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Rough opal to an epic gem

Rough opal to epic gem

My latest magic trick; watch as I turn this 40-carat rough opal nobby to a couple-carat gem. This week’s video will either make you smile or cry… either way, it ends in an epic gem. It’s been a while since I ran you through my entire cutting process so I thought it might be time for a refresher. In this video, we chat about assessing rough, cutting tips, putting opal on a dop stick, using heat with opal without it cracking, and my polishing tips! The rough opal nobby I’m working with today is about as messed up as I get when eating a hard shell taco. Toppings spill everywhere,…

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Mother Nature’s Gem Crystal Opal

Dreamy opal cutting sequence of a gem crystal opal

Mother Nature formed this gorgeous gem crystal opal over millions of years; we’re just here to give it the final nudge to perfection. Today, we’ve got a clean skin nobby opal that was found in a shallow dig in Lightning Ridge. This gem has the 3D color-on-color effect that brings layers of life into the stone. The hues and patterns sit on top of each other and shift with the light give this gem a sense of fluidity that’s borderline hypnotising. This weeks video is a feel-good, dreamy gem crystal opal cutting sequence. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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Polishing 2.2kgs (5 pounds) of Andamooka opal

andamooka opal

My biggest challenge ever doesn’t seem to be getting any easier! This massive chunk of Andamooka opal is the opal that finally beat me. I have developed my skills in cutting opal over the last 30 years but I’ve never met an opal that’s challenged me like this one. Sometimes it’s not that we don’t have the skills or the knowledge but that we just don’t have the right equipment! The opals I’m used to cutting are, at maximum, the size of a Ferrero Rocher (and just as delicious, in my opinion) so the tools I use just can’t cope with this megalith-like Andamooka opal. So how will I tackle…

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