Elk Run Mining Co.
Virginia Jewelry

100 % Virginia Gems

List of Gem Species 

Azure Moon
Fairy Stone
Harlequin Quartz
Indigo Spiderweb
Lettuce Agate
Lake of Lace
Messiah's Marble
Midnight Quartzite
Purple Passion    Rhodonite
Fossil  Shark's Tooth
Slag Glass
Virginia Agates
Wagon Trail  Jasper

Contact Stuart at:
540 421 7663 - C

                          Construction of a Cat
The raw material, Midnight Quartzite, collected in Rockingham County, Va.
 The rock is cut into slabs, and the shapes drawn. Not knowing how the material will look when finished, I begin providing extra preforms.
The drawn shapes are cut around, then ground to it's preform, including a beveled edge. The back side is then ground by hand usind 3 progressively finer grits, and a final polish. Note the shape of the tear drop is altered from the original drawn shape.
The preforms are attached to "Dop sticks" useing a product called "Dop wax". These will hold the pieces for working on the lapidary grinder. The sticks are hand held, to grind, sand and polish.
The finished cabochons, displayed on a slab of the raw rock. I am 5 hours into the process at this point, not counting the time to locate the raw material.
The setting. The sterling silver step bezels are cut to exact length. The body bezel has been soldered, and the head awaits it's turn.
The head bezel has been soldered, wire for the tail, ears, and bail, are cut. The feet are silver beads made by melting scrap.
All the components are shaped, the bail loop is soldered. 3 solder joints complete, 10 more to go.
Parts are positioned on a charcoal block, coated with flux, then individually soldered. 13 joints, without separating one as the others are heated.
All soldered, Ready for pickle.
The silver is polished. It is ready to set the gems, turn the bail 90 degrees, and polish the silver again.
The finished product, hung on a white ribbon necklace. About 8 hours in the setting, or 13 hours total to create a Black Cat.
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