Opal is a fascinating gem. It’s the constantly changing gem that got me into this constantly changing world of gems and jewellery. I had a great uncle in Australia who, in retirement, took up lapidary work and became an accomplished opal craftsman. He had a shed, as do all self-respecting Australians—a place where he could take a beer out of the refrigerator and get to work on tinkering. His tinkering was building machines and cutting and polishing opals with them. I used to go over on weekends, and destroyed loads of perfectly good opals.