Posted on Leave a comment

Polishing 2.2kgs (5 pounds) of Andamooka opal

andamooka opal

My biggest challenge ever doesn’t seem to be getting any easier! This massive chunk of Andamooka opal is the opal that finally beat me. I have developed my skills in cutting opal over the last 30 years but I’ve never met an opal that’s challenged me like this one. Sometimes it’s not that we don’t have the skills or the knowledge but that we just don’t have the right equipment! The opals I’m used to cutting are, at maximum, the size of a Ferrero Rocher (and just as delicious, in my opinion) so the tools I use just can’t cope with this megalith-like Andamooka opal. So how will I tackle…

Read More
Posted on Leave a comment

The transformation of this half rough opal!

4.03 ct gem black opal

Millions of years ago, on the border of an ancient inland sea, a gem was born. This is the tale of the half rough opal… Join me today as I uncover a stunning gem from a half rubbed, half rough opal! I got this gem from a miner who had uncovered some of the color but hadn’t taken away all of the potch in this half rough opal yet. I can see there’s a thick bar of color running through with some beautiful green, blue, and yellow. There is potch in the face on one side and some sand inclusions that I hope to get out to make this stone…

Read More
Posted on Leave a comment

The value of this gem went through the roof!

14.98ct black crystal opal Lightning Ridge

Do you like surprises? I do. Well, good ones, that is. Let’s cut a beautiful black crystal opal from a gorgeous ocean blue opal nobby! It’s not every day that I’m surprised with more than I hoped for. Social media can make it look that way, but trust me, every cutter knows that the wins can be few and far between. This opal turned out even better (and bigger!) than I was expecting. When I was first studying this rough opal piece, I saw that it had little potch but a natural tint. I was expecting a dark crystal with some play of color, although I was unsure how deep…

Read More