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The transformation of this half rough opal!

4.03 ct gem black opal

Millions of years ago, on the border of an ancient inland sea, a gem was born. This is the tale of the half rough opal… Join me today as I uncover a stunning gem from a half rubbed, half rough opal! I got this gem from a miner who had uncovered some of the color but hadn’t taken away all of the potch in this half rough opal yet. I can see there’s a thick bar of color running through with some beautiful green, blue, and yellow. There is potch in the face on one side and some sand inclusions that I hope to get out to make this stone…

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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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