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Unveil three color bars in this monster opal

How do you choose between three color bars? That’s as hard as picking a favorite Harry Potter movie!

This week, I’ve got a stunning nobby from the Allawah Opal Fields in Lightning Ridge. This piece came to be as an opal rub although it looks like the miner wasn’t confident about taking it further.

This monstrous opal piece presents a challenge; how do I know which of the three color bars to choose?

The top bar is glorious, so that’s an easy choice, but the two lower bars are where the real challenge lies. 

I need to find the safest way to cut this gem without losing the best color, but I also want to know whether that middle bar is worth the risk.

If I leave the opal as it is, the final gem will be quite thick. A thick opal isn’t a deal-breaker, but it isn’t ideal. On the other hand, if I cut through to the second bar, I could completely lose a good color bar for one with less potential. 

If I had any hair, I’d be pulling it out right now.

Let’s give it a crack, shall we?

The Final Gems

We uncovered a 25.11-carat gem dark opal with killer color and pattern on top. It’s a double-sided gem that is polished on both sides, the other showing some gorgeous Flagstone pattern in greens and blues.

In order to test the color bar, we ended up unveiling a triangle shaped 2.75-carat dark opal with the same stunning color sitting on top. The second color bar wasn’t as strong as the first, so I’m really glad I decided to test and measure before committing to the risk.