Posted on

The difference between black opal and crystal opal

In this video Justin takes us back to basics and clearly explains the difference between black opal and crystal opal. He explains with the help of a torch.

First up he shows a dark crystal opal and shines a torch at the underside. The light travels straight through it – clearly indicating that it is a crystal opal because it is translucent. He also does the same with a true crystal opal.

Next up is a black opal. The black of course referring to the underside of the opal where there is no colour. This potch is also opal – it just doesn’t have colour exhibited. In this case, when you shine a torch the light doesn’t travel through the opal at all – indicating a dark, semi black or black opal.

Watch the video and you will get a clear understanding of the differences.

Leave your comments and questions below.




  • Keith Cler

    The crystal opal / black opal video is excellent. Thank you for sharing!

  • Robert William Alban

    Hi Justin,
    I really like your site, videos and material. This is a stome that we found at the Rainbow Ridge mine in NV about 12 years ago. We’ll be taking it to Tucson this year. I think it fits with your discription of crystal. The GIA Director named Dino called it an Optical Grade Crystal Precious Opal. Only one of two he had ever seen at that time. Sincerely, Robert Alban 928-699-5258