Collecting Australian black opals? Learn more about the opulent Australia black opal called fire and light…
The splendor of nature is beautifully reflected in the opulence of black opals. With all the colours of the rainbow and the soft glimmer of the distant oceans mixed with fire and lightning streaks, the black opal seems to have a classical shine of its own. Australia is famous as the home of black opals, which are mined from select locations across the country. In fact 95% of all the world’s finest black opals come from far reaches of the outback, which are exceptionally dry.
Legends Surrounding the Black Opal
There are many legends and stories from ancient times told by the Australian aborigines. Known as the rainbow of peace on which the creator descended to the earth bringing peace with him, his landing spot became the birthplace of the opals where regular rocks were transformed into sparkling rainbow like stones, known today as opals.
Classification of Opals
The category of fine opals includes a variety of beautiful gemstones. However, one aspect is common throughout this classification of the precious natural gemstone; each stone shines and sparkles while the play of colour changes continuously with the type of light that hits the stone’s surface. In an unpolished and uncut state the stone should have fantastic colour plays, which are further enhanced through polishing and cutting. This procedure is described as “opalising” by the experts.
Based on the occurrence and the colour of the part that carries the opal content, the opal can be classified as a light or white opal, the Opal Matrix, Boulder Opal, the Crystal Opal and the Australian Black Opal, which is the rarest and most expensive. Other varieties of opals include the fantastic Queensland origin picture stones, which are known as the Yowah Nuts, along with the Fire Opal and the Mexican Opal.
It is interesting to note that the variations are almost unlimited and all of them have a special trait regarding the manner in which the color is displayed. This characteristic runs through all the opals except for the Fire Opal, which is transparent and does not have colour running through it. It is still classified as a fine quality Australian Opal because of its Opal content. A common opal is the one that has no play of colour.
Colors of the Black Opal
The Black Opal has a beautiful amalgamation of all the characteristics of this gemstone. It has the deep purple colour of an Amethyst, the deep gold and yellow tones of the topaz and the blue of a sapphire along with the shimmering and sparkling tones of Almandine, each of which is a coveted gemstone on its own.
By the 20th-century opals had become very easily available and were acquired from the Australian mines using new techniques of discovery. As their popularity grew they flourished in Art Deco times because they had a very contemporary look and a subdued charm. Opals could easily be combined with enamel and different materials, which were popular in that time period.
Opals were actually analyzed by Australian scientists in the 1960s and they discovered that beautiful colour play, which fascinates everyone, is derived from the silica gel content. The interference and refraction caused by this material is due to its construction in the form of spheres that are arranged very compactly.
A Black Opal would reflect the light and throw it out in a rainbow of colours a different way each time a ray of light fell on it. Australia is considered the world’s largest supplier of fine opals and these are mined from the Australian mines. The Australian Black Opal is actually created out of suppression of silica gel that has varying water content.
The Australian Black Opal is perhaps the opal with the most brilliant colour play of all the categories of this gemstone. It is so deep and dark that it diffuses a most amazing range and spectrum of colours. Opals should be regularly used because they have water content and if they are kept without any cover they may dry out and develop cracks. These brittle cracks will reduce the colour play and softness of the stone.