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August 2014

In this issue...
Social Networking
Franklin Faceters Frolic (FFF7)
FACETING 1 Training Course



Welcome to ULTRA TEC's SomeTimes Newsletter!
We thank you for all your interesting comments, super stones, great gem locations and the feedback on the products we make.

Its been an exciting month here at ULTRA TEC. Many submissions and great updates from many of our faceting friends on FACEBOOK.

Please feel free to email all your pictures to or post to our Facebook at:





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SEPTEMBER 6 - 14, 2014


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SIERRA GEMS - Booth Location CE4/5




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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 ( #@ultratec_facet ) ...

We welcome all our ULTRA TEC cousins as FANS -- your, pictures, videos, expereinces, comments and suggestions are always welcome!


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Franklin Faceters Frolic (FFF7) REPORT



Report by Tom Maxwell


The seventh annual Franklin Faceters Frolic, now known and The USFG-Faceters Frolic was held in Franklin, NC on July 24, 25 and 26, 2014.


By any measure was a rousing success! Attendance was triple the previous year.  This can be attributed the added support of the USFG and its members along with the quantity and quality of dealers.  Not to mention the efforts of USFG President Will Smith, show organizers Tom Maxwell, Norm Holbert and Ken Michalek and many volunteers including Dan Lynch, Elaine Songer, Roz Mestre, Catherine Bekto and many others.


There were a number of daily door prizes donated by the dealers. Marsh Howard of Lightning Lap donated a Mag-Dop. John Garsow donated a nice piece of very facet rough. Glenn Klein Book Author Glenn Klein donated his book, The History of Faceting. Farooq Hashmi of Mine Direct Gems donated several parcels of very nice facet rough.


On Wednesday night we kicked off The Frolic with an informal dinner with the dealers and volunteers in The Boiler Room at The Factory.

Thursday morning began with the Beginners GemCad class taught by the author of Gem Cad, Robert Strickland and the start of Dealer Sales and Demonstrations in the Banquet Room.  The afternoon was filled with the Intermediate GemCad class and more sales and demonstrations.


Friday was a full day of dealer sales and the Advanced GemCad Class in the morning.


Friday afternoon, Kins Ndoh of Choice Gems gave a very interesting and informative presentation on the mining conditions in Nigeria.  He was followed by Lisa Elser who introduced the showing of the film Follow The Zebra; a film about the artisan mining of Tanzanite.


The evening was wrapped up with the Pizza Meet and Greet and The Pretty Stone Contest. The Pretty Stone contest drew a large number of entries in both the natural and synthetic categories.  

James Thomas' Topaz


In the Natural Stone Category was won/tied by Ultra Tec Rep Jay Thomas (shown left) and the synthetic stone category was a tie between Ultra Tec Rep Doug Augsburg and Eric Hoffman of Select Gems. The winners each received a certificate of achievement and a $25.00 gift certificate to be used at one of the Frolic dealers.  USFG President gave a brief talk about the support of the USFG and its importance to the advancement of the hobby of faceting.  During The frolic, we signed up a total of 18 new members.


Saturday continued with dealer sales and demonstrations and a workshop by Diane Eames of Gems of the Hill Country ondesigning gems for making jewelry. 


The Frolic wrapped up with the announcement of the winner of the raffle for Grand Prize. The winner had a choice of either a Deluxe Polishing Kit donated by John Rolfe of Gearloose Lapidary and Tom Maxwell of Carolina Custom Gems or a very nice 5.6 carat piece of natural Tanzanite facet rough donated by Lisa Elser of Custom Cut Gems. The winner of the Grand Prize raffle was Gerry Boykin -- also an Ultra Tec Rep.  Gerry chose the Tanzanite!


Plans are already underway for next years USFG - Franklin Faceters Frolic - FFF8 AND a similar three day event February 2015 in Tucson Arizona.  Stay tuned for further developments!


Submitted by Tom Maxwell

USFG Director of Educational Projects

Carolina Custom Gems 







Years ago, there was a saying we liked:  Ultra Tec makes perfectionists. The implication was that was the super performance - the ultra performance - of the Ultra Tec faceting machine, led the user to become a perfectionist. 


