When faced with a whopping 137ct nobby opal, my eyes pour over the rough gem to visualize the multitude of possible outcomes.
Where does the best color seem to be sitting?
Is there a better pattern underneath the first color layer?
How deep do those inclusions run?
There’s only one way to find out — off to the wheel we go!
Into The Deep Blue
What we do know about this nobby opal.
It has a deep yet vibrant blue body tone.
I can see some flagstone patterns, which you all know I LOVE!
I know I will get a decent gem, my prediction is a 6 – 8ct gem, however, if the sand behaves itself we could end up with more.
Beginning the cut with a 90 grit coated wheel we get through all that excess sand.
We then move onto a 280 grit and try and maintain that gorgeous pattern sitting on top of the gem.
Pre-polish, the gem weighs in at 20.50ct… WHAT?!
It has far exceeded my expectations so far, what an incredible amount of gem we have been able to save from inclusions.
I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this beautiful black opal!
The result however is bittersweet, it may be the very last gem I cut from this particular mine.
I have been buying from these miners for over 20 years and they have reached the end of their opal findings in this claim in this field.
However, like all good miners, they have a new claim in another field and I am super excited to see what they find there.
The final gem weighs in at 17.56ct Black Opal, cut from a whopping 137ct nobby hailing from Lightning Ridge.
Featuring a Flagstone pattern and Ribbon pattern within the Flagstone.
Bold and vibrant blue and purple colors with an impressive high dome.