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Cutting a blue rough opal

Ah, my precious blue rough opal nobby…

I’ll be cutting a beautiful blue rough opal nobby with you today. Like always, some risks come with cutting opal, and you can never be too sure of yourself.

The more sure of your opal nobby you are, the more likely it is to put its sassy pants on and do the exact opposite of what you said it would.

In that case, I’m going to approach this blue rough opal as I would approach a moody teenager; carefully, armed with a plan and hesitant to make any intense demands.

I am, however, seeing some hints of gorgeous blue color that seems promising. The torchlight shines through, and the color bar looks clean. Let’s keep that to ourselves, though; we don’t want to provoke the opal.

Healthy vs unhealthy potch

This opal is a great example for me to teach you about healthy and unhealthy potch.

What is unhealthy opal potch?

Healthy opal potch is one solid color; on this opal, it is a uniform black potch.

Unhealthy opal potch has a matrix effect in it. The body tone is unclean and has lots of lines running through it. Sometimes this type of potch can cause the opal to crack, which is why I will always remove it to make it stable. Sometimes I’m left with no potch on an opal because of this, but it’s necessary to remove unhealthy potch.

A black crystal opal

Today’s rough revealed a beautiful 2.95-carat black crystal opal with a medium dome.

The deep purple and flashes of blue are contrasted against the very dark body tone and would make a great ring.