Ready, steady, cut!

Hold onto your seats, this ride is a rough one (no pun intended).
This gorgeous-looking grey crockery top Wyoming Field nobby looks like it has the potential to turn into an incredible black opal gem.
Although, revealing the layers of this particular rough opal, will not be a stress-free journey.

Revealing the layers

As I examine the nobby, the risk that I can see is the undulating part on the top — which could push the crockery top into the color.
The good news is I can see the color bar travels around the entire nobby.
The best case scenario is a free-form gem or possibly cutting two opals.
My plan is to go in lightly and slowly on the finer wheel so I’m not losing color.

I’m going in!
A bit of color followed by a bit of sand and around and around we go.
Although the color is looking vibrant, black spots are starting to appear.
This means there could be a potch line running through the color — not what we want.
However, as the potch begins to spread across the face of the gem, the color also brightens.
I am willing to back myself and take this down as far as I can to see what reveals itself (after a little advice from my pal, The Rock).

The end game

The final results are in and they’re actually pretty good!
We ended up with a 5.01ct Black Opal with a lot of red.
Working out to be a US$5000 gem — you can’t be disappointed with that!
You can check out the final opal here.

12 thoughts on “Ready, steady, cut!”

  1. Justin, Dude you always amaze me with your skills, Awesome video, and Beautiful stone, Congrats on that And your new website, I always am mesmerized watching you cut, and I hope I pick up some tips along the way, I’m not a cutter, I have a little opal to try my luck with when I stop working on my car , , I hope that’s soon,
    Thanks for taking the time do let us watch and learn, I hope some day I can purchase some better stones from you,

  2. I can never explain or make you understand just how much you have touched my life…it’s no small thing of that you can be certain. I have always loved opals and just about everything geology related,if it was an interesting rock you can bet it was going in my pocket. My house is full of interesting stones I’ve picked up over the years but I live in Louisiana so they’re mostly agates and fossils. But one day a couple years ago I happened upon one of your videos on YouTube…the one with your father and you talking opal and when I saw you reveal the very first color bar…the very first time I heard the phrase “I’m going in!” I was hooked. To say I’m an opalholic is an understatement. I binge watched your videos almost religiously 😂 and although I can’t afford the amazing equipment you use I was able to procure the Dremel setup with all the sintered diamond burs as well as the Nova points and cirium oxide for final polish(everything you suggested in one or more of your videos. I bought some rough and the first time I “went in” and exposed my first color bar , well,I know I’ve mentioned it being akin to a religious experience but I really just don’t have the words…I know this is a long message but I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate everything you do for us opalholics. As I said in the beginning,I can never make you understand the positive influence and change in my life you and Australian opal have made in my life. Truly, thank you sir. You are a cracker of a gem yourself!


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