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$5K invested in rough from opal hunting; does it pay off?

This $5,000 rough from opal hunting in the Lightning Ridge mines was a gamble; does it pay off?

In my last video, we took a Lightning Ridge opal hunting tour to see The Secret Life of Buying Rough Opal where you watched me negotiate on an opal nobby. Well, this week we are cutting that nobby. 

This rough opal nobby is a high-risk piece, and a gamble I’m not sure will pay off. It has decent green color on one side and a tiny hint of color on the other. This tells me the color bar goes right through, but how much of that is riddled with sand? Let’s take it to the wheel to find out!

I’m usually pretty confident in my skills from over 30 years of practice, but I doubted myself with this piece. Seeing the sand riddled through the stone with no black potch makes me think I risked $5,000 on nothing.

Doubting myself and my experience isn’t going to help, so let’s go for it… wait, is that orange color coming through?

The final opal

Spoiler alert! I can’t believe what a wild ride this opal took us on. I went from hopeful about cutting a lovely blue-green stone to absolutely shattered thinking that I paid $5,000 for sand.

After an absolute ripper of a journey, we uncovered a stunning 6.42-carat gem black opal. This gems pattern is unreal with Cats Eye, Chaff, Flagstone and a little glimpse of Script Pattern. The orange came over the whole stone with a beautiful N2 body tone and B5 vivid brightness.

The insane gem uncovered today was a total gamble; blue-green opal rarely turns into a fiery orange, and we were fortunate to witness it. I’m shaking from the emotional rollercoaster this piece just put me through, but I’m so happy you could join me in uncovering this gem black opal.