How to cut, shape, and polish the back of an opal

Episode 7 - How to cut, shape, and polish the back of an opal

Extra tips and key points:

- With cutting, shaping, polishing the back of the opal, it doesn't require much work. We're not trying to get a nice big cabochon, or dome on the back. We want to just take the take the sharp edges off and taper the sides to ensure it's easy for a jeweller to set. 

- Similar to cutting the front of the opal, start out at a finer grit wheel and work your way back to a courser grit wheel if needed. You don't want to start too strong and lose gem quality opal. Remember, you can't add it on, but you can always take it off.

- You want to keep even pressure on the opal, but soft pressure. This is about touch and wheel placement, you only want to cut the top of opal, you don't want to touch the work you've done on the front of the stone. Remember, If you want to cut underneath the opal move to the top of the wheel, if you want to cut on top of the opal move to the bottom of the wheel. 

- Work the whole wheel, not just the middle, this allows even wear across the wheels and keep the opal moving. If you keep it one spot you can get flat or high spots and even burn the stone.

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