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Ebay and fake Lightning Ridge Black Opal: The Proof

A few months ago we talked about how to spot a fake Lightning Ridge black opal and the many examples of the fake stuff found on Ebay.

We put our money on the table and purchased a few pieces from a supplier claiming to be selling genuine Lightning Ridge Black Opal. We then tested it and you would be amazed at what we found. Please watch the video and see.

The good news is the seller in this particular transaction accepted the evidence shown in the video when we sent it to him and hopefully we shall see a change in terminology.

We would like to stress that our issue isn’t with Ethiopian opal but with the sellers who try and pass it off as natural untreated Lightning Ridge black opal. It is just plain wrong. Nobody likes to be lied to and this is what is happening with sellers not disclosing the treatments. As always it pays to ask and if at all possible only buy from reputable sellers.


  • chuck

    good for you justin it is about time someone stands up to ebay and the crooked dealers on ebay

    • Blackopaldirect

      Thanks Chuck

  • Well done! Now we will see what happens. You should post this vid and the previous one on ebay in all your auctions.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Yes I shall doo that. The video is already making a difference

  • Michele G.

    People get scammed all the time. Thanks for keeping them honest Justin.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Yes they do and even in Australian opal with the treated Andamooka opal. People think that is also black opal

    • Blackopaldirect

      Welcome Michele

  • Rodger

    Thank you,
    very many seller, little real goods. Few dealers even know how to check. When you find a good dealer stay with him. Thanks again for the proof.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Agreed Rodger a good opal dealer will always do the right thing

  • These are smoked opals I spotted it the first time the seller starting selling it.. He works under three seller names as afr as I know on EBAY.. It is a shame there are beautiful welos that are well dark enough naturaly and this is a slap in the face of true Lightning Ridge Black opal an the men and women who bust there butts to get the beatiful stuff out of the ground.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Yes many sellers have many ebay names and you are right it does slap the opal miners in the face for sure

  • Allan

    Thanks for your educational videos.

    • Blackopaldirect

      You are welcome Allan I try my best to get the word out on opal and teach people everything I know

  • Steve Loika

    Great Video. I have seen black opals on ebay that claim to be from Lightning Ridge but you can see they are not. I think the comment from Toby says it all.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Hi Steve yes he does sum it up quite well. There is no problem with threaten opal as long as it is stated as treated

  • gary

    Ebay is notorious, there is mainly nothing of value on ebay, Good stuff sells for 10% of actual value by desperate sellers. Its a rip off marketplace and the worst part is ebay managers and owners are ignorant and untrained with nebulous and contradicting policies on how they allow sellers to operate. WARNING BOYCOTT EBAY!

    • Blackopaldirect

      Hi Gary Thanks for the support. Yes I have rang ebay many times and they just don’t care at all. Not one bit. I will pull out my shop from there soon as this fake opal has flooded the ebay listings and is making it hard for the honest seller to sell any opal.

  • Shari Harris

    Toby, Hi. I’m brand new to Ebay and already I have several times needed to contact Ebay with problems with sellers on Ebay. Seems they allow sellers to get away with murder, and yet the buyer basically has no rights what so ever. Anyway I just started buying opals in the rough on the Internet. Would you be so kind as to name that seller with the three different names? Why not advertise this. I would. Don’t get me wrong, that last comment was not said to intimidate. Anyway I have absolutely no experience with opals. I just love them. I just bid on one and won. My first opal. Cept he/she drilled a hole in it, to use as a pendent. Something I personally never would do. Why would he/she do that? I wrote and asked but he/she answered my other question but not that one. Hmmm gotta wonder. Wow this is winded, I apologize.

    • Blackopaldirect

      Ebay is a tough place to buy opal. But just to let you know I also sell there and not all sellers are bad. Some really good people still sell on there its only tarnished by the people who describe their opal wrong.

  • Shari Harris

    BlackopaldirEct, Your shop is good for something on Ebay, it’s how I found you. And I have learned Sooo much with your videos. And now I shall save my money to buy only from Lighting Ridge mine. So maybe you should think twice before pulling out.

  • Christy

    I have seen this type of opal on Ebay. I have also seen the sugar water treated opal. In my experience with both the Ethiopian and some Aussie treated by sugar water is that they are very fragile and lose color very quickly.
    I always look at the details before buying and have found that the education of good opal is important. Thanks for posting what should be looked for in opals. I rarely ever see as good of a deal on authentic, black opal with great show as I do on your site.

    Justin, your reputation precedes you!! That is why I am buying from you!

    • Blackopaldirect

      HI Christy Thanks for the kind words. Yes there is Andamooka Matrix opal from Australia that is boiled in sugar water for hours to bring the color out of the stone. It is not worth alot of money as the stone has been treated but can still look pretty.

  • Scott Cat

    I was confused how to value a stone, spent 8 hours yesterday and several today educating myself and then I read this! Wheres the best place to buy Lightning ridge black opals?

    • Richie

      Black Opal Direct 🙂
      On a personal note, I’ve been studying the value of opals for years, on & off, and have spent thousands of dollars on them. I’ve also looked at many Opal websites. I’ve purchased from other dealers before coming across Justin & Ruth’s website, where I’ve purchased 2 stones.
      My opinion is that Black Opal Direct has the highest quality opals, and at the best value for the dollar. It also appears to me, and I may be wrong, that many miners and cutters consign their stones to Justin, including finished pieces, rough, opals for him to cut, re-cut, etc., and to sell on his website, so besides the best quality at the best price, there is an expensive selection to choose from. Something for everyone, as they say.
      Besides having the goods to offer, something just as important and even more so is customer service, including practicing what you preach regarding quality, return policies, patience with the customers, including answering questions, inquiries, etc., and Justin & Ruth not only do all of the above, but do it with sincerity.
      Besides all of the above, Justin’s video library, including learning videos and videos of the stones is expansive and excellent.
      Anyway, that’s my opinion. But as I say to others, search around the Web, see who’s selling what, and if you really love a stone that someone else is selling but aren’t sure of the quality, etc., send the link over to Justin and he’ll give you his honest opinion, as he has offered to do. I doubt any other Opal business owner would offer to do this, as I’m sure Justin would love to sell his opals, but understands Opal is as individual as the person purchasing the stone, which again shows his true love of Opal, including sharing his decades of knowledge with others.

      • Blackopaldirect

        Thank you Richie for the kind words. Ruth and I try our best to provide the best information and service we can