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Cutting Mexican Jelly Opal

When cutting Mexican opal with transparent or clear (that’s most of it) base color, cut a high dome on the top side and a moderate dome on the back side. 1.)If you get the top and bottom domes just right, the light will refract within the stone as it does in a properly cut faceted stone. The effect will be as though light is trapped within the stone and the color will glow in a seemingly bottomless stone. It works great with or without play of color. 2) Polishing the back of the opal helps the stone to last longer. A polished surface tends to retard water loss from the opal over time. A rough surface has many times more actual surface area per given dimension than a polished surface, thus increasing the potential for physical and chemical interaction.

Via Magic Valley Gem News, 12/01—Lapidary Digest 12/98—Rockhound Ramblings 10/01-Gem Time 11/01