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Cabking Winner

Posted December 20, 2010 By Admin

The lucky winner of our Cabking competition was Peter Bow from Ingleburn.

He was very pleased to win and looking forward to trying it out with this kids:

Thankyou for all your support and my kids and myself would like to wish you a very happy and safe christmas also the kids are very excited to receive the new cabbing machine that you so kindly have donated as a prize for purchasing off you not many companies would be so kind and we cannott say enough good things about your sevice over the past 12 months.

These machines have been very popular as a complete kit for someone looking to get started in cabbing or opal cutting – with the accessory kit, this package includes everything you need bar the rough.  Congratulations to Peter and his family.

All the best for a great Christmas to everyone from us at Aussie Sapphire

Christmas Specials

Posted November 17, 2010 By Admin

We’re just starting to get organised for the Christmas rush – we’ve got lots of great new products on offer so please check out our website for all the new items.

We have just put a sale on Gem Display cases – 25% off almost all items in that category so if you’re looking for some stylish gem storage, now is the time to buy.

If you’re a gem cutter and are looking to give gifts of jewellery to friends and family this Christmas, check out our range of Blank Jewellery Settings – 10% off but only until the end of December 2010.

We’ve also just put the 6″ Darkside polishing lap on a Free Freight special so it makes it even better value.

Dont forget our Christmas Giveaway – one brand new Cabking 6V3 to be drawn on 15th December.  Every purchase until 5pm on 15/12/10 is an automatic entry into the draw so good luck!

Stay tuned for more great specials coming up.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Dollar Parity – Implications

Posted November 3, 2010 By Admin

The big news for Australians is that our dollar has finally reached parity with the US dollar – it reached the magic mark recently and then dropped back again but yesterday’s interest rate rise cause an immediate jump to parity again. I’m not sure that the financial experts know much more than all the rest of us about all this but perhaps the dollar will stay around this level for a little while at least.

So – what does it mean for us? Tempting to think that it is all good news but as with everything, it isnt quite a simple as that:

High AU dollar = many imported goods are cheaper for Australian buyers but exported goods are more expensive to our overseas buyers.

So while many buyers are rejoicing at the lower prices for many consumer goods, Australia’s economy as an exporting nation is going to be under pressure. While some prices may fall, higher interest rates will mean others may rise. I’m sure that most of us would have seen many of our basic costs of living go up this year.

Enough of the theory – what does it mean for our customers?

As a dealer in lapidary equipment, much of our stock is imported from overseas – the recent rise in the AUD has helped and so we have dropped prices over much of our range as a result of lower buy-in prices. We have also negotiated better freight rates to help bring our prices down. A big plus for our customers!

What about buying direct from overseas?

Obviously the high dollar is encouraging some people to bypass local suppliers and go straight to an overseas supplier. Nothing wrong with this approach as long as you are aware of all possible extra costs and risks. We would suggest you follow this simple checklist when comparing local and overseas suppliers:

  • Compare the real exchange rate.  Even though we are at or close to parity, the exchange rate you will get through PayPal or your credit card is likely to be 2½ to 3 cents below the published rate.
  • Add any transaction fees – these vary depending on your payment method.  It is typical for credit cards to impose a 2.5% foreign currency transaction fee.
  • Small value items will enter Australia easily without any fuss – if your item exceeds $1000 AUD in value, you will be required to pay GST and any applicable customs duties and fees.  This can add a significant cost to your item.
  • Account for freight. Air freight is really expensive – sometimes it can be outrageously high.  When importing items from the USA, we usually work on at least 20% freight (if items are quite compact) but if the box is bulky, it can cost 50% or more to send by air.  Get a quote first!!
  • Warranty and returns. In the unfortunate event of something going wrong, it can be very difficult and expensive to get the matter resolved by an overseas supplier.  When buying locally, these issues are far simpler to resolve and in the worst case scenario, you know you are protected by our local fair trading laws.
  • Make sure the item will work.  The main thing to check is power – make sure your item will work well with the Australian power supply and that the correct plug is fitted.  Some suppliers charge extra to fit 220/230V motors – you need to account for this when comparing.

Here at Aussie Sapphire, we’re like most in that the exchange rate is both good and bad.  As farmers, the high dollar makes things more difficult when selling our grain and beef.  As an importer, it is a nice change to be able to offer products at cheaper prices to our customers and we’re doing everything we can to stock up while the dollar stays high.

