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Rough opal to an epic gem

My latest magic trick; watch as I turn this 40-carat rough opal nobby to a couple-carat gem. This week’s video will either make you smile or cry… either way, it ends in an epic gem.

It’s been a while since I ran you through my entire cutting process so I thought it might be time for a refresher.

In this video, we chat about assessing rough, cutting tips, putting opal on a dop stick, using heat with opal without it cracking, and my polishing tips!

The rough opal nobby I’m working with today is about as messed up as I get when eating a hard shell taco. Toppings spill everywhere, the hard shell juts out all over the place while simultaneously crumbling beneath my fingers. It’s an ugly sight, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious, just like this opal nobby.

I can see that there’s potentially an epic gem inside, but there’s also a lot of sand. Like, a lot.

I’m going to warn you before I start that I grind a lot of color away to tackle this sandy stone. If you’re sensitive to color-wasting, you may cry, but what I’m aiming to do is to get a top gem that faces the best it can. I want to rid the end stone of any sand spots or inclusions and finish with a clean gem.

Lucky for me, I got what I wanted; an epic gem that’s nice and clean with a gorgeous face. 

This double-sided 1.88-carat crystal opal is much smaller than the gigantic 40-carat rough nobby it came from, but it’s also a much better gem. Its 3D color, and B5 brightness makes the rainbow colors pop; so much so that I had to keep it for my collection!

From a face only a mother could love, to one worthy of a Vogue spread; join as we uncover this epic gem and learn lots along the way.

I might be keeping this one to myself, but we have plenty of crystal opals for you to drool over here.