Posted on 6 Comments

Carving opal: The step by step process

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.

Rough opal before carving
Rough opal 20.85cts


Carving opal
After carving, not much weight was sacrificed and the color is beautiful and bright on the top


carving opal
After carving – see the nudibranch like ruffles at the base?