Please read all of the below before buying any of our opal rough.
We grade our opal in ten different categories as per the table below. The grade of this parcel is noted in the Auction Title.
Top Grade-Mostly Reds/Pinks- Dark/ Patterns -Expert Cutters
Very Bright- Clean- Mostly Red/Orange/Yellow -Expert Cutters
Gamble- Red/Orange/Yellow -Nice Blue/Green --Expert Cutters
Very Thin or Carving material- Intermediate/Expert cutters
Large Single Gamble piece - from Beginner to Expert cutters
Mid Grade Easy cutters - Intermediate cutters
Mid Grade Gamble Rough- Intermediate cutters
Beginners Cutting Rough- Beginning cutters
Craft Material- Not Appropriate for cutting cabs
No Colour Potch- Not Appropriate for cutting cabs
Opal rough from Lightning Ridge is notoriously hard to read and even harder to cut. Years ago as a young cutter I wanted to learn how to work with this material but found it difficult to find smaller parcels that I could afford that weren't just a bunch of potch. This material comes from a huge commercial parcel that I have broken up into smaller lots and have posted them here for you. We spend a lot of time and effort grading this material so you can pick the opal rough that is most appropriate for your skill level and budget. Please Please don't buy cheap beginners rough from us and then give us negative feedback because you haven't cut precious zillion dollar gems. It doesn't work that way. I've cut tens of thousands of LR opals and although I won't get it right every time I think my grading is pretty accurate and I take the time to do this so that your cutting experience will be fun and allow you to progress in difficulty and reward you over time without making some of the very costly beginners mistakes that I made.
Here is a brief description of the criteria we use when grading the opal rough:
#9 "Craft Material" is not opal that is appropriate for cutting cabochons. This rough is best for Chipping and putting into floating pendants. Craft work etc. If you want some cheap material to set into your concrete front yard cats eyes, or have a mosaic in the bathroom you want to spice up this might work for you :)
#8 "Beginners Cutting Rough" is great for beginners to get used to cutting this material without worrying about destroying great opals. It is a mix of Nobby and Seam opal. It will cut lots of picture stones, and low value opals. You'll learn to cut open nobbies, chase colour bars, deal with sand and get a general understanding of what it feels like to cut opals. Great material for practicing cutting nice shapes and getting that talent sharp before attacking more expensive colour. We sort out everything that has no colour in it so 97% of this material shows colour, and 3% will be a Nobby opal that may or may not have colour inside. Note: I don't face any of this beginners rough in the pictures so it is definitely worth watching the videos on these. Sometimes when the kids are helping grade they drop some high quality rough in by accident. I just leave them in there to keep things interesting.
#7 "Mid Grade Gamble Rough" is great to hone your skills on and learn to read trickier opals. This material is full of thin colour bars, colour bars that run diagonally through rough, wavy colour bars, tricky sand spots, and blind stones where I can see that there is colour in the rough but have no idea how deep it goes. Very challenging, sometimes very rewarding rough. Sometimes you cry.
#6 "Intermediate Easy Cutters"- exactly that, with intermediate skill you should be able to cut nice medium brightness sellable opals from this material. They are generally clean and from watching the videos you should have a pretty good idea about the kind and size of finished opals you will cut.
#5 "Large Single Gamble Pieces" Pretty much what it says on the tin. These can range from beginners to expert level. Cutting big stones like this is a very different skill to cutting small "pointers" or standard 1ct-3ct opals. These are great fun to cut and can be very rewarding if you get lucky.
#4 "Very Thin/Carving" Most of this material is super thin and appropriate for making doublets.
#3 "Gamble Expert Cutters" these look very bright/colourful and show good promise but I cant clearly see that they will cut a clean opal. The best blue/green material I find in the parcel also goes into this bucket.
#2"Expert Cutters Clean" will generally give you very nice bright sellable stones. They appear very clear to the eye. It looks like the colour bar covers most of the stone.
#1 "Top Grade" this material represents .3% of an average parcel. It is the very best material we find. Red on Black, Deep pinks, nice patterns, strong black opals. If I yell "WOW, I want to cut this one!" it goes in this very small dish.
All opal cutting is a gamble and classifying is just my opinion based on my own opal cutting journey and current skill level.
When you get your rough please look it over carefully both wet and dry.
With rough opal we are happy to offer no hassle returns as long as the opal has not been ground/snippet/altered etc. You just cover the shipping costs. Payment required within 48 hours of auction end. If standard shipping is chosen we are not responsible for any lost or damaged items.
Payment via PayPal or credit card via PayPal.
We ship all items within 48 hours of payment, unless it’s a holiday we will ship on next working day.
Standard Shipping Time:ETA 5-21 working days
Buyer is responsible for any customs/import Duty or taxes levied in the buyers country.
Guarantee: Your satisfaction is guaranteed, and you will be offered a no hassle return as long as the material is in original condition. If you are not satisfied for any reason, just send back (unaltered)the item/s within 7 days after you received it. It will take 2-3 days for us to check the items carefully. A refund minus shipping will be given as soon as the items are confirmed to be in original condition.