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The dream opal comes true!

best black opal gem cutting video

Some days at the cutting machine are good and others are mediocre. Then there are days like this. Watch me get caught off guard while uncovering an absolute dream opal in this weeks video. We shared a live cutting video on YouTube a couple of weeks ago that included an exceedingly beautiful piece of rough opal from Lightning Ridge. I decided to take this rough nobby to the cutting wheel expecting a good gem and being surprised with a dream opal instead. What can we get out of this rough opal? Before cutting any opal, I always spend time evaluating. Every piece of rough opal is unique, just like the…

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My biggest challenge ever! A massive chunk of Andamooka opal

Andamooka opal

What do you get when you cross a huge piece of Andamooka opal and a lot of very hard quartz? My biggest challenge ever! (literally!) In this weeks video, we’ll work on exposing the gem inside this massive chunk of Andamooka opal. This piece weighs 2.2 kilograms (almost 5 pounds) and it made up of opal encrusted in quartz, or quartzite or silcrete. I can see that there is a lot of color in this chunk but it’s unclear where that color meets. I always spend time assessing the opal before taking it to the wheel and this chunk is no exception. In fact, this piece will probably take me…

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From rough to riches! Cutting, polishing, and valuing an opal

2.84ct rough to polsihed opal

Sometimes all you want to do is watch some therapeutic opal cutting without some dude talking the whole time. Well, today’s your lucky day! We’ve got something a little different in mind this week so sit back, relax, and enjoy. This video focuses on how Justin’s workshop usually sounds; whirring machines and the grinding of gems. And, of course, uncovering a beautiful gem! Let’s get cutting… Justin starts by taking the 4ct rough to his sintered 360 grit wheel to reveal the color bar as best he can. After carving out a shape he’s happy with, the opal goes onto the dop stick to begin the shape and pre-polish. Justin…

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