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 Post subject: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:01 am 
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Hello

Has anyone ever seen anything like this before?

Image
Owen Suffolk biography

natural unheated Ethiopian opal white and black opal.

how would one go about appraising something like this if there is nothing similar to compare it to?

or something like this

Image
Mirza Muhammed Ali Saib


does the black add to the value considering they are untreated?


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:53 am 
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Yes, this is a fairly classic color combination in Ethiopian opals, though I rarely see it in cut stones. It's a real odd phenomenon--huevos are seen in Mexican opals too, but not black ones.
Hard to say for value. Opals are so unique to start with. But between the two, I'd definitely pay more for thr second one.

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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:04 am 
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Thanks for the reply, would it be better to go with a solid black opal.

such as this

Image


it is a 30 carat unheated/ untreated/ fully natural certified black opal, I dont know much about black opals but I know unheated an natural blacks are rare and this is a pretty big size but it does have inclusions as you can see on the top.

is it better to go with something like this or not impressive?

Thx


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:07 am 
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Quote:
is it better to go with something like this or not impressive?

I'd say yes.


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Thx Barb,

its a tricky thing because i know the Australian black opals are super expensive and 98% of untreated black opals are Australian but there is the 2% that are others but no pricing can be found for untreated Ethiopian black opals for example. there might be a reason for that, mainly very high quality Ethiopian black opals that are completely untreated are not of the highest quality. anyways, wondering if anyone had any ideas about it, thx


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:33 pm 
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Ethiopian opals are my favorite. I much prefer them to most Australian stones.
But.... :shock: this stone
Image
is a bit gruesome, kind of like a melting alien eye ball.
I'd definitely get rid of the white portion.


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:25 pm 
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Right. Lol. Like an eye ball. Any info out there regarding price differences between treated black Ethiopian opal and untreated black Ethiopian opal. Thx. I have no idea about price regarding u treated black Ethiopian opal

this stuff

https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/winte ... m-ethiopia


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:05 am 
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I just received a large lot of stayish mine material described in the GIA article above. It's quite troublesome to cut, alot if hidden fractures, sand inclusions and chipping whilst cutting.
I was advised against buying it by all the cutters I know but they make great specimens and I'm sure I'll get some intact cut cabochons.

This material is not plentiful but it's becoming available slowly albeit at elevated prices.


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:07 am 
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The market is still fluid on untreated black. Rough in my expwrience is quite available from ethiopian dealers but full of cracks. I don't think it is unstable--instead it falls apart immediately in cutting as if the cracks have been there the whole time and don't need time to propagate (and once all separatef the remaining bits usually seem fine). But when it is stable it can cut gobsmacking stones which have sold fast for me.
The dyed blacks have little to no relevance to the natural blacks pricewise. They look fairly different too.

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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:11 am 
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^^Yup sorry that's what i meant, a right pain to cut.
Being completely opaque it's very difficult so see any internal cracks


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:17 am 
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It is a weird feeling for a stone to disintegrate in your hands. Crazing, chipping or cracking, these things can happen, but just passively falling apart.. very odd.
Still, I love it and buy a few whenever they are a good price.

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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:21 am 
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Oh great. Would love more information if you know of any sites or articles. Im up in the air about buying this black one. The cloudy parts r not so attractive but the play of fire is great. Opals r just so complicated to value for me. Thx for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:54 pm 
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What do you want it for?
If you're looking to invest long-term I think it would only make sense to buy as perfect a stone as you can find, preferably by sorting through thousands from suppliers. If you don't have access to multiple opal dealers (ie, a really big gem show) then it probably doesn't make much sense, since it's cheaper that way with a better selection. If you want to dig deeper you can buy rough to have cut--sometimes that is a great deal, but it's a crapshoot with any stone, more so with opal since you have to worry more about crazing during cutting and how the pattern will go through the stone.
Even then, to get a good return you'll have to have a strong relationship with someone who will actually buy it at a good price.
For Ethiopian black opals, I'd go for either as even and dark a black as possible, or attractively patterned as an alternative. The first black-centered one, to me, looks more like a novelty than a stone I'd want to invest in. If I bought it it would have to be cheap, and it would go right into jewelry rather than a safety deposit box. Novelties sell too but they take a while. The last one is better but the uneven mottling to the color (and the brown cast) are less favorable. If the honeycomb fire is bright enough I would probably be more willing to overlook that, depending. Of the three, though, the white center in black looks by far the most attractive: unusual but well-balanced and set off by strong play of color. It's a bit too unique to easily put a value on, but if it were available at a lower price I would probably snap it up.

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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:41 pm 
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hello,

Thanks for the reply, really helpful

I am in Bangkok JTC at the moment so there are many dealers here and I am still searching for a more perfect black, tons of white opal here and very good quality but i really wanted a nice black piece as well. and thats harder to find. There is very little almost no unheated black opal here. there are a few Australian pieces but very expensive and they dont look that great to me. but the main thing i need to do is educate myself on these stones. very difficult to grade. The completely dark one does have a nice honeycomb and very bright, i should have posted a video, but as you mentioned not perfect. so the dealer has had it for a while and i dont think they will sell quickly. its funny that he said no one comes to JTC looking for unheated black opal. they are all happy with the dyed stuff. but more than anything its really fun for me. so thanks again and ill keep my eyes out for the perfect one.


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 Post subject: Re: opal appraisals white n black mixed
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:49 am 
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@ arms, I'm in JTC on Wednesday, tomorrow if you'd like to meet up, always nice to meet a fellow gem lover.
Pretty much all the black opal in jtc is smoked. But some good deals to be had if you buy in bulk.
You should see the price of boulder opal in bangkok, cheeky sods are trying to sell it at over 100$/ct lol

Good luck!


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