Winter 2016 Edition

Welcome to the SomeTimes Newsletter!

We are coming to the close of another great year. It has been wonderful to see the level of creativity in the lapidary world. Along with wonderful classic designs, we have been bowled over with the newer fantasy cuts that are showing up from all quarters.  

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the comments, Likes and submissions to our Facebook and related social pages. 

If you haven't visited yet, please do... there are wonderful gems and cutting tips.... cut by a thriving community of many talented and wonderful people!

Please feel free to email all your pictures to 
[email protected] or post to our  Facebook. 

...Facet Forward!


You may never get to facet CUPRITE...but the color is extraordinary and the brilliance exceptional!

Faceted CUPRITE of any size is considered one of the most collectible and spectacular gems in existence, with its deep garnet coloring and higher brilliance than a diamond. CUPRITE's is too soft to be used in jewelry, but, as you see, it is a truly special collector's stone.

When Duncan Miller, Ultra Tec's representative in Cape Town, South Africa sent us a picture of these four CUPRITE stones...

Duncan wrote...

" See what I have been doing recently on my Ultra Tec classic faceting machine -  I've been cutting cuprite!   It has been an adventure.  These cuprites are from the now defunct Onganja copper mine in Namibia.  The rough was acquired in 1975 from Sid Pieters in Windhoek. The round stone is a 29.16 ct, 16 mm diameter nine-mains brilliant.  The 14.38 ct, 16 mm long pear-shaped stone is based on 'Allan's Challenge' by Arya Akhavan, with a simplified pavilion. The 4.78 ct, 8 mm triangular stone is Tom Herbst's 'Tris de Garnet'. The square stone is a 34.32 ct, 15.5 mm wide step-cut crown on a simple brilliant pavilion from Jeff R. Graham's 'Quick Cushion'. All the stones except the Tris de Garnet have shallow pavilions to reduce absorption of the reflected light. I cut them on a 1200 mesh sintered bronze/diamond lap, pre-polished with 8000 mesh diamond on a Batt lap, and polished with 100 000 mesh or 200 000 mesh diamond on a Lightside Lap. Need I say that cuprite, with a Mohs's hardness of 3½-4, and a metallic lustre that shows up the faintest scratch, is difficult to polish?"

duncan miller class

Well, polish them you did, Duncan - super work!

A Web Clipping....

Afghanistan Gem Cutting - from Al Jazeera News
Afghanistan Gem Cutting - from Al Jazeera News


Those were the words of jeweler Derek Katzenbach when he sent us this photograph.  And the three exclamation points were his!

Derek entered into the world of Fantasy faceting by taking lessons with Dalan Hargraves, at Dalan's workshop, near Austin, Texas.

Derek at his workshop in Maine
 For Derek, whose home and shop is in Farmington, Maine, the trip to Texas was a long haul - but it was well worth it - it turned into t he revelation he hoped it would be.  Derek purchased an ULTRA TEC Fantasy Machine, and got busy.
This stone, is a 6.81 ct. Apatite from Madagascar. 
Derek and Dalan in Texas

Derek has worked as a jewelry designer and craftsman since his early 20's, having apprenticed  with several Maine gem artists. He attended the GIA at the Carlsbad Campus - and afterwards launched out on his own.  Now, with ten years of experience, ten years during which he designed hundreds of custom pieces and faceted hundreds of gemstones, he further enhances his capabilities - with Fantasy cutting.

Derek's First Fantasy Stone
Join Our Facebook Community -- Over 13,000 'LIKES' & growing everyday! 

ULTRA TEC Faceting has a thriving community on FACEBOOK. Take a look at our page for interesting links and updates. If you are more of a TWITTER'er, we are right there too ( 
We welcome all our ULTRA TEC cousins as FANS -- your, pictures, videos, experiences, comments and suggestions are always welcome!
Don't Forget to Click on the  LIKE button to be added to the community.

The Ultra Tec V5 Faceting Machine

The Ultra Tec V5 Faceting Machine

We Lost a Friend...

We are saddened - our whole industry is saddened - by the loss of Tom Maxwell.  Even as he battled his health problem, Tom's was a vigorous voice - always upbeat, always cheerful, always full of new ideas.  Needless to say, he'll be missed by many people in the faceting world - the many people who knew him as a friend.

Pictures from 2016 DENVER Gem & Mineral Show... a great event in the calendar


New Representative

Jeff Warrington in the UK

Ultra Tec's new Representative in England, Jeff Warrington, lives in Bognor Regis.

Jeff spent the first half of his working career as a Sussex police officer -- running a small K9 section.  Leaving that behind, Jeff and his wife Helen opened a jewelry shop in the town of  Horsham, where Jeff worked at the jeweler's bench. 

And now - after "retirement",  Jeff continues to pursue his "paying hobby" of faceting.  You can see his work on his website  

Jeff has broadened his world of faceting activity to include participation at shows - where he offers demonstrations (in an entertaining way, as can be seen) .  He also contributes articles to the United Kingdom Facet Cutters Guild website.

Jeff arrives on the scene with the "blessings" of Brad Amos, who has now retired as an active ULTRA TEC rep. ULTRA TEC thanks Brad for the many years of our association.

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. 

Happy Holidays and here's to a fantastic 2017! 

The ULTRA TEC Lapidary Team

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