WHAT IS ASTERISM? Literally, it means a star. In gemmological terms, it is a star-shaped figure that is enhanced by polishing (usually en cabachon). The star is viewed by holding the gem in the path of a single, bright light source (like the sun).
ASTERISM Services provides diverse services to the geological, mining, gem cutting, metallurgy, and jewelry businesses. We perform field work in geology that includes field mapping, underground mapping, sampling, modelling, and interpretation.
We provide consulting in mining especially for crystal and gem mining, including specialized blasting, materials recovery, and cleaning and preparation. We can identify your mineral specimens, take you on geological field trips, and we buy local mineral specimens. We specialize in Montana gems: Montana sapphires, Montana garnets, Montana quartz gems (amethyst, smoky quartz), and also Montana gold and other ores. We have the state's only privately-owned free mineral museum, open to the public year-round.
Our facilities include precious metals recovery and refining; in addition, we are consultanting metallurgists in the field of gold and silver extraction, recovery, and refining.
We are fabricators, designers, and casters of precious metals, specifically in the jewelry field.
We provide lapidary services to the public, from bulk diamond sawing to faceting, cabachon cutting, polishing, tumbling and lapping. Our specialty is cutting asteriated and chatoyant gems, from star garnets to sapphires, rubies, tourmaline, rose quartz, and most important gem species.
We have in stock many mineral specimens and crystals, from micromounts to thumbnail-sized, miniature, and cabinet-sized specimens. Butte copper mine minerals, Boulder batholith pegmatite minerals, Black Pine Mine minerals, and Idaho miarolitic granite minerals are available, along with a variety of miscellaneous localities.
If you are interested in gold prospecting equipment, we carry steel and plastic gold pans and collection bottles. If you need metal detectors, visit our associate at: MODERN PROSPECTOR.
LAPIDARY SERVICES: We have over 35 years experience in the commercial gem cutting business, but since it is a small operation, limited facilities so that we only take on small jobs. Slab sawing, cabochons, and most styles of faceting are accepted. We specialize in asteriated and chatoyant gems, like star sapphires, garnets, rubies, and cat's-eye gems; we facet many sapphires and local gems including varieties of quartz, garnets, tourmaline, topaz, chysoberyl, spinel, peridot, sunstone, tanzanite, and most "true" gems. We DO NOT cut "semi-gems" like apatite, spodumene, fluorite, calcite, barite, or those fragile or soft minerals that do not take the wear-and-tear of jewelry. Our fees start at $40 minimum for faceting, increasing by hourly rate at $65 per hour. Cabochons are cut on a per-stone basis and fees are a function of material type, size, style of cut, and additional services like slabbing or trimming, if necessary. We reserve the option to restrict the number of stones we take on at any given time, based upon available working time when ordered. Let us know by e-mail or phone your needs!
METALLURGY: We are metallurgists specializing in all areas of precious metals, from extractive to refining and physical metallurgy. We offer consulting services for mining companies involved in precious metals, and for companies needing services in recovery and refining, especially in the jewelry industry. We also provide lost wax casting services, vulcanized rubber mold and silicon mold manufacturing, and wire and sheet fabrication.
GEOLOGY: Our services in the field of geology are varied: we do surface and underground mapping, all types of sampling, drill site monitoring, property evaluation, claim staking and maintenence. We have experience in various types of mining and geology, specializing in pegmatites, precious metals deposits, granite geology, contact zone deposits, and crystals and mineral specimens. Our fees in these areas depend on the type, location, and duration of each individual project. We work by the hour, day, or week, and expenses are considered as extra fees. Please call us or e-mail with your specific needs.