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Coober Pedy - town sign
Opal Mining in Coober Pedy: History and Methods

The town of Coober Pedy, Australia produces more opal than anywhere else. Its culture has been thoroughly shaped by opal mining. Learn more about this colorful location and the methods used to hunt for precious opals.

sardonyx - birthstone gemology
How Well Do You Know Your Birthstone Gemology?

How well do you know your birthstone gemology? Take our short quiz and learn about the composition, cutting, and value of birthstones.

gemstone doublets - New World
Gemstone Doublets, Triplets, and Other Assembled Stones

Made from two or more materials, assembled gems can make durable and affordable jewelry. Learn more about gemstone doublets, triplets, and other varieties.

gemstone luster - talc various
What Is Gemstone Luster?

Gemstone luster describes how a gem's surface looks when it reflects light. Learn the common terms gemologists use for this property and what can affect it.

gemstone birefringence - zircon
What is Gemstone Birefringence?

Gemstone birefringence is a measure of a gem's double refraction. Learn how it’s used to identify gems and see the effects birefringent gems can display.

opal polishing - boulder opal bead
Opal Polishing Survey Results

Looking for opal polishing advice? Our survey results can you help you choose the right polishes, laps, and polishing techniques for these popular gems.

faceted Welo opal - opal symbolism
Opal Symbolism

Once the stone of kings, the fragile opal has a convoluted personality and lore. Opal symbolism is as varied as the play of color of the stone itself.

faceting process - dopping station
Precision Faceting A Story Gemstone: The Faceting Process

The faceting process turns rough stones into finished gems. Learn the steps custom faceters take to create unique gemstones that tell a client's story.

A Beginner’s Guide To Common Gemstone Heat Treatments

Gemstone heat treatments can increase the beauty and value of many rough pieces. Learn how to conduct the most common procedures safely.

Carving Opals - Lightning Ridge Black Opal
Tips For Carving Opals

Opals can fetch high prices but may be difficult to cut. These tips for carving opals can help gem cutters make the most of these beautiful stones.

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