White opal is a more common opal heavily marketed in the early days of opal trading, which is what most think about when they think of opal.
White opal has a very light body tone to it giving the opal a white look and appearance. White opal can come in all different colors from blue, green, orange, red etc.… The most expensive color is red, but that doesn’t mean that it is worth more than blue. It depends on its brightness. White opal is a lower quality opal to black opal and crystal opal and even some grey opal.
Most white opal is found in seams or bands in the opal bearing level underground. White opal is mostly found in Coober Pedy, Andamooka in Australia and some of the Grawin fields near Lightning Ridge.
Most white opal is sent to China to be calibrated for opal jewelry so it can be set easily and quickly. Although White opal is a lower grade opal, it has reached prices of around the $1000 per carat on the opal fields.
White opal has a greater chance of making harlequin and ribbon pattern for some unknown reason.
White opal is found in a lot of antique jewellery throughout Europe because of its quantity that came out of the ground in the early days.