Solid black opal is found mainly in Lightning Ridge in Australia. Black opal is a dark-bodied or a dark tint throughout the opal, making the color in the opal bright and beautiful. Solid black opal has been for the last 30 years the most valuable type of opal in the world by a long shot. Not very many types of opal have reached prices per carat up to $20,000 per carat. Other opals that have come close are top gem crystal opals.
Lightning Ridge has supplied the world with 98 per cent of the total black opal that has come out of the ground. The opal field in Lightning Ridge that has produced the most opal was or is the Coocoran opal fields. This opal field produces black nobby opal in large quantities. Other types of opal also come from there as well. Many opal miners live out on the Coocoran field in camps made of tin, sheds, and caravans.
The unbelievable attraction that black opal gives miners and prospectors are like a drug. The amount of time a person with opal fever will spend underground trying to find the elusive black opal is addictive. The one time someone has a tail out with lots of color in it is the time that the miner will see $$$ signs and keep mining till they find more, and then more.
Opal fever is a strange attraction. You live out in the outback of Australia in arid land with nobody around and lots of red dirt, In search of black opal. You burrow underground every day like a mole. And you keep coming back for more.
Black opal is also found in Coober Pedy but only in a tiny patch. Mintabie also has produced black opal but has mostly mined out al long time ago.
A solid black opal comes in all colors, with reds being the most expensive. The colors go from the most costly, red, orange, green, blue and purple, with many colors in between.
Patterns of a solid black opal can range from sheeny pattern to harlequin pattern.
Harlequin pattern is a pattern that looks like checkerboard flakes of color. The colors flakes are square just like a chessboard. Some harlequin black opals have reached prices of up to $20,000 per carat. Some black opals sell for as little as $100.