Broken Nobby

Finding a broken nobby is like finding one earring, it’s nice but so much better to have the pair.
Did I end up with the better half?
Is the other piece bigger and better?

What’s a Broken Nobby?

So what is a broken nobby?
A broken nobby occurs when the hydraulic digger used by the miner scrapes the dirt wall and the teeth strikes through a nobby opal.


Sebastian on the hydraulic digger down in the mine in Lightning Ridge. Using the digger is far more time-efficient than a hand pick or jackhammer, however, it’s a little easier to break a nobby due to the surface area taken up by the digger’s teeth.

Our Broken Nobby

Back to our nobby.
We are hoping to cut a lovely 2ct gem black opal, fingers crossed!
One way shows a bit more gold than the other side, we could be looking at around $3000 a carat.
After working on it for a while, there seems to be some potch in the face.
The more I try to get rid of the potch, the thinner the color bar becomes.
It’s a risk and I hope I don’t lose the color bar before I get rid of the potch.

I decided to slice the tip-off to get a better view of what was happening in those layers.
It will also allow me to start shaping it better.


Finishing Piece

Woo hoo! The potch came out of the face, happy dance!

1.31 ct black opal 10.1×5.9×3.1mm


In stock

SKU: YTV24067

Want to watch our video on opal mining in Lightning Ridge?
Follow this link.

2 thoughts on “Broken Nobby”

  1. A very nice gem…and you had me practically in tears listening to your philosophical take on life, towards the end of the video. Also you final mating dance (the twirling about number) was quite compelling. Thank goodness you had your clothes on. You Aussies are a force of nature, I realize…and at times without limits…and I daresay…without BOUNDARIES!!!! Your family has my sympathy.

  2. There’s nothing more heart warming to me than watching you cut a nobby. Well many me we cutting one lol. One day I hope to strive to be the best that I can be. I gave up on trying to be as good as you mate. But you’ve taught me so much. Thank you sincerely. Michael Jordan


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