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Cutting natural opal


#1

Dear colleagues I have polished semi precious materials (lapis,
sugilite, jades, agates, etc.) for some years in my jewelry, and
knife/sword handles. I’ve always stayed away from trying natural
opal because I heard it was tricky to work and I know it’s
expensive. I’ve learned that nothing is really difficult when you
learn/know how to do it. Anybody willing to email a “how to” cut,
grind, sand and polish natural opal (and any other things that need
consideration) ?? Good fortune to all. Thanks. Jot Singh Khalsa
Millis, MA USA


#2

Hello Jot!

There are a couple excellent books available from Paul Downing on
the cutting of opal. From my experience, the key is in the selection
of rough material. Take a small flashlight with you to evaluate rough
at a gem show. Pre-existing fractures in the rough will be revealed,
allowing you to achieve a better yield from your investment.

All the best,
Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#3

I’ve been cutting natural opal since 1961. During the intervening
time I’ve seen and read many different approaches - none are better,
or more comprehensive than Paul Downing’s books on the subject. I
have no personal or commercial connection to him or his enterprises,
and I have no hesitation about recommending his books to anyone who
wants the enjoyment of cutting natural opals.

Have fun!
Jim Small
Small Wonders


#4

Singh, I would suggest Paul Downing’s “Opal Cutting Made Easy” or
perhap you may find what you’re looking for at
http://www.opalsociety.org/default.htm

Terri Collier
Dallas, TX
@Terri_Collier