Shattuckite as a knife scale

Discussion in 'Art In Stone' started by Redrummd, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    I thought I would share a bit about how I bring a new stone into my inventory as I am currently working with a miner with a claim on newly discovered vein of Shattuckite from his Vulture Mountain claim in Arizona. This is a new find about 50 miles north of the original Bisbee Shattuckite find. This Shattuckite has beautiful blue mixes of Shattuckite, Chrysocolla and Ajoite with a bit of the green from Malachite occasionally.

    It is highly silicated (Quartz) in most areas with the light blue Turquoise being the usual softest areas but still over 4 on the MOHS scale when I tested using my MOHS test picks. The white quartz and red Cuprite flecks test at about MOHS 7. This is an incredibly durable stone as I do my rough scale shaping with a 60 grit wheel. It is not as fragile as it would appear.

    I have cut and ground out over 20 sets of preform scales which is much higher than I usually would cut. I did this as it is a new find and I need to determine how valueable the stone will be as it enters the market. It is found in a vein and can be tricky to cut to get the best blues showing, especially in large Buck 110 scale sized pieces.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  2. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    The Shatttuckite takes a great polish but care needs to be taken to ensure the stone does not heat up as Chrysocolla is sensitive to heat and will craze or get chips blown out it allowed to heat up much. As it has different hardness very special cutting techniques are needed to keep from getting what is commonly called "orange peel" - basically high hard areas and low soft areas.

    These small test polish pieces are easy work when the difficulty grows 10 fold or more on a piece the size of a Buck 110 scale.
     

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  3. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    So, here are about 20 sets of scales cut in varying directions to the Shattuckite vein. There is a lot of variation in the stone makeup from one section to another in the vein and the brown matrix stone is mixed throughout the vein. This is the ususal for these type of stones - Ajoite, Cuprite, Azurite, Chrysocolla, Malachite and Shattuckite. All of these are copper ore and associated with copper deposits.

    I will be doing a Case Tiny Trapper in my current group as a test knife and then probably a lower quality Shattuckite test Buck 110 probably the first set in the photos and on a Brass Buck 110 before I start working with what I believe to be the higher quality pieces. There are a lot of things that can go wrong - especially with a newly found stone.

    So, do you see any in these pictures that you would like to see on a Buck 110?
     

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  4. testdw

    testdw

    72
    Feb 3, 2011
    Wow Michael,

    You have found a real winner with this Shattuckite. It is absolutely gorgeous and rare. I wish you the best of success in testing and finishing this new Gem stone.

    Dennis
     
  5. hohenstreetroa

    hohenstreetroa

    314
    May 22, 2010
    I see several I would like to have on a Buck 110 for my collection! These are gorgeous slabs & I look forward to seeing the finished knives. Despite the difficulties associated with this new stone, I am very confident in your abilities to refine the techniques necessary to master the polishing and finishing of this stone!
     
  6. dgedra

    dgedra

    11
    Jan 10, 2010
    Michael,
    Thanks for sharing this information and explaining the many considerations involved with the various components found in this incredibly beautiflul stone. In reading through this, it occurred to me that this almost seems like planning for a surgery on the stone in order to ‘get it right’…. If it can be done, I'm confident that you will figure the processes to transform these scales into more stunning pieces of your art form.
    Dave
     
  7. kansa

    kansa

    26
    Mar 8, 2010
    Great looking slabs, can't wait to see the finished product.
    Later Gene
     
  8. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    I have finished the first small test knife and this is a great stone to work with. In fact, this knife has already begun its future in my pocket. I have decided to carry and use this one as this fantastic blue stone is much harder than Turquoise or Lapis Lazuli and should stand up well to being carried in a pocket and used.
     

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  9. hohenstreetroa

    hohenstreetroa

    314
    May 22, 2010
    WOW! That turned out gorgeous!
     
  10. testdw

    testdw

    72
    Feb 3, 2011
    Your first finished Shattuckite is a real success. It looks exceptional with very bright blues. This new stone is certainly going to be a great seller as it is for sure a premium beautiful Gem stone.
     
  11. dgedra

    dgedra

    11
    Jan 10, 2010
    Wow Michael !!! This stone looks amazing - this one is going to be very popular !!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Dave
     
  12. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    Lance,

    So after spending all that time in my shop today looking at Stattuckite scales - Have you figured out which ONE you would want? :D
     
  13. hohenstreetroa

    hohenstreetroa

    314
    May 22, 2010
    Michael -
    (and to all you Redrummd fans out there...) ALL the Shattuckite slabs were AMAZING! There are so many INCREDIBLE variations that I couldn't choose. Actually, I did choose: I wanted one of EVERYTHING! I am like a kid in a candy store with only one penny to spend! :)
    Seriously, as soon as a few are finished, everyone will be fighting over these!!!!!
    One other comment, to whomever out there is getting that feather damascus 110 - it is nothing less than perfect! Snap!
    Thanks for the visit, Mike.
     
  14. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    Well, I finished 9 knives in Shattuckite today - so this is a quick shot of them. They are a lot brighter when under better lighting.
     

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  15. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    Here is a couple of well lit photos of one of them. This is the middle of the pack knife with about half better and half not as nice.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  16. hohenstreetroa

    hohenstreetroa

    314
    May 22, 2010
    Gorgeous!!!!!!
     
  17. testdw

    testdw

    72
    Feb 3, 2011
    Michael,
    Absolutely superb artwork.....congrat's
    Dennis
     
  18. dgedra

    dgedra

    11
    Jan 10, 2010
    From a guy who likes the blues - these are stunning Michael !!!

    Dave
     
  19. testdw

    testdw

    72
    Feb 3, 2011
    Michael,
    I received 1344PCS and 1341PCS Shattuckites Buck 110's today. They are both absolutely outstanding specimens of your artful craftsmanship. As you know, I really appreciate the Rare and Unusual stones and these certainly are among the Best of all the premium knives in my extensive 'Redrummd' collection. Thank You for all your effort to find and create these true GEMS.
    Dennis
     
  20. Redrummd

    Redrummd

    May 21, 2007
    I also just bought 70 pounds of Quartz with mostly Chrysocolla from Rodney Frisby that is from a different part of the vein of the Vulture Mountain Shattuckite claim. Most of it is not so good but some is very interesting. I think only 15 to 20% will end up in my keeper inventory but you cannot see what is inside the stone until it is all cut. I have the saw running every day now and hopefully this will pay off over the next few years.

    In this new batch there is some dark metalic sections. The dark metallic “metal” is Chalcocite, copper(I) sulfide (Cu2S), is an important copper ore mineral. It is opaque, being colored dark-gray to black with a metallic luster. It has a hardness of 2½ - 3. Since chalcocite is a secondary mineral that forms from the alteration of other minerals, it has been known to form pseudomorphs of many different minerals. A pseudomorph is a mineral that has replaced another mineral atom by atom, but it leaves the original mineral's crystal shape intact and I believe this chalcocite has mostly morphed to quartz.

    Here are the two boxes with all but a few pieces still in them.
     

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