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I was talking with my wife who is familiar with the area and I must say I hope you are prepared for a different environment. Texas where there is drought to a rain forest. It rains like 58 inches a year there, that is like, every day almost.
I am sure you know more about the area than I do but that is a bit of a change. To see snow cap mountain tops all the time and glaciers will be a treat. Great seafood too. Not to mention sunstone, black opals and is there gold in them there hills?
I am new to faceting and this world of gemstones. I purchased a Facetron a year ago and am looking forward to this years novice single stone. It is just so far away until entry. I like perfection and the competition asks for that. The standards that are set and judged by give the cutter a good idea of where to improve.
I entered my first stone last year after having my machine for 6 months. I did not get my certification but the amount of knowledge I received from the judge was priceless. Now I feel confident and really want a 100% this year.
As far as other faceters I know of no one in my area, but if I want to travel 300 miles south to Detroit there are meetings. I find I get a bit of knowledge from being a member here and now I am taking a membership with IGS and AE Seaman Mineral Museun of Michigan Tech. I highly suggest visiting the museum which has the largest mineral collection in the world.
Learning about gemstones, rough, gem cad, to cut or not to cut…just tons of questions but for the meantime I can practice on quartz.