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How to Avoid Haze on a Cabochon

Yes, it is possible to cloud or haze a cabochon in the final polishing step. There are at least two reasons this happens. Some stones will haze under the influence of most polishing compounds due to their physical structure. These are usually soft materials below seven on the Mohs scale, such as obsidian, sodalite, malachite, variscite, etc. A good rule of thumb is: any stone that will dull and haze when used in a ring or pendant will also do so during the polishing stages. When you run into one of these babies that just must be added to your personal collection, your best buy is to stay with diamond all the way. However, in most cases this problem occurs because of the person holding the dopstick. Improper sanding can leave a nip or fuzzy surface. A buildup of heat can create a flaw early in one of the sanding stages, scaling over and locking in the dull haze you are trying to overcome. This part of the problem can happen with most lapidary material. So avoid all heat buildup in your sanding operations. It's absolutely essential to have a clean stone before polishing.

Be certain extender fluid, soap, oily finger residue, etc., is removed. Any contaminates will mingle with the polishing agent and become part of the stone's surface. What should be a sparkling, flawless gem is cloudy and hazy and not an object of beauty. Only by going back and resanding to remove all traces of this microfilm can the problem be corrected.

by Bill White From Rocky Mountain News 9/82