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Congratulations to irockhound and his Mexican Sagenite Cab!

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 on: September 22, 2017, 11:23:50 PM 
Started by John Robinson - Last post by ASO
The price of semi black or gray opal falls somewhere between white and black and usually underneath good quality crystal that is a bit closer to the price of black.  From some not all opal fields semi black opal is known to be less stable for some reason, so more likley to crack or craze.  The one opal with the black backing is from Mintabie in the center of Australia just south of the Northern Territory/ South Australian border around 200k north of Coober Pedy.  Mintabie opal is among some of the hardest and oldest on earth aside from Brazil.  I would be willing to bet that some of the other opal in your photos are as well.  Mintabie opal is a very tricky stone to cut and early on in my carrier I cut and messed up a lot of it.  Most of the time opal from this field has many different tightly pressed color bars some are better than others and some are jelly opal with just sun flash color in them.  Mintabie opal should usually be cut to the best bar and then thinned out so that the good color is just barely see through and the color from the other bars acts as your backing.  On occasion Mintabie is skin to skin color and can be cut with a dome.  Many times Mintabie black opal is actually better faced from the dark potch side so the exact opposite from Lightning Ridge.  That opal with the black on it will not cut as a black opal so dont risk it,  the color bar is nice but the potch is curved and the color has milk in it so if you take it down you will end up with a stone with a varying body tone dark in the middle and lighter on the outside.  You have to be careful after cutting Mintabie and going back to other opal to not grind to quickly because of the difference in hardness. 

I wish I had a whole barrel of Mintabie opal to hold onto and cut, that if a field that is drying up a bit for different reasons not for lack of opal.  It is a fun type of opal to cut once you get the hang of it and it can be very rewarding.   

 on: September 22, 2017, 08:10:42 PM 

 on: September 22, 2017, 08:01:21 PM 
and these

 on: September 22, 2017, 08:00:22 PM 
a couple more

 on: September 22, 2017, 07:35:29 PM 
Started by John Robinson - Last post by ASO
Someone was asking about what show I have a booth at in Tucson for the 2018 show.  I'm at the Pueblo show, it was formerly the river park show.  From what I have seen it's a good show just down from the 22nd street, AGTA, the GJX shows and right off the tram line.  It also has about the same amount of opal dealers as the huge GJX show so it's like a 1 stop shop.  We're more likely to be seen at a show with a lot of opal dealers than a show with only 1.  Our booth is number 5c so in the Cort yard across from the lobby.   We'll be easy to find just look for the short woman loving the weather standing next to a guy in the middle of a 3' diameter puddle of sweat.  I didn't get my application in soon enough to make it into the AC.  Thought 10 months would be enough but everything books out very early.  If you can even find a hotel room it most likely be gross and you will pay  $250/night.  If anyone wants to go from here I would recommend that a bunch of people go in on a large air bnb or home away, much nicer and allot cheaper in the long run.  Also you can cook for yourself, it can be very difficult to find a seat in a restaurant during the course of the show. 

 on: September 22, 2017, 07:31:28 PM 
Started by HOOKEDONROCKS - Last post by peruano
You my friend are displaying some wonderful stuff.  A trade would have to be with a hope that it was up to the mark of what you are offering. 

 on: September 22, 2017, 07:10:30 PM 
Started by John Robinson - Last post by ASO
To me both the stones look like easy cutters.  Just keep them as low dome free form cabs and you will be happy.  The small one has a nice blocky pattern with nice reds, and the big one has a full spectrum mackerel pattern on the top color bar much more rare so I would keep it.  Nither  off the stones would be good candidates for dublets or triplets anyway the have way too much milk not enough crystal in the bars.

 on: September 22, 2017, 07:01:25 PM 
Started by Quitclayton - Last post by lithicbeads
Many of us will cut anything interesting just for  the experience .

 on: September 22, 2017, 06:41:30 PM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by edgarscale
nice rocks, one looks like mookite.

 on: September 22, 2017, 06:38:43 PM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by Jhon P
We filled two of the three muzzleloader anterless elk tags. Last year there was 15 tags and only one successful hunter. My daughter had two chances both easy close shots and missed. Some luck and some skill

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