Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
Tumble Polished Opals by Undistilled Tumble Polished Opals by Undistilled
(please click image for full view)

Title: Tumble Polished Opals
Image: Created by Aaron J. Greenblatt using an Epson Perfection 1200U scanner.
Editing: Edited in PhotoShop 7.0 for color accuracy, size, and to apply copyright and border.

Location: These black opals currently reside in my private collection in the lovely state of Michigan, USA.

Description: These are natural black, brown, and crystal opals from Australia. They have been tumble polished to more clearly show their internal beauty and color patterns. Most of these opals are smaller than a US quarter. They have not been chemically treated or enhanced in any way, aside from being tumble polished.

These opals display a wide range of colors and patterns and most of the time the colors go all the way through the stones. Under just normal lighting conditions, this pile of opals radiates with splashes of color in all directions. This image doesn't do these stones any justice. It is almost otherworldly to move them around - like holding shiny pieces of an actual rainbow in the palm of your hand.

About Australian Opal: Australia produces around 97% of the world’s opal. 90% of what Australia produces is called ‘light opal’ or "white" as well as "crystal" opal.

White opal makes up 60% of the precious opal found in Australia. But not all of the opal fields produce white opal. Crystal opal, or pure hydrated silica, makes up 30% while 8% is black and only 2% is boulder opal.

The town of Coober Pedy in South Australia is a major source of opal. Another Australian town, Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, is the main source of black opal, opal containing a predominantly dark background (dark-gray to blue-black displaying the play of color).

Opal Superstition: In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all of the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal. However, modern superstition attributes bad luck to the stone, though some believe this is avoided if opal is the owner's birthstone (that is, the owner was born in October) or if the stone is a gift.

Even under the last Russian czar at the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that when a Russian of any sex, of any rank, saw an opal, amongst other goods offered for sale, he or she would not buy anything more, since, in the judgment of subjects of the czar, the opal embodied the evil eye. It's possible that the stone's extreme fragility (when compared to other gemstones) has contributed to this bad reputation.

Information Source: [link] (wiki)

Legal: Copyright © Aaron J. Greenblatt. All rights reserved. Commercial use prohibited. This image and commentary may not be used for any reason without expressed written consent.


Please click here to view my photography work located in my Gallery.

Please click here for images of my glass work located in my other Gallery.

Please click here for images of my glass studio located in my other Scraps.
Add a Comment:
 
:icontarainthedark182:
tarainthedark182 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2017
If you ever plan of giving any of these guys up for adoption, I'd be happy to take them in... especially the big black one in the middle left :) (Smile) 
Reply
:iconpril:
pril Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
any of those opals for sale?
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Nope.
Reply
:iconpril:
pril Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Well that sucks... Had to ask ;) Take care!
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
No worries. :)
Reply
:iconpril:
pril Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
if you ever plan to get rid of them I know a GREAT home... ;) would look really nice next to some raw garnets I have..
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
I will keep that in mind. :)
Reply
:iconssips720:
ssips720 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2010
love the colors
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2010
Me too. :)
Reply
:iconsubliminaldice976:
SubliminalDice976 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009
Wow. These are...really nice.
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009
Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconsyndyne:
Syndyne Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009  Professional Photographer
*Oh and yes I couldn't agree with you more that photos NEVER do opal any justice!

The polish tumbling is a nice effect however :D
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
I should add, what I meant by the tumbling didn't seem to crack or chip any of them is that they didn't totally get destroyed. Not that they didn't get banged up a bit because obviously they had too in order to get polished via tumbling.

:lol:
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
I agree, the tumbling effect is indeed nice. And surprisingly, the tumbling didn't seem to crack or chip any of them. Even so, I personally wouldn't have tumbled these pieces.

:)
Reply
:iconsyndyne:
Syndyne Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009  Professional Photographer
Were you given any specifics as far as where the Lightning Ridge stuff came from when you bought it?

It seems to be Grawin (30 Miles West of the Ridge) seam opal from the recent finds over the last few years.

Be careful that the fractures don't spread throughout the pieces. They really should be cut into stones to remove those cracks and inclusions before they spread and ruin your nice collection. Nobby opal from the Ridge fields doesn't crack but most Grawin opal does due to the inclusions such as matrix and greyish potch.

The red on black piece in the bottom left looks to be the most impressive and valuable piece!

Lightning Ridge gem quality black opal is Australia's national gemstone now (about darn time) :D

(We all detest Coober Pedy opal here, it's mostly cheap crystal rubbish lol)

We've had some good rains overnight so I'll be heading out to see if I can speck a few good stones out on the mullock dumps. I always look forward to specking something nice.

