What does a top gem black opal look like?

In the time I have been dealing in opals from Lightning Ridge I have seen some pretty amazing gemstones.

Gem Black Opal from Lightning Ridge

But the term “top gem” has become a bit overused in recent times, don’t you think? eBay is awash with statements proclaiming to have the best opal ever – “museum-grade”, they like to say. Many who have drunk a bit too much PR cool-aid also use the word liberally  – and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it too!

So in an age of overuse, is there such a thing as top gem black opal? What does it look like? Here are the top four attributes.

  1. Natural – not treated
  2. Sedimentary (as opposed to xxx) also talk about hardness in comparison
  3. Defined pattern
  4. Bright colour – dominant blues and reds

I wanted to make this post to get an idea of what the best opal color is out there. If you can afford ones like the ones I am displaying here, that is a luxury most don’t get to experience. And you get to see the benchmark for opal so you can compare and see what your up against. Black opal IS the best in the world, but it has to be untreated and natural. For the most part, it also needs to be sedimentary opal.

Top Gem Black Opal by Black Opal Direct

Top Black Opal

The best of all, the black opal color combinations is blue and red color combined. Blue and red are at the end of the spectrum hen Silica spheres are stacked in a gem-quality opal.

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