I thought that I should make a video on Matrix [opal] specifically Australian Andamooka Matrix opal [this] can this material can be treated and Sometimes when you’re lucky, you’ll get results like this, so trying to keep this short let’s Let’s get into it. [I] started on this particular piece with this Which is now about [7] ounces, but I started with 12 ounces [I’ve] cut pieces of it off Andamooka Matrix opal is basically opal [that] seeps into Sedimentary rocks surrounding seams of solid opal in fact on this particular piece you can see this area is Is a different shade and at the surface This is a continuation of it. This is solid opal adjacent You can see my finger through that this is solid opel with a mixture of A Matrix Opal adjacent to it there was one large area on top of this on the top part of this stone that I thought that I could get a Solid Matrix a solid opal Cabochon and this is what I was able to get this is about 9 carats so occasionally you get you get areas in which the solid opel is adjacent to the Matrix opal. Matrix means that the opal has seeped into the surrounding Matrix which is usually sedimentary rock like Sandstone or Claystone siltstone mudstone things of that that ilk I suppose that [Claystone] or maybe the most common type anyway here’s an example of a piece of treated Matrix this has been treated with by Placing it into a concentrated solution of sugar under heat for a couple of days and then removing it and placing it in concentrated sulfuric acid under heat for a day or so this is an area in which there’s a seam of precious opal really nice quality precious opal within an area of a Matrix opal of relatively low quality, but the The precious opal is outstanding This is what Matrix looks like untreated it It generally is colorless, but you can get an idea of the of the color Usually in some areas sometimes with lesser opal you can’t. This is solid material There is a type of Matrix opal that’s called Rainbow Matrix. Which is a very porous stone as lots of holes in it and It it takes treatment very well, but is Is more like pumice. compared to say … I Don’t know concrete or some more solid Rock like Sandstone or Claystone I’m not talking about Matrix. I’m not talking about Rainbow Matrix. This is regular Matrix. Now how is this going to treat? You buy a piece of Matrix opal and say, “Will this treat well, or will it not treat well?” There’s no way really to know Definitely the more solid it is the greater likelihood that It will not treat. To give you some examples: Here’ is a large piece of Matrix. As you can see the treatment is variable. Some areas didn’t treat at all (This is polished specimen) Other areas treat extremely well but ultimately There really is not enough there. I just left it as a specimen. I polished it. It looks pretty good Here’s another example that I expected the same results, but guess what? That’s the only area that treated the rest of it … these are basically pebbles of a different type of rock within it. But this is treated Matrix that didn’t treat so well. This is one that treated a little better. Here’s a little piece of Matrix that’s been treated, but it’s nice-looking, but it didn’t treat so well. Here is a little cabochon that I made out of a lower grade of Matrix that treated fairly well, but it’s not very colorful Here’s another piece very difficult to appreciate If I can get this focused in … it is very It’s pretty it treated very well, But it doesn’t have a lot of color now this particular stone that I dealt with a [12-ounce] stone, I had to cut a lot away and I Subjected the first thing I did is [that] I took some slices off and removed the area of mixed solid and Matrix and I got that little solid cabochon out of it. But [I] wanted to test it as far as how well it would treat. That would allow me to decide whether I wanted to to cut Parallel to the to the color bars or whether I wanted to try to cut with the color bars — because I have a very nice color bar here and there and it’s Not quite as good there, but it’s it’s it’s enough. This is what I would call “Gem Matrix.” It’s got a lot of color even when not treated. So the first thing I did is I cut little pieces off. I sort of made little cabs [out] of it just Just to test the waters to see what? Little pieces from around the thing would look like. And this is what I ended up with That treated fairly well. It’s a little bit untreated there on one side of this rock on the side opposite the part with the purple solid (opal) was an area of true gem quality Solid opal, but it was a very thin layer and on the backside of that, this is What the matrix turned out to be. This is one side of the (main) piece. Probably from a lot right there. that treated (well). This this gave me real hope I also Here’s another one. That’s a very nice It’s very nice color Here’s one that I polished completely but it’s got that dividing line between the [bluish] in the more brilliant red and green because this one and Somewhere in here. I have another little stone that came from this This is a pretty impressive little piece. So, with relatively short treatment time I was able to see the potential. So then, I cut full slice off of there and a full slice off of there, and I think a full slice off of there as well and This is what they turned out to be this is a slice from here And these two pieces are [from] this side This broke in half before I put it in acid. So that’s the outer part the inner part you can see the variability in the treatment This is actually a pretty impressive thing with the white in it it almost looks like “Picture Jasper,” a type of rock that shows a picture of a landscape, but that’s this side, and then this is an 87 carat slice from the main side This is the outer part with some dark spots and the inner part which is Honestly — about as good as it gets. The background is dark nearly black with one one treatment and We’ve got these incredible color bars, and this is cross-cutting although, it’s quite cut perpendicular to the to the color bars The other side has retained some Raw Sandstone and it’s just getting into The really great treatable Matrix on the other side. So, what I’m left with is, like I said, about ….. I think it’s 5.7 ounces of of untreated Matrix left and I think that given the Incredible color of this (I’ll wet it a little bit..) that I think I can continue to cut slices off of this and and make outstanding cabochons that treat well and And that’s my plan. So that’s a little lesson on Andamooka matrix opal. Matrix opal It doesn’t have the value of solid opal, but it sometimes has the color of the best of the best black opal.

