Opal Information

When we delve into opal information, we enter a world of stunning visual charm. Opals are one of nature's most splendid gemstones, known around the globe for their diverse patterns and mesmerising play of colour. Let's dive into the captivating story of this beautiful gem.

Firstly, I think it is very important when it comes to opal information that you know the difference between what a solid opal it v's composite opals. Also known as doublets and triplets. A solid opal is 100% natural. A doublet is a slice of opal with a backing glued onto the back. A triplet is similar to a doublet but it has a glass dome glued onto the front (the opal is sandwiched between the backing and glass done). To find out more about these composite opals click here.

Opals carry a significant amount of opal history, with the earliest known opals found in Kenya dating back to around 4,000 BC. This beautiful gemstone was cherished even in ancient Rome, where it was known as "Opalus", which translates to “precious stone”.

Opals have been used for millennia by royals. To find out some of the jewellery used by royals, including opal jewellery click here 

Another exciting piece of opal information revolves around the discovery of opal fossils. As organic material is replaced by silica, opal fossils are formed. They offer a remarkable glimpse into the ancient world, preserving details of creatures that lived millions of years ago.

When it comes to significant opal fields, Australia undoubtedly stands tall. 90% of the world's opals used to come from this continent (however, this is changing due to the discovery of new Ethiopian opal fields). The opal fields in places like Coober Pedy, Mintabie, and Andamooka are renowned for contributing to global opal production.

Other countries, like Ethiopia and Mexico, also have opal deposits.  Mexican fire opals, for instance, are revered for their vividly orange-red hues. The crystal opal of Ethiopian opals, likewise, are impressive however, we need to be careful of the stability (they can dry-out an crack). To see a list of all the countries that have mined opal over the years click here.

Opals present an attractive spectrum of color, but did you know this is due to their unique internal structure? Tiny spheres of silica arrange themselves into ordered patterns within an opal, which causes it to diffract light and create the brilliant spectacle we love.

And amidst this opal information, a fact that's too significant to miss is about opal patterns. Unique to each gemstone, these patterns include pinfire, floral, harlequin, and others. Each pattern is unique and contributes a different charm to the opal.

It’s interesting to note that there’s no single way to gauge an opal's value. Various factors come into play when judging how opal is valued, including the type of opal, its color, pattern, brightness, and size. If you would like to read what Geoff the Co-owner of the Brisbane Opal Museum and AustralianOpalJewellery.com.au says about Opal Value then click here.

Precious opals, such as black opals, are considered the most valuable. They showcase an incredible display of colours, with dominant blue or green hues making them particularly desirable.

The value of an opal is also highly influenced by its color play. A single-color precious opal is worth less than one displaying a variety of colors. A broad and intense play-of-color can significantly enhance an opal's value.

The brightness of an opal is another essential factor in how opal is valued. An opal that radiates intense color and vibrancy even in low light is highly sought after and hence more expensive.

Also, let’s not forget opal's size. Generally, the larger the stone, the more valuable it is, given that the other factors (color, pattern, and brightness) are constant.

Typically, the pattern of the opal influences its value too. Unique and rare patterns like the harlequin or flagstone significantly increase an opal's worth.

Now, moving forward with more fascinating opal information: Do you know that people born in October have the privilege of having opal as their birthstone? It's a gem that signifies purity, hope, and innocence.

Opals have captivated various cultures with their mystical allure. In Australia's Aboriginal Dreamtime legend, opals are believed to originate from footsteps of the Creator as he descended on a rainbow to bring peace to all.

Notably, opals came in fourth – after diamonds, rubies, and sapphires – in a 2007 Amnesty International report investigating human rights abuses in the gem industry. Opals pose a lesser risk, making them a more ethically conscious choice. 

In summary, opal information is as enchanting as the gem itself. From its fascinating history and unique formation to the multicolored splendor it radiates, there's no denying the allure of opals. Whether you're a casual gem admirer or a dedicated gemologist, the world of opals never ceases to imbue enchantment and fascination.

One question I sometime here is how to identify common opal.