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The value of this gem went through the roof!

14.98ct black crystal opal Lightning Ridge

Do you like surprises? I do. Well, good ones, that is. Let’s cut a beautiful black crystal opal from a gorgeous ocean blue opal nobby! It’s not every day that I’m surprised with more than I hoped for. Social media can make it look that way, but trust me, every cutter knows that the wins can be few and far between. This opal turned out even better (and bigger!) than I was expecting. When I was first studying this rough opal piece, I saw that it had little potch but a natural tint. I was expecting a dark crystal with some play of color, although I was unsure how deep…

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What is black opal worth? The body tone myth exposed

Are all black opals created equal? What is black opal worth? Are the darkest black opals worth more? Should I only buy N1 black opals? We get a lot of questions about black opal, understandably! But there is one common misconception when it comes to buying black opal and that has to do with the body tone scale. A lot of people have been asking us for black opal that is N1 on the body tone and brightness scale thinking that this is the best they can buy. As Justin explains in today’s video, the body tone of black opal is not the most important factor in its value. In…

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Cutting and pricing $30K of black opal

Cutting and pricing black opal can be a tricky task, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most common questions we get! How do I price my opal? How should I cut it? What’s the value of a black opal? A lot goes into valuing this gorgeous gemstone; pattern, color play, body tone, weight, inclusions… the list goes on! Seem like a lot? Hang in there! In this week’s videos (yes, there are two this week!), Justin will show you how he cuts and prices his black opals. Justin asks you to choose your own adventure with a long and short version on how to cut and price black…

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