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Australia's National Gemstone

People often call opals rainbow stones. Its bright multi colour spectrum and brilliant clarity gives the stone its unique beauty. Opal is  Australia’s National gemstone. There are three categories of natural solid opals mined in Australia: black opals from Lightning Ridge, boulder opals from Queensland, and white opals from South Australia. Black opals and boulder opals are only found in Australia.

Black Opal

Black opal is mined at Lightning Ridge NSW. The gem opal sits on black to grey colorless opal ( potch). Generally, the blacker the potch, the better quality of opal. The most important factors determining the value of opal is clarity and luster of colors. The Red color is the most expensive. Many other factors including, size, shape, high dome and pattern.

Boulder Opal

Boulder opal is found in remote outback areas of Queensland. The opal is formed in cracks or voids usually in ironstone boulders. The precious boulder opal, when cut and polished, would be sitting on brown ironstone base. Often the shapes of boulder opal are free form and uneven surface. They often present brilliant colours but the value is generally half of black opal for similar coloring. Again, the red color is being the most expensive.

White Opal

White Opal is found in Coober Pedy; Mintabie of South Australia as well as white cliffs and Lightning Ridge of NSW. Generally, white opal doesn’t have a dark background base. Its colours can vary from milky to a brilliant colour spectrums. The production of all varieties of opal found in Australia has fallen by about 90% over the last 10 years.

Doublet & Triplet Opal

The doublet Opal is a slice of light opal laminated to a black or brown base. The base enhances the colour of light opal, and gives it similar colour to Natural black opal. The triplet Opal has a quartz covering over the light opal. The better the quality of light opal, the better the quality of doubles and triplets. When purchasing, please make sure, on your invoice the opal is stated as natural solid opal or doublets/triplets.

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