Opal Jewellery Advice
- Where does Opal come from?
- What is Opal?
- Types of Opal
- What to look for when buying Opal jewelry
- How to care for your Opal
- How to clean your Opal jewelry
Opal jewelry information including advice about choosing opals, buying opals, opal types and caring for opals. This opal advice also includes opal jewelry information about black opal, crystal opal, solid opal, doublet opal, opal inlay and other opal jewelry.
Opals are one of the world's most beautiful gems. The most appealing aspect of Opals is their vast array of colors and patterns. Opals, more so than any other gem, come in varying colors, qualities and types. To help understand what type of Opal is best for you, have a look at the following information about Opals.
- Black Opals come from mainly from Lightning Ridge (New South Wales - Australia)
- Boulder Opal comes mainly from Quilpie (Queensland, Australia)
- Crystal & White/Milk Opal comes mainly from Coober Pedy & Mintabie (South Australia)
Solid black Opal
Black opal pendant Gillett's black Opal products
Black OpalBlack Opal is considered the most valuable and expensive of Opals. It has a dark background color when viewed from above. Black opal stones that have a dominance of intense red color are the most expensive. The brighter and sharper the colors, the more valuable the Opal. Click here to see Gilletts black Opal jewelry
Crystal OpalCrystal Opal is transparent or extremely translucent and has a variety of diffracted colors. As crystal Opal is transparent, a black backing can be placed behind the Opal to allow the bright natural colors of the Opal to appear. Some of the most appealing Opals are crystal Opals. We offer many crystal Opals for their variety of sublte colors.
Boulder OpalBoulder Opal is a solid Opal which consists of a fine layer of natural Opal which has formed naturally on ironstone rock. Boulder Opal from Queensland is declared by many experts to have the most brightness and best appearance of the Australian Opals.
White or Milky OpalWhite or Milky Opal is the most common of all Opal. It has a light or pale background and often displays red, green and blue pinfire.
Solid OpalSolid Opals are one piece of solid Opal which are cut with a smooth rounded surface (Cabochon cut) rather than a faceted surface. Solid Opals are generally more valuable and expensive than doublet and triplet Opals as they contain a higher carat weight of Opal.
Inlay OpalInlaid Opals are solid Opals which have been inserted into a piece of jewelry so that the jewelry metal surface is level with the surface of the Opal. Inlaid Opal can be any type of Opal, but we usually prefer Black, Crystal or Boulder Opal inlay.
Doublet OpalDoublet Opals are Opals which when found are not thick enough to be cut as solid Opals. Our doublet Opals are made using a layer of colorful precious Opal with either common Opal (less colorful) or ironstone (the stone in which Opal is found) attached to the back. We mainly use boulder doublet Opals, because Boulder Opals are extremely bright, attractive and offer a wide variety of colors. Boulder Opal also naturally occurs in thin layers attached to ironstone. Good doublet Opals are very colorful and appealing and are a great alternative for people looking for an attractive piece of Opal jewelry without spending the price demanded by solid Opals.
TripletTriplet Opal consists of three layers, a thin layer of precious Opal, a thicker quartz layer placed on top of the Opal, and an ironstone or common Opal back. As triplet Opals consist of the least carat weight of Opal they are generally priced significantly lower than solid and doublet Opals. We generally prefer to offer only solid and doublet Opals for their higher quality.
When buying your Opal or Opal jewelry you should first consider the combination of the Opal's type, size, brilliance, color and pattern. As with any gems, there are trade offs that have to be made, and once you choose the type and quality of Opal, it usually comes down to simply choosing a color of Opal that you find attractive and that meets your budget. Click here to see Gillett's Opal jewelry.
Type & Background color : The type and size of Opal are the primary factors in determining the value of Opals. Gem quality black Opal commands the highest prices per carat weight. Black Opal, which has a dark background, is more valuable than crystal Opal, which in turn is generally more valuable than white/milky Opal.
Size : With all other factors held constant, the larger the Opal the more valuable. As with other gems such as diamonds and sapphires, Opals are measured in carats.
Brilliance: The degree of brightness is of paramount importance. The more vibrant the colors in an Opal, the greater its value will be. A dull stone with many or all colors will be less valuable than an Opal with a single, vibrant color.
Color : Generally, the more colors in an Opal the more valuable. The dominant colors of fire in an Opal have value in the order of red, orange yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
Pattern : good patterns of colors together with brilliance have a large effect on the value and appeal of Opals. Broad patterns or large flashes are more valuable than pinfire and small types of pattern. Distinct patterns such as harlequin, rolling flash, jigsaw, block and ribbon are very rare. Again, in the end it comes down to what you find appealing. Click here to see Gilletts Opal jewelry.