Boulder Opal red undulate from WintonThe Truth about Opal

Before you even think about buying an opal, it’s good to know the truth about them, because, unlike most gemstones, opal can be presented in a number of different ways that make them either less or more expensive. As well as this, in recent times very clever imitations have been made that you need to know about, so this page is to help you understand these truths so that your investment of time and money is an informed one, and you can know how to obtain and preserve it. Opal Facts are important to know, just like the truth about anything we acquire, whether its a house, a car, a boat, or indeed a wife or husband.  Get to know ‘em first!

Can you wear your opal all the time?

If you are like me [Peter] who never takes his opal ring off, be warned that  after  a few years doing the gardening, your stone is likely to lose its sheen,  and since most of you don’t have the convenience of being able to go into the workshop and bring it back to its original luster, you would be wise to treat your investment with a bit more respect. Sure, you can wear it most of the time. But its better to take it off if there is a chance you will knock it against something hard or abrasive.

Keep in mind that, opal is a rarer stone than most gemstones so  jewelers often don’t get the chance to work with it, and hence don’t have the knowledge of the stone to treat it properly in the manufacturing process. Because opal is rarer and more difficult to find than most gemstones, jewelers often don’t get the chance to work with it, and hence don’t always know the best way of handling it in the setting process. You can overcome this problem by either buying your opal already set, or getting opals.co to set it for you. However, if you do have a family jeweler that you respect, Peter would be happy to give any guidance necessary. Just ask your jeweler if he would like any assistance. There’s no big complication with this, but a few tips can make a big difference in the quality of the setting. As well as this, if you jeweler is not sure about the value of a stone that you may have purchased, we are pleased to help if you send us a picture of your opal. Opal facts are not hard to learn.  Just leave a message at the bottom of this page and we will communicate with you about it.

Some Opal Mining DetailsOpal Windlass at Lightning Ridge opal fields

opal shaft at Yowah
Peter down the shaft at Yowah, 1968

In Australia we are fortunate to have over 90% of the world’s supply, and because it comes from the very dry outback area, Australian opals have a secure reputation.  Opal from some parts of the world [Australia as well] are not so secure and can become unstable in a short time. Our lifetime replacement guarantee will make you feel better about doing business with www.opalmine.com. Of course if you break the stone by dropping it or cracking it against a hard surface, this naturally is different. What we are talking about here is if the stone itself in some way gives way because of being poor quality.

Opal Facts You Should Know Before Buying

Opal: opal is a personality stone. Each one is unique, like you. If you like life and love to wear something different, look no further.

Design: Free jewelry designing service whether you buy from us or not.

Choice: Talk to Peter about your jewelry preferences so that we can suggest something to fit your unique personality.

Fashion: Do you have a fashion idea that you would like to enhance with opal? Talk to us!

Nomenclature: The name “Brusaschi” is a guarantee of quality, and has achieved international respect. Opalmine design works under this umbrella.

Security: You are doing business with a secure site. Your credit details are safe.

Experience: you benefit from our 35 years experience in the opal industry.

Guarantee: Lifetime guarantee on workmanship for your own reassurance.

Learn: Encyclopedia to educate you about your stone

Hobby: Learn how you can cut your own opal in this eBook Opal-An Australian Adventure ($19 value for free for visitors to this site)

Hobby [2]: Find out how to get the raw material that you can develop into a gem

Price: If you have a budget in mind that you can afford please let us know and we will give you some alternatives. There is no obligation to buy. We are pleased to give you the best service possible without obligation.

Urgency:  Sadly, unlike most other gemstones, opal is running out. We encourage you to get one before either they run out or become too expensive.

Give us:  Your design ideas. Use your artistic ability and do us a drawing. We will include it in a contest to win and opal pendant valued at $100.

Your Questions: Any specific questions about opal purchases please Contact Us or take advantage of the blog at the bottom of this page

We Hope this discussion of Opal Facts has helped you in making a decision either about the Opal you already own or the Opal that you want to purchase.  We here at Opalmine are at your service completely free of obligation if you need to know something about opal that we have not already spoken about.

Information for all Opal Lovers

Like most precious gemstones, a lot has been written about opals over the years but opal information is often hard to find. Few reviews have attracted as much attention as this stone which has been closely allied to the continent of Australia. And although it cannot be said that this country is the sole possessor of this remarkable natural wonder, it must be stated that if quantity and quality is the measure, Australia is certainly in a unique position to make such a claim.  Yes, it is reported that over 90% of the world’s opals come from here and because it is such an ancient and dry continent, the location has been kind to us in producing probably the best opal stones on the planet.

