Top of the gems!

This is a frontrunner for one of the best Crystal Opals I have ever seen and I have seen some exceptional opals.
But I knew with a bit of skill and precision, I could rid the back of sand and unveil a superlative top gem!

Take a top gem and make it better!

When this incredible Crystal Opal rub found its way to me, I was instantly mesmerized by the brightness and color.
You all know how much I love my Lightning Ridge Crystal Opals.
I could see under the sand spots on the back, the potential for some incredible color to come through.
It would mean losing potentially 1ct or more of the gem but I think it is worth it for a double-sided opal.

As I work through the cutting of the gem, I notice the inclusions run deeper than expected.
Ultimately the final weight of the opal is important, so I am careful not to shave off too much color.
After drying the gem for a closer inspection, there are still some significant sand spots lurking.
Back to the wheel we go, but this time we’ll cut dry and not use any water.
The reason for a dry wheel is so I can keep an eye on the spots, once wet they’re difficult to see properly.

Drumroll, please…

The outcome is spectacular!
I have never seen a top gem crystal opal as bright as this one — 6 out of 5 brightness if possible!
We started with a 5.15ct crystal opal rub and sacrificed 1.42cts to create a double-sided gem.
But not just any double-sided gem, a spectacular and quite rare crystal opal.
The rarity lies in the multitude of colors and patterns on one side with a complete pattern change on the other side.
Including an incredible building block of 3D color-on-color throughout the entire gem.
It’s fair to say my gamble to take the back off the opal has well and truly paid off!

°The gem is going to the shows in Tucson, if it comes back with us we will list it.

18 thoughts on “Top of the gems!”

  1. Justin, it is always amazing to see you cutting such beautiful stones!! I’m going to Tucson also and I look forward to seeing you there and hopefully, seeing this stone in person. I’ll be flying just over 3000 miles each way.

  2. My golly that is an absolute stunner! Glad you did reveal the back to the world Justin! I think it’s worth it. I could imagine an amazing pendant designed to turn around so that the owner can show both sides… it would be absolutely amazing – and will take a wonderful jeweller. WOW WOW WOW

  3. Absolutely magnificent stone Justin. Happy New Year to you and the Black Opal Direct team. Great stone to start off what is hopefully a great year ahead for everyone.

  4. Justin,

    That is such an exquisite opal! I truly love it. Whoever is the lucky buyer, they’re getting a super rare opal. Yes, I agree with the other comments that a necklace that rotates to show off both sides would be a great setting for this gemstone.

    Enjoy Tucson! Warmest regards,
    Linda Fitzwater, GIA AJP


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