuggets or cabochons from ebay sellers (Chinese) and used those and they also worked great too.

As I said above I bought a huge rock (over 10 pounds) from Great Rough and I'd be happy to cut some off for you to try.

Send me a PM if you are interested and I'll get your shipping info.....Val
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Old 2014-02-19, 4:09pm
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I placed an order with Neolithics Flintknapping Supply House. They have rough goldstone for $4 a lb. I'll let you know what it's like when it gets here (figure, even if it sucks for stringers, etc, it'll make a neat shelf tchochke *grin*).

Alli
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Old 2014-02-19, 4:29pm
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I just realized I'm overlooking the obvious! Karen, I'd love to purchase some goldstone from you if the offer still stands. A 1 lb chunk would surely be sufficient.
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Old 2014-02-19, 4:37pm
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Thanks, Allicat, I just checked out their site. I wonder if this is the same place glasshouse got hers from?

Valjean, yeah, I'd love to try a piece of the greatrough as well. I'll send ya a PM.
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Old 2014-02-21, 3:18pm
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I've bought the cheap beads at a bead show and they worked great.
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Old 2014-02-25, 12:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachbeads View Post
I'm confused about how goldstone could have a coe?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldstone_%28gemstone%29
Well, it's glass. There's no such thing as "natural" goldstone, if that's what you're getting it.
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Old 2014-02-25, 2:49pm
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ok, my goldstone arrived and I took some pics:

Name:  IMG_6708.jpg
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Size:  21.3 KBName:  IMG_6707.jpg
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Overall it's pretty sparkly! What I find interesting, is in the side view you can see a really intense band of decent sized copper crystals. Although right next to it (to the right of the streak) there is barely any large crystals at all; it's just sort of sheeny.

Now I need to figure out how to break it apart so I can access the really sparkly part without destroying the part with the sheen. It may not make good lampwork goldstone, but it's quite pretty and would make a nice shelf tchocke.

Alli

ETA Btw, if you order from Neolithics, know they pack the goldstone in packing peanuts. Lots of VERY staticky packing peanuts, .
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Old 2014-02-26, 1:28pm
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I spoke to the owner of Great Rough and he said he will not be selling the Goldstone any longer.
I don't know if he meant all colors of Goldstone or just red.
So as far as Red Goldstone, he only has a few "Slabs" left if anyone is interested.
Just thought I'd let you all know, in case someone was thinking about it....Val
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Old 2014-02-27, 12:23am
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Ack! That makes me want to call him up and ask for the last pieces he has!
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Old 2014-03-01, 3:19am
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Well, this is pretty exciting and promising as well. I received a good size hunk of red goldstone in the mail from Valjean. It was very generous of you to send that, Val! So of course, I tried to break it into smaller chunks almost as soon as I got it out of the package.

First, I put a piece of graphite on my single burner element and tried heating it up that way for about 15 minutes. The piece was about 3"x2" and there was a smaller chunk as well. I plunged those into water, but only a little sliver broke off of the smaller chunk.

So then I decided to try both pieces in the kiln. I have it set to 985 while I make beads. I put the pieces in for about 20-30 minutes. I plunged the pieces into the water and at once they both sizzled like before, and I thought they were just gonna sit there whole - laughing at me - but I conked them with the tongs and they started to break into pieces. I kept conking away and I got many good sized pieces for encasing. I have one piece that is about 1" big - a little too big for my comfort to encase, but all the rest are smaller.

There is a lot of sparkle in these pieces, so I'm thinking these are going to make very nice stringers! Can't wait to encase them in different colors!
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Old 2014-03-01, 1:40pm
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Well...a picture is worth a thousand words...



I had to resize this several times to make it small enough for LE's requirements. In doing so, I lost some of the clarity of the photo, but you can see that the goldstone on the bottom is far more sparkly than the one on top. The one on top is the gifted goldstone from Val. It certainly looked nice in rock form, but the sparkles seem to have gotten lost in the stringer. I'll probably still use it, but you can see that the sparkle is barely there. Perhaps when I use it some of the sparkle will still show.
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Old 2014-03-02, 1:52pm
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So sorry it didn't work out for you.
Like I said in the pm's it looked so pretty on the outside, but when i cut it, it lost something.
But there is a lot left 8 pounds of it.
Well, you live an learn.
When I get better at this I will give it a try again, if I can get it into manageable pieces. LOL.
......Val
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