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black opal ring

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glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 17, 2002
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I''m considering buying an antique opal ring. The opal is gorgeous, with rich, deep blues and hints of purple. (It doesn''t have any colors in the desireable red-orange-yellow range, but I actually prefer just blues.)

Here''s the seller''s description:

"This platinum ring is set with an oval black cabochan opal measuring 8 x 12mm.  It is accented by 4 tapered baguette cut diamonds, having a total weight of 0.40ct.  Total weight of ring is 9 grams."

It''s set with 8 prongs (split prongs) at the corners, with very traditional baguettes flanking it, and there''s delicate engraving along the band of the ring. I''d guess it''s from the first half of the 20th century.

Should I go for it? If so, how much would be too much to spend? Any rough guesses would be helpful to me, or just any opinions at all.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
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4,924
Hi Glitter. An opal is one of those stones that has to be seen to be evaluated. The price range can fluctuate tremendously depending on several factors. There is much, much more to pricing them than pricing a diamond, for example.

Here's some of the factors affecting the value of an opal.

How dark and what hue is the background body color?
The colors involved in the play-of-color
The intensity of those colors
The type of pattern the colors exhibit
- pinfire, flashfire, broadflash, rolling flash, etc.
The size of the pattern
The delineation of the components of the pattern
The tranlucency or opaqueness of the stone
Is any matrix apparent faceup?
The origin of the opal (Lightning Ridge mine commands a premium)
Is any crazing (spider web cracking) apparent?
The shape of the cabochon
The thickness of the cabochon

In an antique ring you also would have an antiquity factor to consider.

Do you have any pictures you could post?
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
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7,828
Also a consideration is whether or not the stone is a doublet/triplet.
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
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1,441
Also whether it has been treated. There is a certain amount of "black" opal out there that's really white opal that has been subjected to one treatment or another that impregnates the structure with carbon.
 

Lanee

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
534
Hey Lawgen, Haven't seen you for a while, new avatar, huh? Why just the corner of your head?
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 17, 2002
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3,618
Hm, sounds complicated. But it's so pretty!

The seller seems very honest to me. I've bought from them before and gotten exactly what they said I was getting. So assuming it's genuine black opal, solid not doublet or triplet, but not perhaps very high quality, and assuming the weights are all correct--it's really platinum, really 9 grams, really diamonds of decent quality--how much would be too much to offer?

If the stone was worthless, what should I expect to pay for the setting alone? Any guesses?
 

mike04456

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 20, 2002
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----------------
On 7/1/2003 11
6
0 AM Lanee wrote:

Hey Lawgen, Haven't seen you for a while, new avatar, huh? Why just the corner of your head?

----------------
I got tired of the generic avatar. But for various reasons, I need to maintain my anonymity. Thus the corner.

Mara has already registered her complaints on the issue.
 

Nate

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2003
Messages
211
I would check out my good friend's website: http://www.downunderopal.com Take a look around it and she even has her email and phone number up there so you can call and discuss opals with her. She is one of the most knowledgable opal experts in the world.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
Well, I bought it. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. It's not a ring for shy, subtle, retiring people who don't want to be noticed. It may take me a while to get up the courage to wear it in public.

I can't tell if it's solid or a doublet (any hints?), but the setting is big and heavy, engraved all over with leaves & dots & milgrain, & apparently handmade (not cast). It weighs a ton (well, 9 grams). It's marked "Plat." and stamped with a six pointed star. (Anyone know whose mark that is?) Seeing it in person, I'm no longer convinced the setting is antique, but it's very well made.

The opal itself is extremely dark, mostly blue with deep purple and a little green. I can see the sides (it's prong-set), and there's a straightish line separating the blue opally part from the bottom, which is dark and dull, which makes me think it might be a doublet? Or could it possibly be a solid boulder opal? I know, I know, get it appraised.

Now, how do I clean it? The diamond baguettes aren't looking their shiniest, but I'm afraid to use anything that might damage the opal.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,327
One of my older clients has 3 inherited old black opal pieces to sell.

Opals frighten me, but for a 15% brokerage and you all pay costs, I am happy to put you together.
They are big peices, 2 are in victorian pendants.
They are truly magnificent.
Probably around $25,000 for the lot.
If anyone is interested in 1 or all email me.
[email protected]
No PM's please, I do not like that system.
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,618
I posted pictures in the "show me the ring" forum.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-opal-ring.7850/
 
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