I had recently purchased a parcel of opal that contained quite a lot of potch as well as some nice colour. I put the potch to one side and forgot about it.
Last week I went through it again and saw what I thought was a faint red band running down one piece of potch and decided this needed a better inspection.
I looked at it carefully but still did not get too excited as it was only a faint band.
This first photo shows one side of the potch.
The second photo shows the reverse side.
I decided that I would slice close to the line to see what was inside. You can see the cut line in the two photos. I think you will agree it does not look all that exciting.
My Big Mistake
In hindsight I should not have done this without rubbing the outside of the potch to see how far the band went. You will see why in the next photo.
This photo shows something I did not expect. Beautiful opal almost skin to skin and just barely covered by by the grey potch skin.
This next photo shows the other side.
What I should have done
If I had rubbed the face down a bit I would have see the extent of the opal inside and would not have cut it where I did. I am sure I will get some small stones from it but not as good as they could have been.
When I do cut the stones I will add photos to show what I ended up with.
I have at last cut the two opals and the next photo shows the results.
I have learned a lesson from this. If you see some faint colour in a piece of potch, rub it down lightly to check the extent before putting it to the saw.
In all my years of cutting I had not seen anything like this where the outside looked all potch, but the inside, almost to the edge, was pure opal.