Opal treasures from the fields of old

It’s been a very long time since I have had rough opal treasures from the old T-Bone Field in Lightning Ridge.
It sits behind the Coocoran Fields and is known for its incredible Witches Hat nobbys.
Although this one isn’t quite a Witches Hat or a Nobby, it’s a little hybrid of its own.
It has both a white cap and grey potch — I’ll have to decide whether to take off the potch and make a Crystal Opal or leave the potch to create a Dark or potentially a Black Opal.

T-Bone Opal Treasures

In the opal game, the idea is to cut out most of the inclusions to produce a nice clean gem.
Even with a gem torch, inclusions around the color bar can easily be missed or hidden.
Slowly I clean up the edges to get a better look at the color bar and the colors are looking amazing!
I can tell now it’s not going to be a black opal — it’s looking more like a dark or crystal opal at this stage.
The color bar is quite thick but it does begin to thin around on one side.
In order to get a nice size dome, I can see where the gem is going to cut from.

Top Off Time

As I go in, the sand isn’t playing nice so far!
There is some incredible color coming through but with sizable sand blobs.
These 3 main sand spots will determine the gem’s outcome but we’ll be onto a real winner if the sand comes out.
With these pesky sand spots thinning out my color bar, it means the potch is here to stay.

Gem Outcome

We finished with a lovely 4.56ct Dark Opal with an incredibly bright play of colors.
Dabbled with bold Floral, Flagstone and Chaff patterns — a little winner in my books!
You can find the finished gem here.

16 thoughts on “Opal treasures from the fields of old”

  1. Once again nice work with a great result Justin. Lovely colour and pattern that would be beautiful in a ring.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. You have a skill which leaves many of us mesmerized, looks like a crystal to me, beautiful even before its cut, the ones beaten by sand could be made into a Mobil hanging in the sunlight, I net it would look stunning, gday to all

  3. My favourite attribute of opal is watching a true artist and craftsman bring the light to the stone. What you are able to do in order to reveal such treasures is truly mesmerising.

  4. Hi all I like all the different colors but my favorite is the red orange yellow ones. love you all Justin with the crazy dance moves. wish we could come to visit you there. All the very best to you from Calgary, Canada. 😜🤪😉😋😎🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

  5. The ‘Witch’s Nobby” turned out wonderful. Though the vibrancy of black opals is a world of its own I do adore the delicate almost pastel colours that this opal shows.

  6. This one ended up really nice 😊👌 My guess was’nt to bad, just far off on the $/ct. How many ct was it to begin with?
    Cheers, Elin

  7. My favorite is the “Script” pattern black opal. Enjoy your skill, passion and sharing such fantastic gems with the world. Big thanks.


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