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[More] Opal Questions


#1

I have been reading a lot about opals lately. The LJ recently
had some good material. I have gained an interest in them and
have a couple of questions.

  1. Other than doublets or triplets, are they ever cut in a
    calibrated ( like 8 x 6 or 8 x 10 ovals) sizes so as to fit
    standard settings? Most I see are odd (freeform) shapes.

  2. I would like to get one, not a collector grade, but just
    something that has reasonable fire and would make a decent ring.
    I know from previous threads that they are not exceptionably
    durable. What price am I likely to encounter and does anyone
    know some sources?

Thanks,
Bob B


#2

BOB - Yes solid opals are cut in calibrated sizes, but most
opal cutters prefer to cut freeforms because it allows for a
better return and the material is not cheap. Opals are priced
dependant on intensity of color and background hue, black being
the most expensive. We have both calibrated and freeforms
available ranging in price from $10.00/ carat up - please contact
us off list if you are interested. Thanks MTR


#3

Yes. In fact, most opals end up cut to calibrated sizes. The
freeforms you have seen were most likely very good quality opals
that the cutter now some sources?

Go to a major gem and mineral show, i.e., GLW or International,
and you will see plenty of opals in all price ranges. For a ring
you might want to think about a doublet faced with quartz. They
give you the true opal look with the durability of quartz.

Be aware though that opals are highly addictive.

Mike in Maryland