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Black Opal Questions

theredspinel

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Hi guys

Thought I'd start a new thread because I'm just going to have more and more newbie questions the deeper I look into opals.
First, anyone able to recommend a few online places I can concentrate my search?

Second, a solid black opal that has a massive face up area and is not very deep at all, will it be as 'durable' or last as long (I'm planning to pass my jewels down through the generations especially this one :lol: ) as an opal with the same caret weight but like half it's face up size and double it's depth. Basically the thinner the opal, is it bad?

Thank you!!!
 

theredspinel

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Thank you for that link I've been talking to them and they have been amazing so far. Pleeeeease can I see your black opal??!

When you are in your house and the lights aren't on...does your opal still display play of colour?
 

Vesper

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My opal is an N1 color, so as dark as you with get, with 4.5 color play, so lots of bright flashes. Here is a video of it.
https://youtu.be/DxWAY4TYdAw

img_3392.jpg

When it is dark it does not have "flashes" of color, but is moody and you can see changes. It makes me think of a dark bloodstone in the dark. As I am sure you can see every black opal is different and has different "moods." My hubs picked it out and wanted one that was red and green. This one has no blue or yellow.

I am not sure if everyone would agree with me but I think as far as it lasting for years and years to pass on to kids is a matter of luck. Black opals are harder than white opals and black opals from Lightning Ridge are the hardest you can get since they are not volcanic based like opals from Africa. That being said my Great Grandmother wore a small white opal for 60 years with no issue. I on the other hand had a small white opal and it cracked the first day I had it.
 

theredspinel

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How did I miss that post! Gorgeous ring vesper! So delicate looking. I'm sorry to hear about your white opal cracking, I'd be so heartbroken!

In your opinion what do you think is the thinnest mm measurement a black opal can be without compromising it's sturdiness?
 

Vesper

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To be honest I can't really say what would be the most sturdy. All I can comment on is the opals I have had. My black opal is very thin. Maybe 1.5mm. Thus far I have had no issues but it is only about 5mm wide. I have a poison ring where the opal is also about 1.5mm thick and about 7mmx7mm. I have knocked it a few good times with no issues. As far as finding a width to length ratio for the most strength then I think your best bet would be contacting

http://blackopaldirect.com/
http://www.justopal.com/front.htm

In my searching these were the two companies that I felt the most comfortable with.
 

Michael_E

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Vesper|1452114244|3971781 said:
Black opals are harder than white opals and black opals from Lightning Ridge are the hardest you can get since they are not volcanic based like opals from Africa. That being said my Great Grandmother wore a small white opal for 60 years with no issue. I on the other hand had a small white opal and it cracked the first day I had it.

Any hardness difference between opals is so slight as to make it meaningless I'm afraid. All opals are just about identical to the properties of glass and should be treated that way. This means that they should be as thick as possible for any given size, since impacts to them are what cause the most damage, (though they can also be easily scratched). I would personally not buy any opal whose thickness was not close to 1/2 of it's narrowest dimension, though larger stones, those over 10mm in their smallest dimension, can get away with something around 5mm thick for any size. If you ever find an attraction to a faceted opal, think twice and make sure to never set it in a ring, as those sharp edges will chip and look horrible in short order. I got started in this business in the cutting of opals and I still love them, but they are really totally unsuited to everyday wear in rings, (perfect for pendants and earrings though).
 

jordyonbass

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theredspinel|1452112730|3971769 said:
Thank you for that link I've been talking to them and they have been amazing so far.

I have been dealing with Justin and Ruth from BOD lately as well and they have been nothing but courteous and helpful with all my enquiries. I love their YT channel as I have been watching all their instructional videos for when I decide to buy some rough black opal from them. Justin is genuinely passionate about what he does and it shows.
 

theredspinel

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Thanks for the tip Michael I will definetly bear that in mind. Does anyone have any pics of a black opal (and specs) in normal indoor 'lighting' but with the lights off? I just can't imagine how opals look without a light on them.

Jordyonbass... Justin whom I've been speaking to has just been amazing. Like seriously amazingly patient... I am so impressed.
 

Vesper

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I am not sure if these pictures will help. They are poor because I took them without flash and it is dark out and I was outside when I took them. They are fuzzy but you can tell in the dark you get color orbs. Like I said it reminds me of a dark blood stone.
opal_ll_2.jpg
opal_ll_4.jpg opal_ll.jpg
Anyway I hope this can help.
 

theredspinel

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Thank you vesper that has helped. I'm so glad to see even in dark 'light' you can see some colour play.
 

theredspinel

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Michael, would you recommend a large faced thin opal of about 2.5mm thick for a pendent? It would be an occasion wear pendent and I do love baby-ing my jewellery.

I know its not recommended to go that thin but is it a total waste of money in that it won't last? I want to make something that I can pass down through the generations....
 

blithesome71

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Just recently while browsing ebay, etsy, opalauctions and youtube for some black opal vids and items, I saw one with black (with a tiny hint of dark brown/coffee brown) base color and a stunning play of color. It's called a "kalimaya" (black opal) stone from Banten, Indonesia.
I hesitated at first but finally decided to contact the seller... He's a local but his English is understandable so we were able to communicate somehow. His price is reasonable as he wants to establish his business and he directly buy his rough from the mine and cut/polish it himself. Anyway, to make my long story short, after bombarding him with several questions and him sending me tons of videos with diff. angle of this lovely gem, I've decided to give it a go and purchase this gem. And it's now on its way to me --- still need to wait 2-3 weeks though for my parcel to arrive ::)

8.95 Ct. Natural - Untreated Black Opal
from Banten, Indonesia
Body tone: N2 - Translucent
Brightness: 4
PINFIRE Pattern POC
indo_opal.png
 
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