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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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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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