Australian Opals

Buying Australian opals? Learn more about the different black, boulder or light Australian opals and buy the perfect gemstone…

Australian opals are precious gemstones which are natural and valuable. They are derived from the specific opal mines in Australia, which are located in different regions. Each gemstone is coveted for its shine, color and polish and the finest opals are individually cut by master hands.

Before being placed on retail or wholesale venue for purchase each stone is polished and finished to look its best and reflect its natural beauty. Opals are very popular as souvenirs and are prized and valuable gemstones. The market for Australian opals is spread across the globe with locals, tourists and international consumers feeding the demand for this valuable natural gemstone.

Opals can be purchased in different forms. Not only are they available loose as gemstones, which can be used to craft personalized jewellery pieces, but you can also buy them in ready-made jewellery pieces. From earrings, rings and pendants to quaint items like brooches and tie clips you can get them in any form and shape. This means that the conventional and classic jewellery pieces along with loose gemstones, which are sometimes uncut, can be purchased at  your leisure.

For an opal enthusiast it is important to recognize the different types of Australian opals in order to pay the right price for high-quality stones. This will prevent you from falling into the trap of buying an inferior quality of gemstone at a higher price.

Range of Australian Opals

The black Australian opals are the most coveted style of the range available.  The black opal is found in the natural state as a slab. It may be a strip of gemstone, which is brown, grey, black or blue in colour. They may even have a rainbow of colours while some gemstones that are part of the black opal category have green or excessively deep blue tones.

The next best category is the Boulder opals. These are found with uneven or smooth surfaces and in different forms and colours. It is normally found on top of ironstone and has different colours that show up as specs in the ironstone.  The full range of colours is actually most evident in a third category, which is light opals. These have flashes in the background and swirls of colour in light blue or white. The thin slices of high-quality opal are often stuck to the back of a piece of glass, Ironstone or even potch.
Doublets and are known to resemble the boulder opal or the highly coveted black opal. Consumers often mistake the doublets and the black opal. There is a great difference in the price and one needs to be careful.

The final category is triplets, which look like a sandwich of three layers. They are often been finished off to show the dome made of quartz crystal, which is cemented to the precious opal using clear resin. It is important to note that a doublet opal that has more opal content is more valuable than a triplet.

Finally there are common opals that are considered as non-gem quality and come in several forms, most of which do not show the play of colours. The important thing to remember is that an opal is never solid and always shows specs or flecks of colour.

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