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Opal chat with Brantford Lapidary and Mineral Society

Justin from Black Opal Direct

Opal chat time! Let’s change it up and dive deep into everything you’ve wanted to know about opal this week. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to do a Zoom call with the Brantford Lapidary and Mineral Society in Canada to chat about all things opal. If you flock to opal like a bee to honey and don’t mind almost an hour of my voice, you’re going to love this! We had a great time diving deep into opal types, opal cutting, and special techniques. After a brief history of Black Opal Direct and my cutting career so far, we delve into Australian opal types and examples. Then,…

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The secret world of opal buying

The secret world of buying rough opal in Lighting Ridge

It’s a sight about as rare as the Rainbow Serpent gem; welcome to the secret world of opal buying. Across the state of New South Wales and down a long stretch of gravel, my son Saxon and I bring you along our trip out west on the hunt for opal.  Where do I start when buying opal from a miner?  What conditions should I be in to look at opal? What tools do I need to buy opal? How do I visit a miner? I get these questions more frequently than seeing a kangaroo in the outback. Today, I’m going through the whole process, and I’m bringing you with me!  What’s it like…

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What is that opal worth? What will your $ get you?

What is my opal worth? What to expect when buying Australian opal

There is some serious skill involved in spotting a good deal in opal. So much so that people like myself have built their careers around it. But how do opal buyers understand what they’re paying for? Many different factors can raise the value of opal, but what exactly does that look like? After working with opal for over 30 years, I can tell the difference between a good deal and a waste of time, but opal is a notoriously hard gem to judge! Today, we’ll sort through some of the Black Opal Direct inventory, as well as my secret stash, to find out what you can expect to get with…

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