Michiko Huyhn - "Mitch" to her friends - was probably a perfectionist before she got her Ultra Tec faceting machine.  In her retirement, having worked as a biochemist, Mitch started to collect gemstones. Ah, a problem: when she really looked at them they weren't perfect enough.  She decided to strive for that perfection herself - to cut gems herself.  A serious hobbyist.


In the USFG single stone competition she now participates in the Grand Mitchiko Master Division, the highest level.  Her gems speak for themselves.


Michiko was happy with her Ultra Tec V2 and its performance - she had no complaints, but she had been using it for 9 years, and thought it might be a good idea to get a "tune up".  So, she called Ultra Tec to discuss the matter and spoke to Joe Rubin.


Well, the conversation came around to the question of upgrades - the DAD and the V5 configuration.  Joe explained them, and in Mitch's words "I am not easily persuaded by sales talks - but something convinced me.  Besides, Christmas was approaching and I thought I might get myself a present".  So she did.  She says, "I decided to get a V5 upgrade of the original V2, AND (her capitalization) the DAD".


Michiko's machine now.


Michiko wrote to us about it:


"The V5 is more solid than the V2.  The moving components of the Mast ride on a sort of rail (dovetail - ed) so everything is very firm and held in line.  The screw for the height adjustment is faster - one rotation gives more height change.


The DAD shows the current cutting angles continuously.  It is easier to cut facets on the same tier to the exact same depth.  I can see how much more I have to cut and when to stop.  It used to be the sound and touch, but now it is the number on the DAD as well.



I had the DAD installed at the Ultra-Tec company. I did calibrate the angles. It is straightforward and anyone can do if I can do.


This is my test cut, Goshenite (4.75 carats) in my Framed Hex design.






I highly recommend these up-grades.

Best regards,

PS: I am a slave to cutting a stone completely free of chips and very much enjoying it. "



Do you owe yourself a Christmas present? - a birthday present? - an I'm-reaching-for-perfection present?  Michiko chose both the V5 and the DAD.  If you chose either one it would be a nice present.




Tony Invernizzi, Ultra Tec's Rep in Italy, displayed at the SaintMarie aux Mines Show, in June.  Tony specializes in soft materials, as can be seen from the exhibit tray - Aporphyllite (Mohs Hardness 4-4.5), Barite (3-3.5), Calcite (3), Cerrusite (3-3.5), Sphalerite (3.5-4) Celestite (3-3.5) and Anglesite (2.5-3 [!]).


Obviously "collector stones" - Beautiful work - takes "know-how" from a cutting master.


Rennie Castelino, San Fancisco, CA



Rennie has been in San Francisco bay area for the past 10 years and currently lives in San Mateo, CA.  He is a member of Mineral and Gem Society of Castro Valley and the US Faceter's Guild.  He has also spent time with the Sequoia Gem & Mineral Society in Redwood City and occasionally attends meetings of the Golden Gate chapter of GIA Alumni for their presentation series.


Rennie brings a scientific approach to faceting. He explains that his background in Chemical Engineering and lifelong interests in mineralogy and geology help him appreciate the mechanics of faceting tools and make-up of the faceting rough.

Besides hands on lapidary and faceting experience, Rennie has completed coursework with The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has plans to continue further coursework to attain the FGA certification. 

Rennie regularly facets at the Castro Valley shop to continue to learn new tips and tricks.  He also facets at home on his Ultra Tec.  He claims he will never get tired of learning something new and seeing a frosted facet take a good polish.


FACETING 1 Training Course 
Tom Mitchell is an Ultra Tec Rep. in Florida.  He teaches faceting to beginners, and wished he had a textbook for it  -- and wrote his own!  Tom will be using his new  book as a training text for his students, both at his local club 
Mitchell on this ULTRA TEC
in The Villages and for the Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies and
 for William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.








Tom's book is available at  as a PDF download for $35.00 or as a spiral bound copy for $45.00 plus shipping.  


You can also download a short Example here! 



V5 Faceting Machine
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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 Bulletin. 


The Ultra Tec Team


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tel: +1 714 542 0608
fax: +1 714 542 0627

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