Posted on 3 Comments

Australian Boulder Opal

Boulder opal has become a more popular type of opal next to black opal from Lightning Ridge and can reach prices almost as high as black opal. Most boulder opal has an undulating face as the seams are usually not straight. This means the cutting of the boulder opal can be more tiresome and messy if you are looking for symmetrical shapes.  Additionally ironstone when cut is fairly dirty to cut on the wheel and combined with water makes everything including your surrounds turn brown! Boulder opal can be light or dark like black opal and has many variations of body tone.  Some boulder opal can have ironstone in the…

Read More
Posted on Leave a comment

Australian Black Opal

Australian Black Opal comes from Lightning Ridge in the outback of New South Wales,  Australia. Commercially it would produce over 95% of the World’s black opal in terms of quantity and quality. Other Australian opal mining fields produce light or crystal opal. Australian Black Opal from Lightning Ridge is the ‘pinnacle ‘ in terms of price, for all opal. Black Opal forms less than 15% of the total production from Lightning Ridge making it a rare gem in terms of total production. There has been no new discoveries of Australian Black Opal for many years. The bulk of this type of opal is now coming from the most heavily prospected and mined…

Read More
Posted on Leave a comment

Free Form Opal

Free form opal

Free form opal is opal that has been carved or polished to display the beauty of the opals natural state. A free form opal is cut to maximise colour with no specific shape in mind. A free form opal has a distinct rarity value as you will never be able to cut another exact piece. No two pieces of opal are identical. Free form opal can also mean a picture stone can be cut. The photo above is a free-form cut opal named “The Butterfly Wing.” Justin Thomas of Black Opal Direct will happily tell you that since the cutting of this opal another free form opal displaying this natural…

Read More