But Australia, being such a young continent from a modern history point of view, has not handled its precious possession in a very businesslike fashion.  Opal information for the general community has been sadly lacking.  The south Africans very quickly saw the potential of the diamond, and quickly formed buying and selling cartels, as well as skilled advertising agents to make sure the world soon new that ‘Diamonds are forever’ and… ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.’   It became almost impossible to get married without owning one.  This was brilliant marketing to support a very salable item.

More information needed

But we Australians?  Well… we’ve treated opal pretty much the same way as we treat most things we dig out of the ground down here.  Ship it overseas. And hope that the cash we get for the raw materials will support our economy.  One day we will wake up to the fact that half the continent will have been dug up and transported to Europe, the USA and many other parts of the world, and we will be living in the holes left behind. Opal information along with information on many other gemstone materials can only enhance the appreciation of firstly Australians and then of course the international community which to our shame, knows more about opal than us.

Knowledge of Patterns and Density of Color

Until relatively recently, there was really no nomenclature [naming system] of opals.  The terms used to describe them were made up by the people who dug them.  And the price was established by supply and demand, much like any other commodity.  In recent times this has changed by the effort made to name the different types of opal. See Opal Nomenclature.  But, in the opinion of this author, the creators of this naming system have not gone far enough to explain opals.  It’s one thing to describe the different types of opal.  Quite another to come up with an explanation to all the different patterns that present themselves within those categories.

This matter will be discussed later in this presentation, but for the time being, the following guide is an attempt to describe opal in layman’s terms, and although admittedly imperfect, it is hoped it will make the online community more aware of this wonderful gem.  At the bottom of just about every page on this site there is a provision for you to either ask questions or make some comments, so please take advantage of that.

Along with that, we have a brand new feature connecting us to PINTEREST which is a marvelous online picture network that allows you to both post your own favorite pictures, share them with your friends and others and pin other members pictures to your own board.Take a look at our comments about Pinterest on this site which covers a lot about the opal industry but many other interesting things as well including wise sayings, interesting items, hobbies and nature pictures.

There are so many varieties of opal to choose from and there are so many ways in which the stone can be displayed. These pendants are set in such a way as to appeal to a very broad variety of tastes. Some people like just plain designs, featuring the stone itself.  Others like jewelry that is more complex and intricate.

Opal Information In Stages

What you are about to experience is a basic presentation of opal facts, opal information. We have a much larger consideration of the subject published in the eBook mentioned above. There is also a movie on the subject here. Available free for the time being for visitors to this site. However for most, it will suffice to get to know about the opal as a casual matter of interest or to make a buying decision. It will allow you to know what you are buying and how to look after it.  Please take advantage of the blog at the end of this page if you would like further information.

11 Responses to “Opal facts”

  1. CC Mott

    I inherited an australian black opal triplet 24mm x 33mm.
    I would like to find out the worth before I try to have it set into a piece of jewelry.
    Can you help?

    Reply
    • admin

      Dear CC. Thats a very large opal. I would need to see a picture of it to give you a better idea but if its a high grade color it could be worth around $500 retail, but the price goes down drastically depending on the color. So i would say the opal would be worth anywhere between $100 and $500 depending, as i said on the brightness of the color. Hope that works CC. best wishes, Peter

      PS. you can always take a good look at the opal triplets on this site and this will give you a bit of an idea of values.

      Reply
  2. SHERYL BAXTER

    I was given 2 white opals by my mother , she told me that were Crystal opals . Iwould dearly love to have these valued but live in Kalgoolrie W.A6430. Cant seem to find anyone here that knows how to value them. If you could help me with this it would be great. Regards Sheryl Baxter

    Reply
  3. Christina

    I really like this opal its red and orange with other colors mixed in with it and it 20mm x18 mm, how much is it worth?

    Reply
  4. cath

    i bought a opal pendent 5 years ago from someone on ebay ,she swore it was black opal ,i bought it cos i liked it ,it has a oval stone then 3 drops of opal.how can i tell if its opal.

    Reply
    • admin

      Cath, you will have to get a good close up picture of it so that i can give an opinion. if you want to learn a little about opal photography, just click here there seems to be a problem with one of the graphics on this page but just go down the page further and you will see some comments on how to photograph opal. let me know how you go. peter

      Reply
      • admin

        OK Cath, just follow through on my recent comments about opal photography.

        Reply
  5. cath

    ps its encased in silver, the stone look mosake and greens and blues, bottom droplets are blue ,

    Reply
  6. Lynn Patton

    I was told that an opal had to be oiled every so often. If this is true what oil do I use and how often?

    Reply
    • Peter

      Lyn for some reason i didnt get your question. the answer is no, you dont have to oil opal. If its an Australian opal you dont have to worry at all except if you break it against something hard so dont wear it in the garden. but if its from other areas if its going to break it will break by itself no matter what you put on it. hope that helps. peter

      Reply

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