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In the unique new DVD Guide to Black Opal we are taken on a step by step opal cutting tour revealing the tips and tricks of three experts - each with over 30 years of opal industry experience.

Lightning Ridge commercial cutter Elisabeth Pal shows how to evaluate rough opal, dopping and cutting techniques, making calibrated stones and matched pairs, doing inlay into a ring and doublet making, as well as cutting the spectacular "red on black" featured on the cover into the 30 carat gem opal "Princess Mary".

Former President of the Opal Association Mike Burfitt shows how to cut difficult and baroque stones with a hand piece.

Finally long time opal wholesaler and former President of the Opal Association Peter Evans compares a wide range of commercial black opals and explains how to determine wholesale value.

The DVD is currently available in PAL format which suits the following Countries

Czech Republic
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Slovak Republic
United Kingdom

It is IS NOW AVAILABLE in NTSC format which suits the following Countries.

To read more about world television standards click here

This ground breaking DVD is available at the following rates
Australia AUD $29.95 plus $2.50 postage
(includes GST)

US and Canada US$25 plus US$5 postage

Europe Euro 20 plus Euro 5 postage.

Payment can be made by Paypal. Orders by Paypal (other than through the Buy Now buttons above) can be made to the email address opal@tpg.com.au

Enquires can be sent to PO Box 58 Gladesville 2111 NSW Australia.
Trade quantity/reseller enquiries welcome

The DVD runs for 73 minutes and covers the following:

Chapter 1: Introduction - what is a black opal
Chapter 2: Evaluating rough opal - nobby, seam & fossil
Chapter 3: Overview of equipment
Chapter 4: Dopping and Removing Stones
Chapter 5: Cutting a gem "red on black" into the "Princess Mary"
Chapter 6: Making Doublets
Chapter 7: Calibrated and Small Stones
Chapter 8: Cutting Matched Pairs
Chapter 9: Doing Inlay into a Ring
Chapter 10: Tips for a Well Cut Stone
Chapter 11: Using Small Tools
Chapter 12: Valuing opal


This DVD is a visual feast for opal lovers. As a European customer said about the cutting of Princess Mary: "da fallen jedem von uns unter Garantie die Augen heraus!" which means roughly ".. guarantee everyones eyes will fall out!". Most people never get to see gems of this quality, let alone see them getting cut from a difficult piece of rough with such exceptional skill.

Another customer said.. "I just reviewed the DVD you sent and it was very well done and the cutter was very very good. Elisabeth Pal ahd been cutting opal for some time and it showed. Her steady hand at splitting that huge opal to get the Princess Mary stone brought goosebumps on my back. I have never sliced an opal that big. The rest of the DVD was very well done.. Again, thanks for allowing me to see the learning process about black opal, not normally found elsewhere.

As outlined on the DVD. A black opal is a natural solid stone with a black or nearly black body tone(ie background appearance).

Whether an opal is a black or not can be determined by nearly closing ones eyes and squinting at the face of the stone. All colours are ignored and the overall body tone (blackness level) can then be seen.

When this is compared to the scale of blackness below it is possible to identify how black the stone is.

Only stones achieving values N1 to N4 on this scale are considered black opals - attracting the additional value associated of this class of opal.

N1 - N4
    Black Opal              Dark Opal       Light Opal

For more information on opal nomenclature see http://www.opal.asn.au/nomenclature.htm

For commercial or general enquiries please email the publisher at