Author Topic: Best way to store opal roughs?  (Read 2258 times)


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Best way to store opal roughs?
« on: August 31, 2011, 12:37:58 AM »
Hi guys,
I am new to opal cutting, and I have just acquired a few kg of rough ranging from small baby chip to large porches which will keep me busy for a while.

Now just a few questions,

what is the best way to store these stones?

I currently have most of them stored in water, would it be a problem if I cut the stone straight out of water?

or should I be drying it first? if yes, then what is the best way and how long?

« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 12:43:56 AM by thomashct »


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Re: Best way to store opal roughs?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 10:51:46 AM »
Ahh the storage conundrums.
Welcome to ALF thom.

IMO storage should be dry if you're intending to cut. Chips can stay in water if you're just wanting to look at sparklies in water and not use them.
I like to work material that has been dry for over a year, the longer the better, without cracking.
Then cut the opal.
Then once the opal is cut I wouldn't look at selling if that's the aim for at least another 6 months.
Just my 2 cents worth, oh and that might be a typo cos the keys are next to each other, you mean potch?
And of course if this is all purely practice material you can cut it when you want.  ;)

Oh, is it all Australian material? Any hydrophane that you know of?
Keep em comin!!!


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Re: Best way to store opal roughs?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 12:32:29 PM »
The stones comes from a miner in south australia, which i am guessing that its all local stones.
Most of them are seam opal and with color, so I will be cutting the ones with color on them.

There are some large potches that might have color inside, they are mostly grey base and I find hard to decide where to start cutting to review what is inside?

I am only cutting opal as a hobby so I dont really know much about them, how do I tell if they are hydrophane or not?

I might be looking at sell some if I can find some nice ones that worth selling, here is a stone that I have cut:

 sorry the photos are not in the best quality


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Re: Best way to store opal roughs?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2022, 09:38:45 AM »
If anyone stumbles across this, I completely missed the previous post.
As far as I'm aware, the majority of Hydrophane opal comes from Ethiopia, Welo opal.
When you place the opal into water, the body of the material can go from a solid white to crystal clear as it absorbs the water, when removed, the body generally starts to release the water and most of the time it will go back to it's solid colour.

If it's an opal you love exactly how it is, I don't recommend testing the theory.
As a cutter, it can be advantageous to soak because when it fills with the water, the opal can let itself go and reveal cracks that more than likely would've occurred during the cutting process.
Keep em comin!!!


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