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black opal rough from Lightning Ridge Australia

Information to identify it

Black opal rough is the natural form of black opal taken from the ground. As with all opal rough it will require some slicing, grinding and polishing to bring out the color  Opals are found in different areas of Australia, usually associated with sandstone. Black rough opal mine run has not been cleaned up and is left up to the opal cutter to break it down from its rough opal state to creating an opal gem.  Some opal cutters and hobbyists prefer to buy their rough opal as rubs rather than completely rough. Particularly if they are buying from places like the United States, Europe and other places a long way from Australia. They prefer not to pay freight on opal material that may not be cuttable. If you want to know more about the details of this please go to the specialized articles on this site that discuss buying rough opal and learning to cut and polish it.

Where does it come from?

Most of the quality black opal rough in the world comes from Australia, in particular Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. This field is the best-known black opal source in Australia but some black opal is found in most other fields as well. Black opal rough has a dark body tone as compared to crystal opal which has a light body tone.

Black opal rough sometimes has hidden gems inside it waiting for the lucky cutter to discover it. Many stories have been told of miners selling a piece of black potch that was thought to be a piece of junk only to have it cut open to reveal a stunning and valuable black opal gem within.

Cutting and Polishing Black opal rough

Black opal rough undergoes extensive cutting and polishing to enhance the play of color observed in it. The stone is ground into an appropriate shape with the help of a diamond wheel to optimize the pattern and colors of the opal. The shape given can be circular, tear-drop, oval shaped or free form depending on the intention of the opal cutter. A finish with sandpaper is given and the opal is polished with a wet leather cerium oxide wheel to complete the process. Black opal rough when it is cut ends up a unset opals for use in opal jewelry.  Leave a message on our contacts form if you want to learn how to cut and polish opal and find a good supply of black opal rough from the black opal fields.

14 Responses to “Black Opal Rough”

  1. daniel

    hello. i am about to go to school to learn about cutting gemstones. opals really interest me. i am interested in getting good black opal rough suppliers. or any information about opals. thanks.

    Reply
      • michael

        hi peter i have an opal stone that i would like to no if is real and what type ? and what it would be worth to the right buyer please contact me dvay60@hotmail.com

        i will reply back with pictures ?

        hope to hear from u soon thanks

        michael

        Reply
  2. Annette

    hello i have some black opal rough that i wonder if you would be interested in buying…?
    Send me an email if you are.

    Cheers
    Annette

    Reply
    • admin

      Annette, not sure if i got back to about this. just send another message if not. peter

      Reply
  3. Anita Groeneveld

    So, I heard that opal is the latest craze in China…..have they discovered your website?

    Reply
    • Peter

      its difficult for the Chinese to search in English but if they do find the site they can select the Chinese language on the front page, so you might mention that to any of your chinese friends. Peter

      Reply
  4. Jan Podbielski

    Hi,
    I’m interested in obtaining some black opal rough, I have cut some opals but plan on doing more with opal, both cutting and using in my designs.
    Thanks,
    Jan

    Reply
    • Peter

      Jan, thanks for your inquiry. if you give me a few more details about your goals and budget i can make some suggestions. Do you have a knowledge of boulder opal? Black opal is just about mined out in Australia at present and there have not been any new mines discovered but boulder opal still has potential and caters to a wider price range. Also tell me if you have experience with opal cutting. Actually just go to http://opalmine.com/contact-us/ and fill in your details so i can talk to you direct by email. Pleased to help if i can. thanks Jan, Peter

      Reply
    • Peter

      Sorry Jan, i just noticed that you sent your email, so i will reply to that.

      Reply
  5. vKevin Tappin Tapp

    Could you please send me info on how to obtain Ethiopian opal rough,preferably midgrade specimen size? black opal rough would be nice too.Thank you

    Reply
    • Peter

      sorry Kevin i only deal in Australian opal. Some say that the African opal can be cut without cracking and apparently some of the newer mines seem quite secure but the experience i have had is that it all eventually cracks. we have material in Australia like it that is not used in the professional industry but its ok for specimens. but i only deal in secure opal that we can guarantee. if i find any dealers in the African material i will let you know.

      Reply

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