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Harlequin Opal: The Rarest Black Opal Pattern of them All

Nowdays we refer to lots of different types of harlequin pattern in opal. It has become a bit of a catchall phrase for great blocks of pattern arranged in a manner pleasing to the eye. Some of the types of harlequin include cloverleaf harlequin, flag harlequin and asteria harlequin.

In this post however I want to give you a treat and show you the rarest of them all – true old fashioned black opal with Harlequin pattern. Justin describes this as being as rare as dinosaur feathers so I’m sure you get the idea that he is not kidding when he says he has seen only a few of these in his lifetime.

So what exactly is old-fashioned harlequin pattern? The easiest way to understand it is to think of a chess board – all black and white squares in a grid pattern. Harlequin is similar but the squares are more diamond shape.  In opals case these black and white squares become squares of color arranged in a predominantly grid pattern. Of course it is never an exact grid, but the color is usually very bright and laid out in blocks. The best stones have a black body tone.

This stone was recently acquired by us and just flew out the door. Some of you may have seen in on Facebook and it is on it’s way to it new home.

1.41ct Harlequin Black Opal



  • Conrad

    Gorgeous stone Justin !

  • Thanks for the great close up, just became my main screen background….drool is right you lucky dog!

  • dan

    Hi, nice stone.would you be interested in seeing a piece like that I have?It is genuine block like that but faint /is it more common if the colors are not so bright?Good for a collector who doesn,t have a harlequin I guess love to look at it and say I got one.

  • Michael Rohman

    Those are beautiful gems! I do have a few harlequin patterned gems, but nothing in that dark a body color and a little less bright, judging from the pictures. I have my best luck in getting a harlequin when I cut Mintabie stones, but then I’ve cut 20 from Mintabie to every 1 from the Ridge. Again, you have made me very envious of you and your opals! I know if I were to ever get to Lightning Ridge I would probably never leave….. I am an Opalaholic!

    • Blackopaldirect

      Hehe I am also an opalholic

  • Terri Sutton

    Absolutely stunning Justin !

  • ivan

    Hi Justin.
    Very beautiful stone.

    I haven’t catched one thing though: was it sold, and if yes, for how much?

  • Khawar

    Hi, I am from Pakistan, Can you please tell me for how much it will cost me . Thanks

  • joe

    Im from Urakastainia. How much does it cost

    • Blackopaldirect

      HI The opal was sold many years ago. Sorry

  • Madge Dong

    This is a beautiful stone. Excellent final polish!