Take care :wave:
Shauno
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2009
Were you given any specifics as far as where the Lightning Ridge stuff came from when you bought it?

Unfortunately no, and I didn't buy these opals. They were given to me by a fellow rockhound, but without much geological information included. Thus I'm not sure if these are Grawin or not. What I can tell you is that these opals haven't cracked any further than how you see them here, and I've had this lot for several years now, and I just checked them again today to be sure. But thanks for the heads up about the inclusions!

:thanks:
Reply
:iconsyndyne:
Syndyne Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009  Professional Photographer
Ahh that's good to hear :D

I can assure you that it is Grawin seam opal. Even dad said that as soon as he walked in and saw this photo. Once you've been here mining for this long it's quite easy to tell which opal comes from what field.

Once again, beautiful collection. You should set some of it in jewelry if you get the chance!
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009
Well then I will defer to the expert knowledgeable opinions provided by you and your father - to whom I am both thankful to for the identification.

:thanks:
Reply
:icongreenzaku:
greenzaku Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009
This looks like Lightning Ridge stuff alright.
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2009
:nod:
Reply
:iconyollanda:
Yollanda Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
That is so beautiful! Fav!
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2009
Glad you like it.

You should see them in person - especially in the sunshine.

:)
Reply
:iconyollanda:
Yollanda Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I'd love to :D
Reply
:iconbeaunarrow:
BeauNArrow Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Student Photographer
Wow! Amazing colours and designs on these rocks. Very creative, also. Nice work!
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
Thanks, but I have to give Mother Nature all the credit for the colors and designs.

:)
Reply
:iconlaura-worldwide:
laura-worldwide Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008  Student Photographer
Opals give off such lovely colors. Would you mind parting with any of them. I'd pay of course. Good luck with your glass work and art shows.

Have a merry christmas!
Laura
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2008
Indeed they do. I might consider parting with some of them. What would you do with them?

Thanks. The glass shows are usually a lot of fun. Though they can be a bit of work to prepare for.

:)
Reply
:iconlaura-worldwide:
laura-worldwide Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Student Photographer
Maybe set them for a ring or earrings. But there also beautiful just as they are.

Laura
Merry Christmas!
Reply
:icondarkhorse11:
darkhorse11 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I never realized opals came in so many different colors. They are beautiful indeed. Makes me proud to have them as my birthstone. :)
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008
Yep, they come in lots of pretty colors. :)

So you were born in October?
Reply
:icondarkhorse11:
darkhorse11 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2008
So was I. :)
Reply
:icondarkhorse11:
darkhorse11 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
Reply
:iconscarletwarmth:
ScarletWarmth Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2008   General Artist
oh my, i want to take them all. looks good for necklace =D
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2008
:)
Reply
:iconagent-sarah:
Agent-Sarah Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty...:drool:
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
Thanks. :)
Reply
:iconjessa1155:
jessa1155 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
I thought you had lapidary equipment? Why would you waste good opal to a tumbler?
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
I do have lapidary equipment, but I was not the one who tumbled these pieces. They were given to me already tumbled and come from an old lot. I simply accepted the material "as is".

I would never personally tumble such fine material.
Reply
:iconjessa1155:
jessa1155 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
It looks like very fine material, do you plan on cabbing any of it?
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008
Perhaps, but not for a while yet. I am currently in the process of making lots of lampwork glass beads for several upcoming local shows where I sell my work. Doing so is taking up quite a bit of my time at the moment. In case you weren't aware, I am also an accomplished glass artist. You can see some of my glass work here [link] on my other DA account.

:)
Reply
:iconjessa1155:
jessa1155 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes.. you do nice glass work. Good luck at your upcoming shows:)
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconnephenee:
Nephenee Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2008
Stupid question, here, but Any chance you could de-tumble it?
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2008
I wish, but sadly no. :(

Well, I mean I could rough up the edges again and make them less polished, but in terms of bringing back their original outer appearance, nope.
Reply
:iconnephenee:
Nephenee Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2008
Shame. :hmm:
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
Indeed.
Reply
:iconnephenee:
Nephenee Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
Could you cut them smaller, hypothetically speaking?
Reply
:iconundistilled:
Undistilled Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
They can always be cut smaller.
Reply
:iconsw33tpandaz:
Sw33tPandaZ Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2008
That looks awesome!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
August 19, 2008
Image Size
885 KB
Resolution
902×927
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,386
Favourites
50 (who?)
Comments
58
Downloads
463
×