It has been quite a while since I last cut a Clean Skin Nobby — I don’t believe I have ever filmed one being cut either.
However, this is my second cut in a row of a potential Black Crystal Opal and considering they are quite rare, I feel very lucky to be cutting another one so soon.
What is a Clean Skin Nobby?
A clean skin nobby is a sand-free and generally inclusion-free, nobby opal.
You can almost see what the gem looks likes before you even begin cleaning it up — like the color, body tone and patterns.
They are not overly common to find and are a real delight to cut — stress-free video, anyone?
This particular nobby is from the T-Bone Field in Lightning Ridge.
T-Bone is known for its Witches Hat Nobby, so this being a Clean Skin Nobby it was possibly a floater.
If you want to know more about floaters, check out this video here.
What we know so far about this gem —
It will more than likely be a Black Crystal Opal.
There is an incredible color on color and 3D effect already showing in the gem.
We have a clean and accurate place to slice the opal in two — one side has a thick and high color bar and the other is much thinner.
Once I gave it a little clean-up on the wheel and sliced it in two, that beautiful color started coming through — magic!
The color on the back is incredible — no potch = pure black crystal opal!
I didn’t expect the color and pattern on the back to be better than on the front.
What I am envisioning is a double-sided high dome gem.
Lightning Ridge is so diverse in the Opal it produces.
From Dark Opal to White Opal and Crystal Opal to Black Opal of course.
Then we have the anomaly that is Black Crystal Opal, they really are incredible gems.
We finished with a beautiful 3.16ct Black Crystal Opal with some Floral pattern on one side and Flagstone/Chaff on the other.
You can find the finished opal here.