Tips on where to look when purchasing opal rough.

I frequently get asked what tips I can give new cutters for buying opal rough online and I'll try to give a general idea.
▪︎Look if there is a video additional to the photos;
▪︎Does pictures include some measurements reference (ruler, coin);
▪︎Sand. Sand, sand, sand. Look carefully through the videos and pictures to see sand inclusions. While imperfect opals with inclusions are growing in prominence and frankly they are quite cool, don't fall just for blingy colors, sand can make cutters life miserable;
▪︎If not noted, ask the dealer about returns. Serious dealers always will take untouched parcel back. Sometimes when you look at it in life it just doesn't look as you thought it will. Keep in mind that opals are incredibly hard to photograph.
▪︎Take some pictures of opals you've already got to give yourself idea how they would look on camera. For example purples tend to flash out more etc.
▪︎In the end most of the time you get what you pay for. And while sometimes tricky, it's still an amazing hobby to have.