Nothing Compares to an Opal Gemstone.
No Two Opals Are The Same.
Australian Opal Gemstones
The national gemstone of Australia is one of the world’s six most precious stones in the world.
95% of the world’s precious opal are from Australia. The rest can be found in other parts of the world such as Ethiopia, USA, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Brazil and Mexico.
There are 3 basic kinds:
- Black Opal
- Milky White Opal
They are deposited along the edge of the Great Artesian Basin in Australia and stretch for more than 1,000 km.
The term “black opal” is derived from the natural black potch base, which provides a dark background to the rainbow of colours. This name comes from the Aborigine’s word upala, meaning valuable stone. Their rarity and dark as night backing makes them the most valuable of all opals.
The national gemstone of Australia is one of the most precious stones in the world.
The composition of this gem is variable. Chemically, it is defined as a hydrated form of silica with water. Precious opal usually contains 6 to 10% of water.
No two black opal gemstones are the same. Unlike other gemstones each opal is very different in pattern and color.
A black opal can be all colors of the rainbow, from deep red to violet. As the stone is moved in different angles of light, a variety of colors can dance and flash across the face of the stone.
When opal miners are drilling for black opal they look for two different forms of opal in the rough – nobby and seam opal.
A nobby opal is round or lump-shaped and a seam opal has a horizontal bar of opal running through the centre.
Black opal is the most prized type of opal and can be valued at up to $13,000 AUD per carat.
Boulder opal is only found in Queensland, Australia. Opal fields in this area include Quilpie and Winton. and is considered the second rarest opal in the world after black opal. Boulder opal is easily distinguished by their layer of solid brown ironstone left on the back of the stone. Valuing boulder opal per carat is not generally accepted in the industry due to the large amount of ironstone present in the stone, however top quality boulder opal can fetch prices up to AUD $3,500 per carat.
Milky White Opal
Milky white opal is mainly found in Coober Pedy, South Australia and is one of the most common opals because it’s production is much larger than other types of opal. Pale white in appearance and much less vibrant than black or boulder opal due to not having a dark or black background. These opals can be priced at up to AUD $200 per carat.
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