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Five Opal Patterns Explained

Not sure what the difference is between opal patterns? Watch Justin as he describes the characteristics of five opal patterns including moss pattern and broad flash.

Here is a close up view of each pattern for your reference. Make sure you watch the video for a really good understanding of each pattern and the subtle differences.

The Mackerel sky pattern and the Chinese writing pattern are both fairly rare and distinctive. The other three, moss, broadflash and rolling flash are more common and are very similar to each other. The best way to remember the differences are like this:

Moss pattern: Sheen similar to moss that is present across the stone most of the time.

Broadflash pattern: A flash of color that appear and disappears as you move the stone around. It ususally covered a large potion of the face of the stone.

Rolling flash pattern: A body of color that moves across the stone as the stone is moved around. It seems to roll across the stone.

Example of Moss Opal Pattern
Moss Pattern








Example of Mackerel Sky Opal Pattern
Mackerel Sky Pattern








Chinese Writing Pattern
Chinese Writing Pattern








Broadflash Pattern
Broadflash Pattern








Example of Rollng Flash Opal Patterns
Rolling Flash Pattern








For more information on opal patterns


  • Rene

    very nice video Justin . some ting nieuwe learned today :-]

  • Abdulla

    Thanks for the lesson 🙂

    • Blackopaldirect

      You are welcome I am glad you enjoyed

  • Ben

    I can prolly guess…but could u rank those according to their value?

  • Blackopaldirect

    I can but the patterns won’t make the value with out other factors like brightness, color type, size and shape. So yes I could with these but another stone with similar pattern will be different again. Confusing I know but opal is just so different every time.