If I my I'd like to add a qualifier to your opal comment. Fine
opal is typically sold by the carat. Opal in matrix most often is
sold by the piece. If the seller quotes carat price for matrix
material look out.
Dear Orchidians, For those of you that don't have much
buying opal, if you go to a trade show there will be dealers selling
any kind of opal, including boulder opal, solid and doublet by the
piece and by the carat. Any dealer who sells by the piece probably
bought it by the carat.
Rough is bought by the ounce or gram, after it is cut, what you
paid for it has to be divided by whats left in carats. Gluing the
piece to a backing does not change what you paid for the rough.
I would think that for convenience dealers price their better
stones before a show so they don’t have to weight and reweight the
same stone for different customers. Jayson Traurig(sp) is a vendor at
GLW shows and always has bags of doublets at $10, $15, $20 ect. per
With opal, I have seen similar looking opal in different piles,
with very different prices. There is no logic sometimes to how it is
priced. Obviously the more intense the color, the higher the price,
and some colors are prized more than others, some patterns are
prized. Buying opal is a learning experience a little different than
Solid opal or doublets can craze after you purchase them. Some
dealers will trade you out for stones that craze, even if you have
them for a long time. Other dealers don’t stand behind their
material. I lost $400 on a pair of earrings when one turned cloudy,
the company I bought it from doesn’t care after the sale. I can take
the good one and use it for some thing, but I have to pull the
doublet from the 14k gold bezel mounting, and I don’t know till I try
if it will survive removal, doublets can be chipped easily.
Being an Opalholic, I have made a lot more good purchases than
ones over the years. Seems to be the price to be involved with
gemstones that are so beautiful and so fragile.
Richard in Denver