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Carving opal: The step by step process

carving opal

Some of you might recognise this rough piece from Tucson.  It came home with us so we decided it was the perfect piece to practice carving opal. In this new video will show you what equipment you may need and some of the techniques to get that beautiful undulating finish on the final piece. We have called the piece Nudibranch (pronounced noodi-branc) after the colourful sea animal. Can you see the resemblance? The original piece of rough opal was 20.83ct. With careful work, Justin kept the bulk and and as you can see by the after photos, not much of the opal was sacrificed. The final carving weighed 16.10cts.    

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Polishing an antique opal ring: Before and after

Polishing an antique opal ring

Polishing an antique opal ring without removing the opal from its setting can be done. Justin shows you how to resurrect your opal and make it shine again. Polishing an opal in its setting is a simple but precise process. It requires focus to ensure you polish only the opal and not the setting. The process works best with bezel set opals that have a bit of a dome on them. Claw set jewelry does pose more of a risk because if the claws are higher than the stone you can’t actually get to the the opal without polishing the claws. This can weaken them and may even lead to your…

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Opal cutting using diamond Nova wheels

opal cutting using diamond nova wheels

This is a new video to replace a really old one on opal cutting using diamond Nova wheels. Many people ask about the difference between cutting opal with sand paper and using diamond impregnated soft wheels. So why use diamond Nova wheels? In the old days we used pumice on felt but it was messy and cumbersome. The Nova process is a wet process which, because the wheel is soft, is designed specifically for making cabochons. Dopping your rub That sounds a bit rude doesn’t it?! You know the basic drill. We attach the opal to the dop stick using wax. See this video for more on this subject. TIP: Make…

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