The cut of the opal

Jul 26, 2015

Several months ago, I met the jeweller Marc Alexandre in order to present his career, his work and his vision of the trade. On that occasion, he explained to me that he had been cutting opals for a while but that he was beginning to experiment with opal sculpture.

So I suggested to Marc that we meet again to watch him work and take some photos of him at the workbench. This is an opportunity for you to discover how this amazing material is tamed.


Four Ethiopian opals before and during the cutting process. The stones will find their place on a brooch project. Photo: The Gemologist


Work in progress, it is necessary to proceed gently because the material is fragile and can break easily. No water or very little, because the material is porous and could be damaged. Photo: The Gemologist


Draw and imagine the future jewel. Photo: The Gemmologist


A petal in progress, another one coming soon. Note the fires of the stone. Photo: The Gemmologist


A 136g Ethiopian opal rough before the cutting process begins. Photo: Marc Alexandre


From a rough, we moved on to the almost final shape of the piece. A few details are still missing, but it already weighs only 78 carats. Photo: Marc Alexandre


Manual polishing of the skull, wood and diamond powder. Photo: The Gemologist


Cleaning. Photo: The Gemmologist


There is still some work to do, but it is almost finished. Photo: The Gemmologist

See you soon!


marie chabrol

Hello my name Is Marie. Speaker, consultant & teacher, I write with passion about the world of jewelry.

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