If you are considering a major purchase, definitely check around for the best deal.  Then contact us as we are confident we can offer you a very competitive price.    Remember, when buying from Aussie Sapphire, you are protected by our customer guarantee – we promise the best service, the best customer protection, the biggest range in stock and very competitive pricing.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Polymetric Scintillator 88

Posted October 19, 2010 By Admin

Aussie Sapphire is proud to be the exclusive Australian dealer for Polymetric offering the full range of machines including the Scintillator 88 featuring dial indicator, digital readout and crank mast for accurate height adjustments. A top of the line faceting machine for less than you would expect to pay. See the Youtube videos below for a demonstration of just a couple of important features on this machine:


Here are a couple of articles – one is a step-by-step guide to cutting a gemstone (see the photos of the Scintillator in use) and the next with some handy general hints on faceting machine alignment (using the Scintillator as an example):

Cutting a Gem on the Gem-Info website
Alignment tips – Lapidary Journal article, May 2002.
We have the Polymetric in stock now so please enquire any time if you are interested in discussing the Scintillator as an option for you.
cheers from Aussie Sapphire

First look at the Cabking

Posted October 15, 2010 By Admin

Got our first batch of Cabking cabbing machines last week and first impressions were very favourable.  All machines from this batch have been sold but we already have a new lot on the way so contact us if you would like to be put on the list.

The Cabking is a an affordable machine with everything you need to start cabbing – just plug in and go.

For more information, download the CABKING User Manual here (pdf file  0.93MB)


The CABKING-6V3 is a direct drive 6” diameter diamond wheel grinding and polishing unit.   The system is based on an adjustable, independently controlled drip feed cooling system that drips clean water on the wheels.  The machine comes fully set up with water kit, diamond wheels, polishing pads and accessories.

In contrast to other machines which use a recirculating water fountain (spitter pumps), the Cabking uses a separate water pump that eliminates the need for maintenance of the more fussy built in air pumps found on other machines.    The water system allows for individual cooling of the wheels and water flow can be controlled from a drip to a stream.   The simplified drainage system allows the water to drain out instead of forcing you to constantly empty the pans.

The machine is set up with 2 solid diamond wheels (6″) in grits #80 and #220 for coarse grinding.  Four flexible diamond wheels (grits #280, #600, #1200 and #3000) are mounted for sanding and pre-polishing stages.

The machine includes a solid flat diamond lap mounted on the right hand end of the shaft which can be used for flattening the backs of your cabs.  You can optionally add any standard half inch bore lap on the left hand side of the shaft for a similar purpose.

Also included is a canvas polishing pad which can be screwed into the tapped shaft on the right hand side.  With the included #14k diamond paste, you are ready to complete the polishing stage.

Side guards for both sides are included for when you do not need to use the end plates/laps.  Splash guards, stone trays and hand rests are also included for both sides.

Electric light is built in for effective lighting of the work area.  Aussie Sapphire provides a surge-protected power board with Australian 3-pin plug to easily and conveniently manage the 3 power cords (motor, water pump and light).  NOTE:  this machine is suitable for a 220 Volt, 50 Hz power supply.

The machine is generously supplied with accessories including user manual, additional book on Diamond Abrasives, vinyl apron, spanner, safety goggles, and small syringe of diamond paste.

Also included is spare water tap knob, spanner, allen key, and plastic tubing/water pump for the water supply – all you need to supply is 2 buckets to serve as clean and dirty water reservoirs.

Construction of these machines appear to be very solid – made from a mix of strong plastic and aluminium parts so that rust is prevented.

Set up is simple and easy to work with.  The package is real value for money making the lapidary hobby more accessible to those who may not have been able to afford the much higher price of other manufacturers.

There is an optional trim saw attachment which means the Cabking is a complete lapidary workshop.

Interested to hear any feedback users have with this machine – we were impressed but performance in the field is what counts so let us know your experiences.

Some reviews so far from the USA:

Things to note – the diamond wheels supplied with this machine are generally a little more aggressive than genuine Nova’s – be aware of this and use a light touch for best performance and longer lifespan.  If you find too much water being delivered, a small inline tap and T-joint just after the pump will allow you to reduce the total water flow from the pump.

For those interested to buy one of these, we have a new batch coming from the US in the next month.  Contact us to get put on the list.

Remember, we’re giving away one of these in December – drawn on the 15th December for one lucky customer.  Every purchase from Aussie Sapphire is an automatic entry into the draw so good luck!

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire