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Cutting and pricing $30K of black opal

Cutting and pricing black opal can be a tricky task, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most common questions we get!

How do I price my opal? How should I cut it? What’s the value of a black opal?

A lot goes into valuing this gorgeous gemstone; pattern, color play, body tone, weight, inclusions… the list goes on!

Seem like a lot? Hang in there! In this week’s videos (yes, there are two this week!), Justin will show you how he cuts and prices his black opals.

Justin asks you to choose your own adventure with a long and short version on how to cut and price black opal.

A short version for those of you who are busy cutting opal!
Or the long version – for the die-hard cutting fans!

We’ve got one top gem and two other stones to cut and price today; let’s get into it!

Shop Our Black Opal Here

Justin shows you how to make sure you put your roughed out opal on to your dop stick properly. Make sure the wax is never bigger than your opal, and heat your wax correctly before cooling.

In the long version, Justin shows you how he cuts and polishes all three black opals. If you’re a cutter yourself, are learning, or you just love the process, I’d definitely recommend tuning in to the long version. Justin is a great teacher and shares a lot of his knowledge with you.

In the short version, he does all of this in about twenty seconds. Talk about efficiency.

Now, for the tricky part… How do we price opal?

Justin talks you through what he looks for when valuing opal, delving into the details of each stone he’s cut as examples.

The first gem is a 28.65ct black opal with blue-green colors. The second is a 16.69ct top gem with bright color that is predominantly green-blue. Lastly, we have a black opal that doesn’t have a consistent body tone and some sand inclusions.

Watch this week’s video to see how Justin values each of these very different stones.