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Need advice in how pick fire opals

Hi, Yesterday I was in an opal mine. I bought the local miners
some brut fire opal stones, this people had the opal in glasses with water
so the redish orange color and fire in the opals look brighter.I choose
some orange who in the water look great, I have to say that out side the
water it had a milky orange look, but the fire in them still visible. I
took it to a lapidary, and told me the stones crash while he was
polishing, that the big opals (32 carat) were fracture. I felt like a
rookie, well I am in this matters, so I need some advice. Wich points I
have to check, before buying red fire opal? What is the right price per
carat for a good stone ? A good lapidary book ? Any ideas or coments ?


We sell faceted fire opal for about $20-30.00/ct on a good stone (1.5-10
cts.- good color, cut, clarity -) , and we sell cabs in matrix with good
color play from about $ 10 - 25 each.

In order to know if you are paying the correct amount for the rough figure
it this way :

cost of rough material x 3 (for material loss) + cutting cost = cost per stone

Since the average cutting cost is about $15-20/cab and $10.00/ct for
faceting, the rough per cab should be no more than $5.00 and the rough
should be no more than about $5.00/ct. for faceting material.

With fire opal you really have to trust your rough source and find an
experianced fire opal cutter. Even the best cutter cannot cut bad rough
and even good facetors/cabbers may not be able to cut fire opal properly.
Sometimes its easier to buy cut stones unless your a cutter. Jordan @ JD