Gem opal cluster trapped in sandstone!

What’s better than one opal nobby? A gem opal cluster!

I was so excited to get my hands on this gem opal cluster; a beautiful mess of nobby opal from Lightning Ridge that has been taken hostage by sandstone.

These clusters are found in very hard sandstone and, even after being washing in the agitator, still don’t break down into opal nobbies that are easier to work with. Known as angel stone, white horse, or shin crackers, these little beauties can be tough to crack.

In this video, we’ll tackle this gem opal cluster and see if we can wrestle all that sand for the gems within. There are eight hobbies encased in this one hunk, so I’ll be using the dremel to carve out the best color.

Spoiler! The Final Gems

After cleaning up the gem opal cluster, clearing away all that sand and dealing with pesky cracks, I uncovered some gorgeous dark and crystal opals.

This 1.50-carat crystal opal packs a punch with its bright green, orange, and yellow color. Next up, we have a 3.19-carat dark opal with Flagstone and Chaff patterns that looks at you from almost every angle. Finally, this 2.84-carat crystal opal rounded out the session with its 3D color-on-color effect that we all love so much.

Thanks for joining! If you loved this, check out the live cutting session from last week.

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