$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.

3 thoughts on “$5K invested in rough from opal hunting; does it pay off?”

  1. Hi my name is Joe. I have been following your channel for a out 3 years now (don’t hold me to that)
    I think I am what you could consider a skilled craftsmen ( In any sense of the way). I would love to create unique samples with real soul and cleanliness. Unfortunately I do not possess the sales network to successfully acquire larger samples to work on. I know it may be a shot in the dark but do you think you could send me something that I would send back you back when finished. I don’t want any money for it just the experience ( unless you make millions). Sorry for my poor spelling I’m actually English but moved to Spain when I was 11 and I am now living in Germany and I am an Innovation developer for sustainable filtration technologies. This would been something I would do out of passion and not out of greed my dad is a brick layer and in is 60s but still making something amazing with his hands I would like to continue that even if it would be considered a passion. I hope you read this and I have learnt so much from your videos.

  2. Hi B.O.D! I’m interested in a smaller yet stunning opal for my girlfriend. I don’t have a whole lot but i’m so very interested! Could you help? 🙂

    -dom Minnesota USA


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