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Some things you need to know about opal types

Black Opal

Black opal is the most rare and valuable of all the opal types in the world. It is only found in very few pockets at either ends of the earth. Mostly black opal is found in a little town called Lightning Ridge in the outback of Australia.  The black opal is the rarest because of its phenomena of a dark bodytone which we call black potch. The black potch is what forms naturally on the precious opal color to give it its bright vibrance and rarity.

Black Opal Chinese Writing pattern from Lightning Ridge
Black opal picture stone from a family collection

 Crystal Opal

Crystal opal is the second most rare opal type with its clearer appearance. Unlike black opal the crystal opal has no potch and can be classed as transparent or glassy. The colorplay can be very bright but light does not get trapped in the gem like the black opal. It travels through making the gemstone clearer and sometimes less vibrant.

The value differences between the two types can be a bit in favor of black opal but as always the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Watch the video to get a clearer picture of the differences.

Please comment below and do tell your favorite type of opal?

  • vicki Mclaughlin

    HI I have some opal in rough and would like to have it made into a stone. I would like to also learn how to but no tools or know how. Where are you?
    Vicki