September 2018 Edition

Welcome to the SomeTimes Newsletter!

Thanks to everyone for the comments, likes and submissions to our Facebook and related social pages. 

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...Facet Forward!

REPORT FROM THE Franklin Faceters' Frolic 2018 (FFF11)

This year's FFF - the 11th Frolic! -- was a well attended success - kudos to Ken Michalek, the primary organizer of the event, and to those who helped. The FFF shared its new location with the Franklin Gem and Mineral Societies show and there was an FFF attendance of near 300 people in the display area.

Ken Michalek was a busy, busy man

Many of the FFF visitors also attended the speaker sessions that we held in another room.  Tom Mitchell did a demo on dopping, Gerry Boykin did a demo on the ULTRA TEC Fantasy machine, Dan Lynch did a talk on buying rough in Africa.  Each of these talks were packed to a standing-room-only level.

Gerry Boykin, always informative and entertaining 
talked about Fantasy cutting

Dan Lynch  talked about buying gem rough in Africa

NEXT July is FFF12. It's right around the corner (as many of us have learned)!

MIDDLE EARTH - a place of Mystery and Magic -- at the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show

In August, Allen Peterson brought the mystery and magic of his MIDDLE EARTH LAPIDARY to West Springfield, Mass - to the East Coast Gem & Mineral Show -- where he demonstrated ULTRA TEC faceting.

MIDDLE EARTH LAPIDARY's home base is in East Granby, Connecticut - you can check out the website,    Lessons are offered in classic faceting and in Fantasy faceting.

Allen, representing Ultra Tec, brings years of experience and success to his teaching - You can get in touch with Allen at tel. 660 653 0664.  His email is [email protected] - arrange for a visit (give him a wink and tell him "Joe sent me").

Allen is a GIA Graduate Gemologist.  He says, "I am totally passionate about anything to do with gems..." -  And we can certify that he's a nice guy.

The Ultra Tec V5 Faceting Machine

The Ultra Tec V5 Faceting Machine

A NEW INDEX GEAR...  An '84'

The 84 Index gear is a "cousin" to the 77, both of them being divisible by seven. 

There aren't many 84 designs, but there are some. And now, thanks to prolific gem designer Arya Akhavan, there are two more. When we told him about the 84, he got to work.

His first 84 design he calls Torsades du Ruban (google doesn't recognize the language - it guesses French - and translates it into English, as Torsades du Ruban); we think it's Arkhavian. See the Torsades du Ruban design below.

His second 84 design is Silver Crystal Lotus. It's down below too.


In Dallas, Texas - meet Dan York. Like many of you, Dan became interested in stones, and stone cutting at an early age. When he was 8 years old, his grandpa took him to the American Baptist Assembly Conference Center in Green Lake, WI, where they had a Lapidary shop, and Dan just took to it. Soon, cabbing opals was his hobby.

When Dan was 15 he had a faceting lesson, and that opened new vistas for him - but really getting "into" faceting remained for the future.  Dan, who had joined the Army was stationed in Germany, where he managed to continue his interest in opals.  But, he knew that faceting was where he was headed - and when he completed his tour of duty, to faceting was where he went.

He did the research, and talked to other faceters, and decided on ULTRA TEC.  So, well thought out, and now experienced and working as a "pro", Dan is a good source of information and help in your selecting your faceting machine.


Near Fargo, North Dakota, about 8 miles away, is the town of Mapleton - hometown of Chris Ellenson.  Chris is ULTRA TEC's new representative in the area.  Here's a picture of Chris with his wife Krissy and his daughters Olivia and Milayna.  It was only a few years ago that Chris "discovered" faceting and he became enamored with it - he has "the faceting gene".  He went on to study with the GIA where he received his GCS diploma. 

And from there it was on to ULTRA TEC faceting, and continuing to learn, continuing to experiment.  Chris appreciates that a faceter quickly learns to produce cut stones that draw the ooh's and ah's, but as he or she continues faceting, there's an entire world of knowledge and skill to be gained - a lifetime of learning.  You'd enjoy meeting and talking to Chris - he can show you his V5 faceting machine - and now his Fantasy machine too.


We're into "family" pictures this month. Here's Tony Grishek - and Sharon, of Tony & Sharon's Agates and Gems, in Laurel, MT. - in the picture with their first great grandson (!). And, below, it's Tony himself a faceting great grandpa - a faceter for over 35 years - he's taught many new-to-faceting folks. If that describes you - new to faceting - or new to Ultra Tec - Tony offers start-out lessons at no charge. Tony is a member of the Billings Gem and Mineral club.

In "retirement", Tony works his 38 acre ranch, which keeps him busy, putting up hay and irrigating.  Tony also works as a professional faceter - he says, "I do manage to keep busy". Yes, indeed.

If you call him (406 628 4311), and he doesn't answer, leave a message. He may be out in the fields - or, off to the Yogo Vortex Mine, digging sapphires. Leave a message - he'll call back!

 A HOW-TO - from Master Lapidary Artist Dalan Hargrave.

Dalan Lecture
Dalan Hargrave is no stranger to anyone in the world of Lapidary.  He is a master artist - a master innovator, and, to the benefit of all of us, a master teacher.  He's devoted to keeping the art alive, passing along 'how-to' information.  

Here, we pass along a design and how-to for the Nautical Star - a design that Dalan says he's been cutting successfully for 20 years.  He says it represents a good learning cut for fantasy work - to learn the basics of Fantasy Machine use - beginning alignment and machine operations.  If you are getting into Fantasy, this is for you.

Incidentally - well, not so incidentally - Dalan recently cut a Nautical Star for jeweler Robin Callahan.  Here it is. We don't always get to see a cut stone in its destination setting. You would find her web pages interesting.


Scott Sucher introduces his famous diamond replicas at TGMS 2017

Scott Sucher introduces his famous diamond replicas at TGMS 2017 -- more details at

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See you next time!

Once again, thank you as always for your interest in ULTRA TEC and our products. We'll be in touch again soon with the next Sometimes Newsletter. 

Bye for Now! 

                                                 The ULTRA TEC Lapidary Team

ULTRA TEC Mfg., Inc.| +1 714 542 0608 | [email protected] |