Black opal is principally found at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia. This magnificent gemstone is the most valuable form of opal. It’s dark background color, usually black, blue, brown or gray, sets the spectral colors ablaze much like a storm cloud behind a rainbow. Black Opal is a gemstone that has had an important effect overseas, as a product of Australia. It requires a precise meaning so that the quality of this gem can be meaningfully established.
Light Opal has white or light appearance. It has a light or pale background and often displays red, green and blue pinfire. This is the most abundant and affordable type of opal. It usually origin from South Australian fields though some from other areas.
Crystal opal is transparent and is pure opal (hydrated silica.) It typically has sharp clarity of diffracted color visible from within and on the surfaces of the opal. When held out of the direct light, crystal opal displays some of the most intense opal color. And White opal is the most common type of precious opal and is translucent with a creamy appearance which dominates the diffracted colors. All of the opal fields produce white opal with most of it being mined in Coober Pedy.
Boulder opal is found sparsely distributed over a wide area of Australian ironstone or boulder country where the opal in fills cracks and crevices in the ironstone boulders. Opal bearing boulder is always cut including the host brown ironstone. Boulder opal is in very high demand and extremely precious. Boulder opal is usually cut to the contours of the opal vein creating a baroque wavy surface and is often freeform and irregular in shape, making boulder opal unique and exclusive among its peers.
Boulder Opal from Queensland is declared by many experts to have the most brightness and best appearance of the Australian Opals.
Doublets are made by gluing slices of precious opal to a common opal (potch) backing with blackened cement, usually an epoxy resin. The dark backing enhances the colors of the opal. When the backing is brown ironstone it is often called a boulder doublet.
Thin slice of precious crystal opal glued between crystal cap on top and black backing.
Thin chips of precious crystal opal glued onto black backing, can be used in doublets, triplets or on watch faces.
Small thin pieces of precious crystal opal glued directly into channels in jewellery. Inlay Opals are solid Opals which have been inserted into a piece of jewellery so that the metal surface is level with the surface of the Opal. Inlay Opal can be any type of Opal, but we usually prefer Black, Crystal or Boulder Opal inlay.