June 2016 Edition

Welcome to the SomeTimes Newsletter!

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 

...Facet Forward!

Make your plans now to attend the Ninth Annual USFG-Franklin Faceters Frolic on July 28, 29 and 30, 2016.
FFF9 is part of the United States Faceters Guild and has expanded to a 3 day format to include more speakers and programs along with a broad array of dealers.
The Franklin Faceters Frolic is held at the same time as the Macon County Gemboree and several other gem and mineral shows in Franklin, NC.   

The Frolic will be at the The Factory, (formerly known as The Fun Factory: same location as FFF8) in Franklin, NC.

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Dealers open for business in the Depot Room from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
This year, Robert Strickland will offer three GemCad classes: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The Beginner class will introduce you to the basic commands and features of GemCad. The Intermediate course will be a refresher on the basics and creating and modifying existing designs and creating new designs of your own. The Advanced course is for GemCad users who would like to explore the finer points of GemCad.
The cost is $25.00 per class. To register and pay for the classes, go to the website and click on one of the PayPal buttons:

If you prefer to pay by check, send $25.00 for each class you would like to register for, made payable to The Faceters Frolic and mail to Ken Michalek, PO Box 182, Greer, SC 29652. Any questions, email Ken: [email protected]
9:00 am to 11:00 am - GemCad for Beginners - For those who want to learn the basic How-To of GemCad Software. You should bring your Notebook with GemCad already loaded on it ready to go by 9:00 AM. You can down load a free trial of GemCad at www.gemcad.com 30 days before the class. If you do not purchase before you get there, you may purchase during the Frolic from Robert. Once you learn how to use GemCad, we believe you will realize the real value in this software tool for any level if faceting you do.
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm - Intermediate GemCad - For those who need a refresher on basic GemCad and further operations.

Robert Strickland
Friday, July 29, 2016
9:00 am - 11:00 am - Advanced GemCad - Robert will go into advanced capabilities of GemCad for the experienced user.
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Lisa Elser - "Going Pro" -Internationally known gem cutter Lisa Elser of Custom Cut Gems will speak about how she got started in business and her experiences as a faceter.
3:00 pm- 5:00 pm - Sue Lichtenberger - Kitchen Counter Rock and Gem ID. Sue will explain how to use readily available items to help identify gems and minerals. This is a hands on discussion and was a popular topic last year.
Lisa at V5
Lisa Elser
6:00 in The Depot Room - The Faceters Meet and Pretty Stone Contest. Come and enjoy meeting with the dealers, speakers and other faceters from around the world. Pizza and soft drinks will be available for $5.00 per person. Bring a stone that you have cut and enter in either the Natural or Simulated Gem division. Prizes will be awarded to the winner in each category. This is a "Beauty Contest" and the winners will be chosen by those in attendance.

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Dealers open for business in the Depot Room from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Master Gem Cutter Jerry Call will discuss some of his cutting tips and techniques for Maximizing Your Rough. Last year, Jerry's talk turned into a lively question and answer session covering a host of different topics. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best!
Ken Michalek

A Web Clipping....

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

2016 San Francisco Bay Area Faceters Frolic

A Report

The Frolic was held on the 5th and 6th of March in Hayward, CA and was co-sponsored by the Mineral and Gem Society of Castro Valley (MGSCV) and the United States Faceters Guild.

Day 1 started with opening remarks from Rennie Castelino. Rennie's inspiration for hosting an event for gemstone faceters in the San Francisco Bay Area has two components: 1) bring folks with a passion for gemstone faceting together; 2) enjoy learning from experts involved in various areas of gems and gemology. 

After the opening remarks, Maarten DeWitte - master diamond cutter - spoke about his career in diamond cutting. Maarten described how he got into the business, developed a mastery of his craft and then worked with others to build companies involved with diamonds and diamond cutting. Maarten demonstrated some of the tools of the trade and also shared slides and his professional experiences. Maarten also shared some thoughts about what the future for the diamond trade may be.

After a short break for lunch, Starla Turner, GG, FGA spoke about gem identification. Starla provided her insights into concepts important to faceters such as light, reflection, refraction and crystal systems. Starla described several tools used in gem identification and led the group through building a polariscope from common materials.

For the second part of her presentation, Starla set up stations with materials for the attendees to use the knowledge and gem id tools to identify several materials.

Attendees then received a complimentary pass to the 68th Annual MGSCV Show in Newark, CA. Friends of Faceting John Garsow and Rick Kennedy represented the faceting rough dealer community and had some wonderful material to discuss and offer to Frolic attendees. In coordination with the Faceter Frolic, John and Rick were kind enough to offer a small discount to the Frolic attendees - which was most appreciated.

Day 2 started off with attendees sharing some information about themselves, their favorite or least favorite gemstone material and why they are passionate about faceting.

The first presentation was delivered by MGSCV's own Roland Arajs as he led a Gem-Cad tutorial for the group for his design called the 'Brilliant Trilliant'. To assist with the presentation, Rennie Castelino created a step-by-step PowerPoint slide presentation as a hardcopy handout for the attendees to use as they created the design in Gem-Cad.

During the presentation, Roland shared his insights regarding optimizing light return and some design choices that the attendees may want to consider.

After lunch, the second presentation was really more of a discussion about attendee experiences with various components of faceting including transferring the gemstone. Roland spent time discussing concepts of shift and tilt in transfer as well as how Gem-Cad could be used to help with design updates for a stone that had shifted or tilted in transfer.

Day 2 wrapped up again with attendees being able to return to the MGSCV show or return home.

All things considered - everyone had a great time, made some new friends and folks were eager to know when the next event may take place.

