"Nature's Fireworks" - A Beginner's Guide to OPAL - Part 2 World Deposits

Written by Stuart Bazga

Continued from page 1


Opal produced here is a sandstone/quartzite composite with precious opal cement and matrix. The plays of colour with these opals usually come as blue or purple.


Precious opal was first discovered around 1905/6 inrepparttar Virgin Valley area and is still mined there today. The quality of opal produced is comparable to any found inrepparttar 145288 world and includes allrepparttar 145289 colours found in precious opal (red, blue, green, yellow and orange).


Opal deposits have been known sincerepparttar 145290 late 1880’s, but it was not untilrepparttar 145291 late 1980’s that serious mining and marketing was undertaken.


Ancient opal was mined near Cervencia, Hungary, in what is now Eastern Slovakia.

In part 3 we visit Australia and learn aboutrepparttar 145292 discovery of opal andrepparttar 145293 locations it is mined.

I look forward to your company again in part 3.

Best wishes

Stuart Bazga


I established Kulpunya Opals several years ago to provide the UK and Europe with a specialist supply of opals. We import directly from key suppliers in Australia with whom we have developed strong and long-term relationships

"Nature's Fireworks" - A Beginner's Guide to OPAL - Part 4 Mining , Cutting and Caring for your opal

Written by Stuart Bazga

Continued from page 1


Cutting and polishing isrepparttar process by whichrepparttar 145287 opal is completed before setting into jewellery. A “rub” is stuck ontorepparttar 145288 end of a “sop-stick” – a short piece of thin dowel used as a handle - with jewellers wax. Using a fine grit cutting wheel, and holdingrepparttar 145289 stone withrepparttar 145290 dop-stick,repparttar 145291 stone is shaped and flaws and scratches are removed fromrepparttar 145292 stone.


The stone is then polished, usually on a leather wheel using jewellers polishing powder. Careful attention is paid to achieverepparttar 145293 best possible results, taking into accountrepparttar 145294 appearance ofrepparttar 145295 stone and retaining as much of its size and weight as is compatible with all other factors. With each touch ofrepparttar 145296 cutting wheel,repparttar 145297 cutter will reassessrepparttar 145298 stone, checkingrepparttar 145299 appearance and colour as well asrepparttar 145300 presence of any faults, making sure thatrepparttar 145301 maximum potential ofrepparttar 145302 stone is achieved.

Oval-shaped stones are stillrepparttar 145303 most popular, but some times, to achieve this shape, a lot of good opal may have to be cut away. In order not to grind away fantastic colour that nature has taken millions of years to produce, an opal may be left inrepparttar 145304 shape in which it was found. These stones are called “free-forms,” and are becoming more popular as people realise how individual, personal and attractive these unique stones look once set in jewellery.


Opal is a very delicate gemstone and it is important you properly care for it. Although solid opal does not require any special conditions, it is advisable to avoid impacts and knocks. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight, and avoid accidental splashes with any chemicals.

Opals are softer and more fragile than most other crystalline gemstones. Be careful not to scratch or hit opals, especially those mounted in rings, and avoid wearing rings while washing up or doing gardening and housework.

Never clean your opal with jewellery cleaner of other harsh chemicals. Simply use water with a little vinegar in it and brushrepparttar 145305 jewellery gently with a soft toothbrush, then rinse in clean water. Contrary to some belief, water will not harm solid opal. In fact, it is sometimes recommended that solid opal should be immersed in water overnight occasionally to maintain its water content, a recommendation that may or may not be true. However, doublets and triplets should never be immersed in water, as moisture may get in betweenrepparttar 145306 layers, spoiling its appearance or causingrepparttar 145307 glue holdingrepparttar 145308 layers together to dissolve.

Opals are composed of between 3% - 20% water and as such, should not be allowed to dry out or freeze.

When storing opal, avoid using plastic bags and dry storage conditions. Soft cloth bags with padding are ideal. If storing solid opal, take it out occasionally and wipe with a damp cloth or dip in fresh water.

That concludes part 4. In part 5 we learn aboutrepparttar 145309 types and characteristics of some ofrepparttar 145310 major types of opal available today.

So unitl then,

Best wishes and have a great day

Stuart Bazga www.kulpunyaopals.com

Kulpunya Opals was established several years ago to provide the UK and Europe with a specialist supply of opals at great prices. We import directly from key suppliers in Australia with whom we have developed strong and long-term relationships. This ensures the products are always of the highest quality, and each represent excellent value.

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