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“Is It A Diamond Or Is It Memorex?”

One of the properties of natural Diamond is the ability to conduct heat very rapidly, unlike all common Diamond simulants, such as Glass and Cubic Zirconium, which are typically poor conductors of heat. The importance of this significant difference in thermal conductivity as a practical, simple method of gem identification. Gem and jewelry professionals now universally accept the thermal gem-testing technique as a fast, simple method of differentiating natural Diamond from its common simulates. However, the introduction of Moissanite to the jewelry market has complicated matters slightly, since Moissanite shares with Diamond the property of high thermal conductivity. Traditional diamond testers, therefore, will register a Diamond response when testing Moissanite. As it turns out, Moissanite differs from natural Diamond in that it is electrically conductive. Thus, a stone that rapidly conducts heat but does not conduct electricity will be determined to be natural Diamond: a stone that rapidly conducts both heat and electricity will be determined to be a Moissanite; a stone that conducts neither heat nor electricity will be determined to be a CZ or other simulants.

The thermal conductivity method for differentiating Diamond from CZ is nearly flawless; electrical conductivity as a means to differentiate Diamond from Moissanite, unfortunately, is not. Whereas a Diamond is uniformly thermally conductive (i.e., all natural Diamonds are conductive and will conduct heat regardless of where on the stone you make your test), Moissanite stones have varying degrees of electrical conductivity. In other words, some Moissanite stones are more conductive than others, and even a conductive stone may have certain areas of non-conductivity. Whether you are attempting to buy gold, copper or Moissanite for tests involving conductivity or you are testing the difference between the latter material and Diamond, it is worth understanding the properties of both and the different effects certain test conditions can produce. Additionally, dust or other airborne particles in any jewelry-testing environment often contain gold or silver, which are electrically conductive. These particles can easily cause a Diamond to react as Moissanite – even if you can’t see them. For this reason, regular and careful cleaning of both the gemstone and the probe tip are vital to successful gem identification. Please also be aware that the use of Moissanite in jewelry is extremely limited – chances are very slim that a stone you are testing is actually Moissanite. This fact, coupled with the relative limitations of electrical conductivity, should cause the user to be suspicious of a Moissanite reading. Actual positive readings for Moissanite for the typical jeweler will be very rare.

“Your Relics Are A Rusty Bucket Of Bolts?”

There are lots of ways to remove rust. On some iron objects that I find, like for instance, axes, hatchets, PIECES of cannonballs and shells, and other objects that are heavy and encrusted, you simply throw them in a big hot fire. Heat will cause the metal to expand and much of the rust will just pop off. You can also use a cutting torch if you are careful. Just fire the torch up like you are going to cut metal, press down on the slipstream lever and warm the piece up. The pure oxygen will cause all of the rust and scale to just pop off, or you can work it with a slag hammer or wire brush while you are doing so. Only use a torch if you know how to use a cutting torch or you could accidentally cut into the object. The idea is to warm up the rust and scale and blow them away with the oxygen, never heat it to any degree of redness. You can also use a small propane or map gas torch, but beware, as the piece heats up, the rust will pop off and when it gets in your eyes it sticks to your eyeball and you must get it removed by a doctor, so if using any type of torch wear a welding hood or safety glasses. Only use these methods on large encrusted pieces that really have no value. These methods will clean the rust off easily. If you use these methods on small pieces or lightweight pieces you will probably warp or ruin them. Only on large pieces of metal. If you want to try it some time use an old horseshoe, if you are a relic hunter, you have found your share of horseshoes. Never use fire or heat on Civil War ordnance!!

Once you have the rust off the object what are you going to do with it then? You must have a plan of attack for the relic or artifact. Simply removing rust will do nothing but cause the piece to rust over again. Never try to remove all of the rust. Just remove all of the dirt and then remove the scale or large pieces of rust until the object is absolutely free of loose rust. There are many methods to preserve a de-rusted artifact. One method would be to dip it or thoroughly paint it with a rust stabilizer, which turns the rust into a protective layer. This chemical can be purchased at auto parts stores. Once that is accomplished you can leave it alone or spray it with a clear lacquer, or wax, or any other method you may want to use.