This red and green oval opal came as a bit of a surprise.

It was a piece of rough that was curved with a skin on both sides.  The edge had a bit of colour play but I knew due to the curve, I wouldn’t really be able to make a solid stone from it.  Out came my black agate.  After flattening both the rough and the backing, I married them and left to set!

This one took quite a bit of care.  It was fairly thin and the surface as well as being convex undulated quite a bit. Grinding little and inspecting often is the key.  To start with I believed I’d have a green pinfire flash but as tends to be the case with opals, this changed as the grinding and polishing continued.

The resulting stone has a greeny pinfire.  Then, when you turn it, you get a lovely redish glow flowing in form the sides. It’s more like a traditional doublet as the piece of opal is thinner than I tend to use.



crystal opal

A rainbow crystal opal!

This was a piece of rough crystal opal that had come in a batch from Australia.  It had a slight dull flicker of rainbow colours and was on a sandstone backing. The original stone was cracked into three and I tried hard to work with the pieces but they were really quite small and fiddly.  I thought I’d have a play and mount one   onto black agate,  primarily so I could cut and polish the opal more easily.

I used a two part crystal clear epoxy and made some lamp black to darken it down. After waiting, I  dopped the stone and then trimmed the back down .  Everything felt much easier to control.

It was a real joy to work on! Every part of my cutting and polishing revealed more colour, vibrancy and brilliance. There is a small inclusion of sand on one edge but to remove that would have meant effectively destroying the stone… you can hardly see it without a loupe. When I reached the 3000 grit, the rainbow colours were really showing through.

The final polish gave me a big smile. It may only be a small stone and effectively it’s a rather thick doublet but I love it.

I’ve taken the photographs in a near daylight with an artificial source. Please feel free to comment on the post and photographs .