Mac has a special love for the Queensland opal, despite having a history with Coober Pedy in his younger years. The opal from this part of the world is commonly found with an ironstone background, which can create very beautiful patterns and pictures. Of the many opal fields in Queensland, Mac has been drawn to Yowah and Koroit, and likes particularly to work with these stones. The ironstone background can make cutting challenging, but there’s nothing Mac likes more.
The miners themselves can pull out literally hundreds of ‘Yowah nuts’ a day and one lucky soul has the unenviable task of hitting them with a hammer, looking for colour. It can be a risky business, as there is always the potential of smashing very good colour to pieces, but there are so many to look through, it literally is the quickest way. Once the colour is found, the next step is to create a parcel. Opal cutters deal in parcels and everyone is always looking for a bargain. This is a chancy business at best, and a lucky cutter might just find the stone of his dreams in a ‘parcel at the right price’.
Quick Tip – never stop looking.
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