Natural Black Opals and Opal Jewelry from Australia

Opal Types

Opal Types

Natural Opal - is opal which was formed in natural environment and has not been treated or enhanced in any way other than by cutting and polishing.

Synthetic Opal - is material which has essentially the same chemical composition and physical structure as natural opal but has been made by a laboratory or industrial process. Synthetic opal composites exist as synthetic opal doublets, triplets or mosaics. These must be disclosed as synthetic opal composites.

Imitation Opal - is material which imitates the play of colour of natural opal, but does not have the same physical and chemical structure or gemmological constants as natural opal. Opals are often divided into types based on background color. Some background colors tend to be more prized than others. All other quality factors being equal, many buyers favor the black background color. This is partly because play-of-color tends to stand out attractively against a dark background.

Black Opal

All of the worlds supply of this amazing gem is mined at only two places in the world, Lightning Ridge 95% and Mintabie 5%. Black opal is the most rare and valuable of all opals. It is solid (natural) and generally found as a bar (or bars) of various colours in a dark body (black, blue, brown or grey). Some black opals have a complete rainbow of colours while others have deep blue-green hues. Body tone of black opals is from N1 to N4. Refer to the chart below.
Opals Body Tone
Black Opal AustraliaAustralian Black OpalLightning Ridge Opal
Black opal from Lightning Ridge on the left N2 in body tone and weighing 11.80cts, the opal in the middle is a black crystal opal Translucent, N4 in body tone weighing 1.10cts and the one on the right is a Black Opal N1 in body tone and weighing 1.90cts. There are also black crystal opals. While a true black opal displays sharp brilliant colours on a dark background, in contrast, the black crystal opal is translucent with no traces of black potch on it underside. Its colours are sharp and visible beneath the surface.

Dark Opal

Dark opal is the family of opal which shows a play-of-colour within or on a dark body tone, when viewed face-up and may be designated N5 or N6 using the Scale of Body Tone. See the chart below. The opal on the left is a dark based opal N5 in body tone weighing 9.50cts, the one on the right is a N6 dark based opal, weighing 2.50cts.
Opal Body tone
Dark OpalBlack Opal

Light Opal or Crystal Opal

Light opal is also solid (natural) opal. Lightning Ridge and Coober Pedy are the places where light opal is mined in Australia. Also found in Andamooka and Mintabie but these places hardly produce anymore.
A full range of colours swirls and flashes in the depths of a light opal. The background colour may be white for white opal or light blue for light crystal opal is translucent and shows colours sharp and visible below the surface.
Opal Body Tone

A nice crystal opal, transparent weighing 1.10 cts. Recommended site links for further information on opals ICA - International Colored Gemstone Association  An informative page on Opals. The International Colored Gemstone Association is a non-profit association to represent the international gemstone industry. The American Opal Society The American Opal Society is an non-profit organization, educational in nature, whose primary purpose is promoting interest and knowledge of this precious gem. The Opal Association Non-profit opal industry association in Australia.
Last modified onMonday, 09 March 2015 20:12
Opal Shop

We've been in the opal business since 1989, supplying exporters and retail stores with the best quality Australian (Lightning Ridge) solid Opals. We offer a wide range of opals that came from the best source in the world (Lightning Ridge, Australia - The home of Black Opal) and we offer these opals to you at the most competitive prices. Prices range from as little as $50 up to investment opals worth thousands of dollars. These loose gems are suitable for jewelry, as an investment (in case of more expensive stones) or for your private collection. We offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee so you can search for your special gemstone in our showroom and buy with a peace of mind.

Website: blackopalworld.com
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