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New and improved synthetic opal BEWARE!!

Fake and Synthetic opal - Aurora Opal

New synthetic opals are being created every year and manufacturers are getting better at replicating natural opal. I recently obtained some of the new material from Tony Smallwood and thought it was time I posted an update. Nearly every day, I am asked by people what their opal is worth. Much of the time I have to tell them that they have a fake opal. Sad but true.  The only way to combat this is to at least make you aware of these new types of fakes on the market. TYPE 1. Aurora Opal This new type of synthetic opal has a pattern never seen before in man made opal. It…

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Cutting large opals to perfection

Cutting large opals takes some time and effort. In this video Justin goes through the process once the stone has been rubbed into a rough shape. He starts on the 360 grit diamond wheel and then progresses to a 600 grit soft nova wheel  then a 1200 grit until he ends up on the felt wheel with cerium oxide. Along the way he shares some tips and tricks when cutting such a large stone. It’s a long video at over 20 minutes but an excellent one to sit down and really study as you get to see exactly what Justin does when cutting. How he moves the stone around the wheels…

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Campbell Bridges: Opal Explorer

Campbell Bridges

Campbell Bridges is a world renowned geologist, explorer and gemologist. He discovered Tsavoritenand brought Tanzanite to the USA in the 1960s. One stone not synonymous with him is opal – until now. Campbell was born in Africa and spent much of his adult life as a geologist in Southern and Eastern Africa, in particular Kenya. When he discovered Tsavorite, a type of green garnet prized for its perfect green and superior sparkle, he was mining in Tanzania. A change in government saw all mines nationalised and he followed the geology until he got to Taita on the Kenyan side of the Tsavo region. By this time he was married and…

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