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The Uncut Gem Black Opal

The Uncut Gem Black Opal

Everyone told me this uncut gem opal wouldn’t work, they told me not to risk it, but I did it anyway.  When I first saw this 25-carat rub, I saw it had potential. I also saw some concerns. A fracture in the back meant losing carat weight, and a second color bar under the surface either flips the stone to a top gem or results in me cutting it to pieces. I phoned miners and friends in the industry to get their opinion on this uncut gem, and the answer was the same; don’t risk it. Don’t cut to the second color bar. I saw black spots in the stone that could go…

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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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