Quick facts about Opal

There is so much to learn about opal and in a world of overload we though you would apprecieate some dot points and quick facts.

  • Top gem Crystal opal is a very undervalued type of opal and is becoming as rare as top black opal.
  • A 5 carat black opal is a great size for mens ring
  • Freeform opal has the ability to give a jeweller the poetic licence to design some of the most amazing organic jewellery pieces every known in the gemstone world.
  • The most rare and valuable of all the opal color combinations is red and blue together
  • Harlequin pattern is the most valuable and rare type of pattern there is and it refers to a type of pattern repeating itself across the face of an opal consistently.
  • Did you know that most black opal is found between 1 foot and 150 foot underground in Lightning Ridge
  • The Orion Queen was one of the largest black opals ever cut by Jurgen Thomas. It was eventually broken in a safe door when it was closed on it.
  • All opal in Australia is found around the edges of the Ancient Inland Sea.
  • Most people who have heard of opal only know white opal or triplets
  • Opal from Lightning Ridge comes in two main forms. Seam opal and Nobby opal. Both can produce very fine black opal.
  • 95% of the world black opal supply comes from Lightning Ridge
  • Ethiopian opal is a great advertisement for the the better quality Australian opal.
  • Cerium oxide is one if the best polishing compounds when polishing opal
  • The new Nova diamond wheels are a cleaner faster way to cut opals.
  • opals have more colors than any other gemstone in the world.
  • Did you know that opal is in the hardness range between 5.5 – 6.5
  • Opal is best cut as a cabochon to show the best colorplay
  • Opal silica spheres need to be of the same size and stacked neatly to make precious colorplay in opal.
  • Opals can sometimes be double sided with different color on each side. This makes a very unique gemstone