Crystal opals differ from their black opal and white opal siblings in that light and image, both distorted and clear, can travel all the way through the stone. READ MORE
This translucent and sometimes transparent quality to an opal gives the observer the strongest hint that they are viewing a crystal opal.
Many opal fields produce Australian crystal opal. We focus on material from Lightning Ridge and from Andamooka. The Andamooka material has been mostly mined out but sometimes we are offered a parcel from an old mining family which has been held back. Other fields known for crystal include beautiful examples from Coober Pedy and from Mintabie. Crystal Opals vary in body tone and can range from N1 black crystals all the way up to N8. Most of the top, traditional crystal opals will be in the N5-N7 range.
Crystal opal is wonderful to wear as it shows many different personalities depending on the wearer’s skin color, the clothing that the opal jewelry rests on and the way the opal is set.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is crystal opal?
Australian Crystal opal is solid natural opal that is transparent or translucent when held up to a light source. Crystal opal does not have potch present. It normally has a dark or light body tone, however black crystals do exist which have a black body tone.
Is crystal opal a real crystal?
Australian crystal opal is an amorphous crystal. It is described as a crystal opal because it can be transparent like crystal. It does not have a traditional crystalline structure like quartz.
What is the difference between crystal opal and white opal?
Crystal opal is transparent or translucent, white opal is opaque. This difference is described as the opal’s diaphaneity. Crystal opal can be light in bodytone like white opal but can also be found to have a darker bodytone – right down to N1, the darkest of all the body tones.
Is crystal opal valuable?
Crystal opals can be very expensive, particularly the ones from Lightning Ridge as they exhibit a very intense play of color we have termed “3D color on color”. In these exceptional specimens, the color is multidimensional and layered, often double sided across the entire surface of the opal.