Black Opal Rough
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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.
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