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Archive for July, 2011

It’s all about communication!

Posted July 27, 2011 By Admin

Aussie Sapphire has a multi-faceted (pun intended) approach to communication.

Each part of the strategy has its place but we’ve just added facebook to the mix so might be worth just running through the options for you.  We love to hear from you so feel free to utilise all of these communication options.

  • Aussie Sapphire website – our main website is for easy convenient online purchasing.  Pretty obvious but worth stating.
  • Contact Page – email is the best way to contact us – we DO read our emails and respond to them!
  • Toll Free Telephone – we know some people prefer to talk to us rather than email.  Our toll free number 1800 50 21 40 is there for your convenience.
  • Product reviews – each product on our website has a link where you can rate and review the item.  You must be logged in to submit a review but this is a great way to let other people know what you like or dislike about any product.
  • Testimonials – Feel free to add a testimonial or simply browse through those already submitted – see box at bottom left menu.
  • Aussie Lapidary Forum – affectionately known as ALF.  The forum is free to join and allows you to chat with like-minded people about gems, fossicking or the lapidary arts.  Features events calendar and fully functional media gallery to post your photos.
  • Aussie Sapphire Blog – you’re here right now.  We use the blog to publish news of interest and various articles.  Any topic which needs a little more room to give more information is likely to be put on the blog.
  • Aussie Sapphire on Facebook – our new facebook page is designed to put small snippets of news and information with links back as appropriate.  If you use facebook regularly, “like” us so you can keep up to date with happening news.

There is lots of linking back and forth but this is the overall strategy.

Communication is an absolute priority at Aussie Sapphire – it helps us provide good customer service and stock the products you need.  Everyone is encouraged to let us know what we are doing right and where we can improve.

cheers for now from the Aussie Sapphire team

New Diamond Laps for Faceting

Posted July 3, 2011 By Admin

Last month we introduced a range of new polishing laps to give you even more choice in lapidary.  This month, we have a whole bunch of new diamond laps to add to the mix.

Diamond Laps are the workhorses of the lapidary industry and used for grinding and shaping gems prior to polishing.  Our Auscut diamond laps have proved to be very popular here in Australia and do a fantastic job at an affordable price.  However, as always, Aussie Sapphire aims to bring maximum choice so you have select the right tool for the job at hand.

Therefore, we have created a whole new category of Specialty Diamond Laps with a range of laps – each designed for a particular job – particularly if you are a professional gem cutter (or even just a serious hobbyist who enjoys using the best tools available).  Check out these new laps:

Nu-Bond resin bond diamond laps scratch less when new, and require little if any break-in.  Compared to electroplated laps, Nu-Bond laps last longer and cut more consistently throughout their life because the diamond particles are friable and self-sharpening.   Definitely worth a try – choose a grit size coarser than you usually use in a plated lap – ie. a #600 NuBond lap will cut like a #1200 plated lap.

For cutters who really need to rough out a lot of material fast, we recommend our new Channel Laps – these have a textured surface to allow cutting debris to flow away and keep you cutting faster and more efficiently.  These laps are quite aggressive but for fast cutting, nothing beats them.  Choose from a range of grits from #80 to #3000.

For the real professionals who need maximum longevity in a lap, we recommend Sintered Laps – while these are more expensive, they will outlast plated laps many times over.  With a full layer of diamond of up to 6mm, these laps will cut smooth and consistently over their lifetime.  If you do a lot of cutting, consider how much you spend on replacing your topper laps – you may well find these cheaper in the long run compared to replacing plated laps frequently.  Add the benefit of consistency when cutting – no more waiting for a plated lap to cut finer as it wears.

Another new product for cutters looking to maximise their cutting efficiency is our new Bullseye Laps – these are more suited to cutting smaller commercial-size stones but allow you to cut 3 different grits on the one lap.  By compromising a little on available room, you pick up much more on time and reducing indexing errors by avoiding lap changes while cutting.  Available in Coarse (#80/#180/#360)or Fine (#600/#1200/#3000) versions in 8″ diameter – these will really “rev up” your cutting efficiency.

Finally, we now have magnetic adaptors so you can change your master laps over to a magnetic system – quick-change convenience when changing laps saves you time and money.  Available in both 6″ and 8″ sizes – see the Master Lap category.

We’ve still got plenty more to unpack from our latest container so check back soon for more great new products from Aussie Sapphire – the Lapidary Warehouse with the biggest range, best prices and unbeatable service.

cheers for now from the Aussie Sapphire team.

Crushed Walnut Shell

Posted July 3, 2011 By Admin

Crushed Nut Shell (usually walnut) is an excellent tumbling medium but it has a whole range of other uses. Nut Shell is ideal for:

  • Tumbling media for soft (Moh 4½ or below) or fragile materials such as opal, shell, coral, amber, seeds (nuts or sea beans), etc.
  • Tumbling media for polishing a range of metal items – used in association with red rouge (for brass, copper, gold, etc) or green rouge (for silver, aluminium, nickel, etc), nut shell will do a good job of removing tarnish and polishing to a high sheen.
  • Popular with reloaders to polish brass cartridges before reloading.
  • Ideal for sewing craft – can be used as a filler for pin cushions, etc (recommended for items unlikely to be washed).  Fantastic in pincushions as it keeps the needles sharp and tarnish-free.
  • Smaller sizes are used as a soft blasting media for stripping paint, etc from metal surfaces.  Gentle and safe (silica free).

WARNING:  DON’T use it as bedding for reptiles.  You will commonly see recommendations that crushed nut shell is good to use as flooring substrate for reptile enclosures – this is actually not a good idea and can be dangerous for the animal.

Aussie Sapphire now has new stock of crushed nut shell so we have been able to reduce our prices due to the better exchange rate.  If you need just a small amount – 500 gram packs are available from $6.50 – price gets better, the more you buy with 25kg bags available for $125. If you are in the trade or interested in bulk purchases, please contact us for a quote.   We have plenty of stock available.