Ocean Jasper Tumbling Rough
Ocean Jasper Tumbling Rough
Size: mostly 3/8 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
Ocean jasper is one of the most colorful and beautiful tumbling roughs that we have ever seen. It is a multi-color chalcedony with amazing orbs and bulls-eye patterns. It is mined at two locations on the west coast of Madagascar. (The rough in the photo above was photographed wet to show full color.)
Ocean jasper has become famous and easy to recognize because of the colorful orbs and spheres scattered through the material. These produce beautiful round markings on the surface of tumbled stones, beads, cabochons or slabs made from the material. A few pieces contain small vugs lined with druzy quartz, which sometimes survives through the tumbling process. Many pieces actually contain quite a bit of agate so a better name for this material might be "ocean chalcedony" - but "ocean jasper" is easier to say and spell :-)
The ocean jasper that we are selling has a broad color range that includes whites, creams, greens, yellows, reds, pinks and browns. It is pre-packaged in two pound bags, with each bag containing a diversity of color and pattern. When we tumble a couple of pounds we always find pieces that surprise us.
Ocean jasper rough is getting harder and harder to find. The two deposits on the west coast of Madagascar have been minded for a couple of decades and will one day be worked out. That's what happens when a beautiful rough enters the market and rockhounds love it.
EASY Rock Tumbling Recipe:
Ocean Jasper (3/8 to 1 1/2 inches)
This ocean jasper has been crushed and sized to perform well in small rotary tumblers such as the Thumler's MP-1, A-R1, and A-R2. The size range gives the material a good tumbling action and eliminates the need for ceramic media. Our EASY Rock Tumbling Recipe works well for rough that has a Mohs hardness of 7 and has been crushed to a variety of particle sizes under about 1 1/2 inches.
Recipe for Rotary Tumbling
Coarse Grit Step:
Fill your tumbler barrel about 2/3 full of rough. Then add 2 tablespoons of coarse (60/90) grit per pound of material in the barrel. Add water to just below the top of the rocks. Run the material in coarse grit for 1-2 weeks. One week in coarse grit will give you good results. However, we feel that two weeks in coarse grit gives you much better results.
At the end of all steps in the rock tumbling process, make sure to clean your rocks and barrel to reduce the chance of coarser grit contaminating the finer grit steps..
Medium Grit Step:
Put your cleaned rough back into the barrel. Then add 2 tablespoons of medium (150/220) grit per pound of material in the barrel. Add water until it is just below the top of the rocks. Let it tumble for one week.
Fine Grit Step:
Barrel slurry dumped down the drain will harden like concrete.
After clean-up, put the rocks back into the barrel using 2 tablespoons of fine grit per pound of material. Again add water to just a little below the top of the rocks. Tumble for one week. The rocks should now be smooth and possibly starting to get a slight luster.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that your barrel and rough have been cleaned thoroughly. Any grit carried over from a previous step will likely ruin your polish. Place the rough in the barrel with two tablespoons of TXP polish for each pound of material in the barrel. Add enough water to almost cover the rocks and let it tumble for one week.
Burnish If Needed:
Jasper, agate and petrified wood usually take a great polish. However, burnishing this material after the polish step can often improve the shininess of the finished stones. If you would like to try burnishing to see if it improves the look of your polished stones full burnishing instructions can be found here.
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