opal polishing - boulder opal beadopal polishing - boulder opal bead

Opal Polishing Survey Results

Take a look at the IGS member survey results for opal polishing. You'll find recommendations for polishes, laps, and techniques for handling these popular gemstones.

1 Minute Read

Editor’s Note: Some years ago, the International Gem Society (IGS) conducted a survey of members’ polishing techniques. Here, you’ll find the results for opal polishing. Whether you’re just starting to learn the art of gem cutting or just looking for a new way to tackle a problematic gem material, we hope these results provide some useful suggestions.

For more opal polishing recommendations, see the survey results for gems with 4-6 hardness.

For more information about the survey or to find results for more gemstones, click here.

Opal Polishing Techniques

Lap TypePolish TypeLubrication typeVotes
LuciteCerium Oxidewater19
TinLinde Awater17
Ultra LapCerium Oxidewater14
CDCerium Oxidevinegar/water8
DynalapCerium Oxidewater6
PolypadCerium Oxidewater5
Tin50k diamondolive oil4
CopperDiamondCrystalube or similar4
TurbofanCerium Oxidewater2
Ceramic100-200k diamond2
BATTCerium Oxidewater2
CorianCerium Oxide1
Lucite14k diamondDiaLube1
Brass50k diamondwater1
Diamond PacificDiamondwater1
Tin50k Diamondwater1
Felt50k/Linde A mixwater1
Spectra (Ultra Lap)Cerium OxideColloidal Silica1


  • Polishing agents and lubricants divided

International Gem Society

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!