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Unearthed a $5000 black opal from the rough

Unearthing a $5000 black opal from a Lightning Ridge rough nobby

I unearthed a $5000 black opal from the rough and it felt as good as coming home to a big seafood dinner! We’re going a bit coo-coo in the workshop today; from head-banging to Harry Potter spells and a lot of opal in between. There I was, mining down by the jetty when my shovel thudded against something hard. Curious to what I would find, I dug my hand deep into the gritty sand and pulled out a gorgeous shimmering blue nobby. What was a Lightning Ridge nobby doing 2 foot under my jetty? Those are the secrets I’ll never tell… In this week’s video, we take the top off…

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Polishing opal to $12,000 perfection

5.78 gem black opal from Lightning Ridge

Polishing opal can make or break a gem. Being the final step in the opal cutting process, an opal that is finished with a quality polish is the cherry on top that takes it to the next level. Think, taking your sundae from home-made to Max Brenner level. Today’s piece of opal is a rub (pre-form) from a miner in Lightning Ridge. I got this piece when it had already been rubbed so I don’t know what it looked like in the rough but, holy cow, this color is something special. My first impression of this opal is that it’s got incredible play of color with a nice, thick color…

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I cut this little rock to find a $4000 gem inside

Little rock cut into 3.29 carat black opal gem

This little rock was hiding a gorgeous gem opal inside. Of course, it wouldn’t let me have it without a bit of a challenge. I find that sweet-talking my opal first doesn’t hurt my chances. I love to say things like “you’re more than your sand spots, it’s what’s on the inside that counts” and “you put the rock in rockstar!” Some may say I’m insane (my wife), some may think I’ve been experimenting with too many chemicals, and to them, I say… you’re probably right. But I’m going to do it anyway! I start with an opal nobby that has the telltale signs of a great gem; white cap,…

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