Cutting and polishing Australian opals is a specialised skill presenting many challenges to maximise the end size and colour of the precious gems.
Allgem cuts all types of Australian opals from the rough for the manufacture of exquisite fine opal jewellery.
Allgem cutters assess stone material as to its potential ability to develop into a gem quality stone, suitable for opal jewellery. Some precious gems or gemstone rough is best left that way as indicated by flaws, non-uniformity of colours, and poor saturation of colour.
Joseph Gryg has been cutting Australian opals for more than 50 years and Allgem cutters are widely recognised as Australian opal and jewellery experts.
The precious gems are cut on a series of lapidary wheels with fast-moving, diamond-impregnated belts. The cutter starts with a belt that has a relatively coarse surface (e.g. 250 grit), then moves along a series of belts with increasingly fine surfaces, finally creating a polish with a very fine abrasive compound loaded onto either felt or leather.
Australian opal has to be kept wet and cool while it's being cut, so it doesn't overheat and crack.
The face of the stone is shaped into a cabochon (dome shape) and the overall shape is decided depending on the stone (normally oval).
The back of the stone is cut on the same set of grinding wheels, this time producing a flat bottom, and an edge which tapers up to the 'girdle'. The shaping of the girdle is an important and difficult part of cutting, and refers to the point on the side of the stone where the two top and bottom edges meet. This edge is used by jewellers to set the stone underneath gold, to provide a secure setting.
Allgem can also design and manufacture unique opal jewellery items using your precious gems.
Please browse our online catalogue for other items including the best quality gold jewellery in Perth, Australian, South Sea and Tahitian Pearls, diamond engagement and wedding rings as well as men’s and women’s gold rings, coloured stones and Swarovski crystal.
Contact us today to get a quote or find out more about cutting and polishing gemstones.