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I cut this little rock to find a $4000 gem inside

This little rock was hiding a gorgeous gem opal inside. Of course, it wouldn’t let me have it without a bit of a challenge.

I find that sweet-talking my opal first doesn’t hurt my chances. I love to say things like “you’re more than your sand spots, it’s what’s on the inside that counts” and “you put the rock in rockstar!”

Some may say I’m insane (my wife), some may think I’ve been experimenting with too many chemicals, and to them, I say… you’re probably right.

But I’m going to do it anyway!

I start with an opal nobby that has the telltale signs of a great gem; white cap, good color, and glows when I hold it to my torch. It doesn’t look like it would have any tricky sand spots and seemed like the least “gamble-y” nobby I had.

Let’s work on this one nice and slowly to get the most carats and uncover some killer color!

Let’s go, little rock!

The color is showing clean around the edges but, as I get further into it, I find potch in the top. That is not what I expected to see!

I can usually see any dead spots using the torch but, as always, opal just loves to surprise me! I also find a water bar that I couldn’t see earlier. Clearly, I suck at compliments.

I begin working the opal a little more, slowly making that color shine through. I have to be careful here as there is another color bar sitting on the potch. I don’t want to lose this nice color on the top by going too far down.

Lucky for me, this stone turned out very pretty once I’d finished with it. Let’s polish it up and give it a valuation.

The end result…

This little rock turned into a darker gem than I had expected at N3 with beautiful green-blue color and 3.29 carats!

Little rock turns into 3.29 carat black opal gem from Lightning Ridge Australia
A beautiful 3.29 carat black opal gem