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.
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.