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Opal beginner... searching for a stone

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lovewhitediamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
787
Hello Colored Stone experts!
Embarking on a search for an opal. It''s amazing how expensive the higher quality stones can be and I really would like to find a nice stone while staying within the budget. I''ve been spending hours of time oogling the opals down under site as well as artcutgems and others. Trying to educate myself as much as possible on the different kinds of opals, their value, origin, and what appeals to my personal tastes etc etc...

Looking at black opals and the boulder opals (but boulders seem to be more freeform in shape) -- flagstone pattern, but also like the floral pattern too. Ideally, would love to have one with some flashes of red or orange, but I understand they get pricey especially in the larger sizes. No doublets, triplets, white, semi black or crystal.. just solid black or boulder opals.

Do you think I could get a nice stone (with the red/orange flashes) for 3k USD or around there?
Sizewise, 11 x14mm, or 13 x 16mm but I''m wondering if I need to look at smaller stones to fit the budget -- or look at the black opals with the dark blue flashes (no reds).
Any other great sites or sources I should check out? Thanks in advance for your help.


flagstoneopal2009.jpg
 

LostSapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
3,336
OMG I'm hooked..have nothing useful to add to your thread but I'd sure love this one from that site:


Converts to $20,898.00 US$

WOWZA

(opals are my birthstone, d'ya think sweet DH would buy it for me for my birthday??
)

LS

Foo172.jpg
 

DiamanteBlu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
2,501
I adore black opals!

As far as looking for a stone, you will find doublets and triplets in addition to natural opals. I don't have a link for you but you should be able to find the differences easily on the net. [I'll do some searching later. My mom had a couple of gorgeous black opals. Instead of posting I should be preparing for my conference call training that is up in 45 mins! LOL!]

You should be able to find a gorgeous stone in your price range.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I''d email Rick at Artcutgems and talk to him about what you are after.

I''ve always found him helpful, honest and well informed - and I''ve never been disappointed. Opals aren''t my thing but garnets are. Two of his main interests are opals and garnets and if he''s as good on the opals as he is on the garnets you can''tgo far wrong.
 

shaunrice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
361
How funny! I''ve gust begun my own opal interest! I am learning a lot! Best advice I can give you is RED RED RED lol! There is a man on Ebay with 100% feedback who is selling opals from 50.00-60,000.00 USD. He has videos of every stone. Let me know if you''re interested, and i''ll give you the store name.
 

lovewhitediamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
787
Thanks everyone:

LS: 20K.. yikers.. I know they can get up there in price, I saw one over $100k and thought WOW... lucky you to have such a beautiful birthstone.. topaz for me (I''m not a fan).

DiamanteBlu: Thanks for your post while getting ready for your conf call -- would love to see pics of your mom''s opals, I bet if they are anything like your collection they are outstanding!

Pandora: thanks for the heads up, I will get in touch with Rick, I''ve read quite a few of his opal posts here on PS...

shaunrice: I have seen some of the videos on ebay -- I think it''s opalsdownunder... but let me know. it''s so hard to judge size from the video''s unless you see a hand or fingers with the stone. I printed out some size charts that are a helpful tool. I feel more comfortable going through a site like artcutgems and having an expert set of eyes viewing the stone.

Thanks again for all your comments! I''ll keep you posted if I take the plunge....
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
12,823
Hey Spartan,
I second Pandora''s suggestion to trust Rick''s judgement. Opals are his passion.
 

lovewhitediamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
787
Date: 3/9/2009 8:51:40 PM
Author: Harriet
Hey Spartan,
I second Pandora''s suggestion to trust Rick''s judgement. Opals are his passion.
Thanks Wolverine.

I will contact Rick.


I''m actually headed out to AA next week for a nice lunch at Gratzi.. I do love AA!!
 

LostSapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
3,336
Well, I''ve been on opal websites all night and am hooked.

I had a pendant custom made 20+ years ago but it was stolen in 2000, and I never replaced it.

We travel to OZ on occasion, and I''ve looked at opals when there but never really seriously. (*smacks head on the desk*). We saw opal mines etc. but I just wasn''t into buying one at the time)....

Maybe time to start saving up for a new project....

Thanks ALOT lovewhitediamonds...I thought I was in the clear for a while!


LS
 

Sharon101

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
919
you could try

www.johnstonopals.com


You could email them to enquire. They predominately deal in opals and have been in business for over 100 years.
 

shaunrice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
361
Well, I gave the Ebay trader a shot. I saw the video, and just couldn''t resist. I''ll post some pictures when it arrives.
 

lovewhitediamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
787
Date: 3/10/2009 12:34:28 PM
Author: shaunrice
Well, I gave the Ebay trader a shot. I saw the video, and just couldn''t resist. I''ll post some pictures when it arrives.
can''t wait to see it! congrats!!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,630
Try here:

http://www.opalauctions.com/

Be warned that there are doublets and triplets as well so you need to refine your search.

This is one of mine - I know you don't want a semi-black but some are lovely. This is an Andamooka Semi Black Opal. Red is the dominant colour BUT it looks different in different lighting conditions but never anything less than fascinating. Can you see the strip that goes from about 3 o'clock to about 5 o'clock? That's a rolling flash and it's absolutely mesmerising.

The only other thing I would say is that you really need to see an Opal. A camera can make an opal look much better than it does and some perform much better in some lights than others.

Hope that's helped.
 

lovewhitediamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
787
Date: 3/10/2009 6:51:50 PM
Author: LovingDiamonds
Try here:

http://www.opalauctions.com/

Be warned that there are doublets and triplets as well so you need to refine your search.

This is one of mine - I know you don''t want a semi-black but some are lovely. This is an Andamooka Semi Black Opal. Red is the dominant colour BUT it looks different in different lighting conditions but never anything less than fascinating. Can you see the strip that goes from about 3 o''clock to about 5 o''clock? That''s a rolling flash and it''s absolutely mesmerising.

The only other thing I would say is that you really need to see an Opal. A camera can make an opal look much better than it does and some perform much better in some lights than others.

Hope that''s helped.
wow -- beautiful stone! thanks for posting... and I''m loving the site ... thanks so much!
 
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