100 thoughts on “Andamooka Matrix Opal Treatment!”

  1. thanku for this,I thought the colours were natural and I've considered buying them off eBay,now I'll stick to real certified gems

  2. Man…i was just reading through these comments here and i just had to say that im in heaven! 😍😏😍 seeing a few of you guys, (who've obviously been around and in this line of work for years already, and clearly know what youre talking about) just casually talking shop…was soo juicy and informative for a baby rock geek like myself! 😎 It was such a priveledge just to be able to watch this video and read through the comments. I was taking notes & soaking up the knowledge like a sponge. LOVED this video. 🙏Thank you so much for making it and sharing your knowledge & expertise with us! Oh & btw, i clicked the subscribe button about 8 seconds into the video! You had me at the words, "treated matrix opal" Hahaha. 😁😁😁

  3. Nice Job!! On the cuttin' & the Presentation!! Appreciate it!!👍✌😎🇺🇸[edit] If ya don't mind, What kinda $$$ difference is ther between this Process/Enhancement & the Natural Lighting Ridge Black Opal of the Same Caliber(Color/Size)? 1st time I've seen Ur Process, Hell, I'm impressed!! Thnxu!👍✌😎🇺🇸

  4. That’s amazing- i have some black opal i managed to dry out w/ either peroxide or alchahol or both and i need to re-hydrate them – i’d like tour advice before i do something else stupid- anyway to contact you?

  5. Hi….where is possible to buy this kind of stones? Are in average expensive? Hope in your information. Thank you

  6. Why do some people think only people born in October should get to own opals. Superstitious? Anyone else heard of that

  7. I lived in Coober Pedy met a lot of people that were opal cutters but you're analysis of opal is really awesome thank you for showing your skills love and light to you brother

  8. Simply stunning , the process to bring out the beauty fascinates me , would love to see how it's done , tfs

  9. Why do you show another opal as the after treatment opal ,this is just a video talking about your old opals

  10. I'm curious what kind of price per ounce would be a fair dealer offer for that 12 ounce block. I'm new to opal polishing and trying to get away from the Ethiopian material and switch to Australian stones.

  11. I came back to see these beauties again.
    My jaw dropped. I just finished a painting that looks like your opals. What lovely timing. 💖🌈🙂

  12. yup there verry hard to find if you lucky you get the best opal one in a billion not like diamond can easily get and can be man made…but opal its all nature made and there is what they call black opal that can only be mine in 1 place in this earth…

  13. Breathtaking!
    While watching this, looking at the opal pretreatment, I was reminded of something. I couldn't put my finger on it, but as I watched the areas colorshift and the pattern I figured it out! A long time ago, when my dad was really into making his own jewelry by carving bone and stones, he'd get freebies and deals at the local rock shop because the owner loved his stuff so much. One of the freebies was a slab about 3 by 4 inches of a really cool dark iridescent stuff. When my dad gave me his old tools and materials this rainbow slab was one of my favorites and when I asked he couldn't tell me what stone it was. This was so long ago and I've been searching to find anything that looks like it to no avail. Now I friggin know! And it looks like the Honduran matrix opal so I'm guessing that's what it is.

    So thanks for that!

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