AND another BAY AREA FACETERS 'FORUM' is coming soon..


Rennie Castelino
Great news from Rennie Castelino who has confirmed with the
Marriott San Mateo for the 2016 San Francisco Bay Area Faceters Forum

 Save the date! This next event will be a one day event on

   Saturday, August 20, 2016 at the Marriott, San Mateo.   

An Eventbrite notification is coming shortly. Rennie would like to give this group the opportunity for an early bird registration before it is opened it to the general public on social media.


This event will focus on fundamentals of gemology, mineralogy/geology, gemstone faceting and jewelry design.
It will be great information for those who are just getting started and those who want to learn more.  It will also be for experienced folks who want to revisit fundamental concepts, share their experiences and knowledge and spend time with this fun, growing, like-minded community.
Some highlights planned:
* From the mine to finished gem - presentation on Sri Lankan Sapphires by Sheahan Stephen
* Mineralogy / geology / gemology - presentation from local Bay Area expert Rick Kennedy
* Gem ID & basics on purchasing lapidary / faceting rough
* Basics of gemstone faceting & practical demonstration with a faceting machine
* Q & A session with expert panel - including jewelry appraiser, gemology / mineralogy experts, jewelry design experts
* After the conference - social / mixer / swap your rough - bring some of your facet rough to trade, sell/buy from other gemstone faceters. 
Catered light breakfast, lunch provided with admission
Free parking
Free shuttle to SFO airport
Walking distance from CalTrain
A Super Stone!

Lloyd Forrester, of Clear Cut Gems, is an Ultra Tec representative - and an expert professional cutter.  He  often (I should say always) has exceptional cut stones to show.  

This time though we thought the stone is special, and should be shared with you.  It's the color! - and the cut.  It is an Orange Nigerian Tourmaline.

Take a look.How'd you like some rough like that?!

More about Llloyd's Work @

Join Our Facebook Community -- Over 7,400 '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

Visitors to Ultra Tec...

Kyle Coughran, of Los Angeles, stopped by at the factory to pick up his new V5 - accompanied by two interested friends - and they spent an impromptu session with Robert Mendoza, going over V5 features.

And, they visited the machine shop, as many visitors like to do - to see the parts being made. 
In this photo, left to right are Andrew Kazarian, Robert Mendoza, Joseph Barrios and Kyle.



Ultra Tec Faceter Ray Brandon and his wife, Brenda, are from Arizona, They stopped by to visit Ultra Tec on their way to the GIA Campus in Carlsbad.


David Sullivan stopped by to pick up his new machine.

2016 DENVER Gem & Mineral Show...Sept. 16 - 18


2016 DENVER Gem & Mineral Show...Sept. 16 - 18.  A BIG show!  There will be an Ultra Tec Booth - a chance to see - touch - try Ultra Tec Faceting:  Classic Faceting and Fantasy Faceting.    "Real world" information and advice from Ultra Tec expert cutters.  

This show rivals Tucson!  Again, we'll have more information for you as the event gets closer.

New Representative

Sam Chien in Taiwan

Sam is the leader of SKYGEMSTONE, a jewelry company in Taiwan. They haved designed, made and sold jewelry for over a decade, and are also the only agent of Gemvision(Matrix) in Taiwan.

SKYGEMSTONE work hard on promoting jewelry making activities and over the past few years and have held several training classes in their studio which is really close to Taipei 101 and Taipei Song-Shan Cultural Park. A good location is more easier for people who would like to learn jewelry making skill to reach us! 

We are looking forward to you being an Ultra Tec representative! 

New Representative

Kyle Coughran in Los Angeles, CA

Kyle reports that he fell in love with the art of lapidary and spent two years of study with a master cutter. Since then, he says, " I took it upon myself to start branching out and finding my notch in the gem world. I came across Ultra Tec Faceting and I couldn't be happier with my find. The precision and accuracy it brings to cutting stones is by far the best. Anyone looking for the next step in gem cutting look no further, Ultra Tec is here!!" 
So, Kyle has become an independent professional cutter...working with a number of jewelers who appreciate, and want to offer their customers, truly fine cutting.  That has been an adventure of its own.  If you are looking for advice related to faceting, Kyle is the guy to contact - practical, "real world", in love with what he does!Keep your message brief, friendly, and to the point. If readers need to know more than you can fit here, add a link to an outside resource that covers the rest.


Kurt Card (known as "K.J."), is shown here in Dalan Hargraves' workshop, K.J., who is a professional classic-stone cutter, is seen here working as a student on his first fantasy stone.  The stone is shown in the photo.  K.J. is justifiably proud of his stone and is looking forward to generating his own original designs - and Ultra Tec looks forward to showing his creations on the Ultra Tec Facebook page.

Now...the GOOD NEWS message revealed in this is that Dalan Hargrave is offering lessons in fantasy cutting - at his home workshop in Spring Branch, Texas (near San Antonio).  What an opportunity!  It's like, if you were thinking about becoming a portrait artist, finding out that you could get lessons from Rembrandt...(in his studio!)

Now, we can testify that Dalan is not only a master of his craft, but he is one of the nicest andmost memorable people you'll ever have a chance to meet.  One of Dalan's earlier students wrote to us saying "...It was a great experience with great hospitality and excellent instruction."

If you want to contact Dalan, his email address is  [email protected] .   I suspect that the openings are limited - don't let this become one of your woulda-shoulda's.

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. 

The ULTRA TEC Lapidary Team

Lapidary Pricelist

ULTRA TEC Mfg., Inc.| +1 714 542 0608 | [email protected] | www.ultratec-facet.com