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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
March 18, 2019, 06:33:02 pm
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carving gemstones dry

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Author Topic: carving gemstones dry  (Read 2268 times)
krneaves
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« on: November 27, 2010, 12:52:36 pm »

hello to all of you,i read on here where one of you carve dry.i have carved dry since 1968,this was the way i learned.i don't recomend that anyone carve dry without using a mask or an exhuast fan.also when carving malachite be very careful,i have nearly died twice from malachite dust.some people are affected by even the mist when grinding it wet.some shells are very toxic too,some affect the nervous system.you folks probably know this already.when i started out there was very few gem carvers around to advise me,i had to learn by my mistakes.best regards,ken
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 03:52:13 pm »

So everybody please listen to Ken - he knows what he is talking about.

I hate it here in my club when people  won't listen when I say stuff like that and go ahead and cut shells, etc.
They are the old farts who think they know it all.

Sorry you had to learn the hard way, Ken.
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Stay healthy in 2011.  .  .  . and don't forget to eat some dark chocolate!

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krneaves
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 04:19:22 pm »

gregorgr8,i am not very good with a computer,seems like ever time i post something i think of something else to say.i  have hunted rocks in the west 2 or 3 times on interstate ten near kent,texas.i found some nice agate and jasper.in the 1970's there was an article in the lapidary journal warning people that was rockhunting on the desert not to lick the rocks to see the color.a lot of the rocks have fungus spores on them that are dormant in the dry desert but when you lick the rocks the spores get in the lungs,they grow and fill up the lungs and cause death.at that time the lapidary journal said that 5 people had died from this.best regards,ken
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hulagrub
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 07:27:16 pm »

Ken is right on! We had one of our club members come close to dying, over dry grinding of malachite.
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 03:00:59 am »

I never dry sand anything..

These posts make me not want to even work with Malachite at all.

Have a few to do for someone too..

Think will have to put Malachite on my can't do from now on.

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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 07:56:34 am »

George:   I hope you don't wait.  Tell the person you just learned about the dangers of malachite (it contains arsenic, I believe) and you cant afford to do it anymore.

Please


Gregor
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Stay healthy in 2011.  .  .  . and don't forget to eat some dark chocolate!

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azsavit
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 08:36:53 am »

You know, I have often wondered about this. I have heard multiple references to malachite containing arsenic, but malachite is just Cu2CO3(OH)2 - no arsenic, see? Still, malachite obviously has the potential to make people ill.

Not much info out there about this, but I did find one blog post which I think offers a convincing explanation.
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krneaves
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 08:55:20 am »

hello to all of you,malachite is a copper carbonate.in the 1950's there was a bean dust made from it,if it will kill a bean bug it will kill a man.i have had two heart valve replacements in my life and was very sick but not nearly as sick as i was on malachite.i am not trying to scare anybody just telling you what happened to me and a friend.my friend was allergic to it and his hands swelled until they burst in places.i made a lot of cameos from malachite when i started out.i worked them dry.small amounts didn't make me sick,it was the big pieces that got me.there are a lot of things beside malachite that are dangerous.best regards,ken
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 03:21:17 pm »

You know, I have often wondered about this. I have heard multiple references to malachite containing arsenic, but malachite is just Cu2CO3(OH)2 - no arsenic, see? Still, malachite obviously has the potential to make people ill.

Not much info out there about this, but I did find one blog post which I think offers a convincing explanation.

ok. was just repeating what I have heard from multiple people over 35 years.  IF it did contain arsenic it would be as a very  minor part, but since As is so toxic it could make you sick.
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Stay healthy in 2011.  .  .  . and don't forget to eat some dark chocolate!

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azsavit
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 06:42:44 am »

 Gregor, I have heard that malachite contains arsenic from probably half a dozen different folks. it is a pretty pervasive rumor, so i was just wondering about its origin. The blog post refferenced above was the most convincing explanation i could find. In short, it is the readily soluble copper in malachite which gets efficiently absorbed thru the lungs and causes symptoms of toxicity.

Ken, the insecticide 'malachite green', which you are likely referring to, does not actually contain malachite. To my knowledge, the mineral malachite has never been used as a pesticide.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 10:43:21 am »

I have read a few articles that state that if you have a cut on your hands that you can get effects of the toxicity of copper from being absorbed into your blood stream but I haven't heard of anyone actually having this occur. As a precaution I wear those surgical gloves that I get from Costco when I'm cuting Malachite, Hematite, Silicon and Marcasite. All of thes materials are really messy and stain everything including your hands. Obviously inhaling Malachite dust gets a large amount into your bloodstream rather quickly.
Your body actually needs a trace amount of copper to maintain good health but you can really overdose on the stuff when you work on copper bearing materials.
I usually sand my large cabs dry but I always wear breathig protection when I do it.
Bob
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 11:33:29 am »

All of the copper bearing rocks we may cut can be toxic if precautions are not taken.  First and foremost, NEVER cut copper bearing minerals dry unless you have a respirator on.  I also would not cut them inside dry where all that dust can fly around and settle on everything.  When we cut this stuff, we use masks and we have a fan pulling air out of the window that is right next to our cutting area.  We also have a small fan running that blows toward the window ventilation fan to get as much of the dust out as possible.

From the research I've done on malachite, it appears that pure malachite does not contain arsenic.  However, arsenic is found in and near other copper bearing materials, including malachite, and I would not rule out that some malachite contains impurities, which could include arsenic.

As always, it's better to be safe than sorry!
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 11:54:01 am »

  well heck, i just got this 4 pounder in the mail from a guy living in the mojave desert. possible gem silica? dangerous also?
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 12:01:23 pm »

For some reason my system reacts almost immediately to Malachite. Wet or dry it doesn't matter. It affects my sinuses and gives me headaches. I only work it when I have to and always wet. Malachite is almost always associated with Arsenic as are most sulphide, carbonate and some oxidized metal ores. I used to do geochemical surveys looking for gold and Arsenic was the most common trace element we looked for. I have pulled soil samples that run as high as 500 parts per million in close proximity to copper deposits.
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Bob

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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 12:34:42 pm »

Jon,

That is a beauty!  Dangerous only if you don't take precautions.  Chrysocolla is a copper based material, so just make sure you take the precautions outlined previously.  We cut chrysocolla all the time.  Use lots of water to keep the dust down, wear a mask or a respirator, make sure you have adequate ventilation that preferably sucks the dust outside of your work area.  Wear gloves if you are sensitive to copper based minerals or if you have cuts on your hands.

And most important -- hope that it is stable enough to cut and that there's a big pocket of gem silica in there somewhere!  :D
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Robin

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