Finding a red fire gem black opal in a parcel black opal rough is every opal cutters dream. Even many opal miners do not find a parcel of red opals in their life time of opal mining. Miners at Lighting Ridge always talk about finding a parcel of red fire black opal. It’s what keeps the men in a positive mental attitude that today might be the day that they find their pocket of black opal gems.
In reality it is a different story as just to find opal now is lot more difficult than it was years ago. Many miners found it easy to dig up pockets of opals in the mines but now there are more government policies that make it harder to do opal prospecting or opal mining. Production of black opal has been down for several years but demand is strong for top red on black Investment opal and many top gem opals are sold instantly on the opal fields as opal wholesalers have buyers worldwide wanting to snatch up the top fire black opals.
Just how rare is a red fire black opal?
Only an extremely small percentage of black opals are top gem black opal and only a smaller percentage are large which is over 10 carats. As miners say “More rare than a hens teeth!” This video of finding black opals red fire in a parcel rough opal are mining mates Paul, from Seda opals and Chris from Opalrush. They have both been mining at Lightning Ridge, Queensland for around 30 years each and have a lot mining experience to share.
Some of Our experienced opal sellers have made comments to show how rare it is to find these opals.
Paul from Seda Opals says as a rule of thumb only 1% of potch that is mined has any colour and only 1% of that is red on black so it is extremely rare. Now that you know how rare these opals are, browse our collection of Black Opals and try and find your own red on black gem.
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Such a fun video! I’d love to see more of these types of videos when a cutter thinks he or she MIGHT have a particularly great stone—so cool to see it go from “bland” rough to amazing!
Of course, listening to Paul & Chris comment along the way is fun, too—not every cutter necessarily has a bubbly personality like they do :)
I wonder how long the whole process took in “real life” from the moment the rough actually touched a grinding wheel?
Videos like this would be nice in GRA, too, when some of the cutters get a special piece of rough. Bet it would increase the selling price—hint, hint to the few exceptional cutters out there (I’m lookin’ at you—Ross, Barry, Boyd, and others—lol!)
MORE VIDEOS OF EXCEPTIONAL STONE CUTTING, PLEASE!