Black Opal from Lightning Ridge featuring orange red with green-blue
Lightning Ridge Black opal

Opal Picture guide  Visit the opalmine shop here

This guide  will help identify the different types and show how to recognize them. We first start with Lightning Ridge Black Opal.

Black Opal when found with a natural black or dark background is called ‘black opal’. This background can range from pitch black to grey giving the stone are dark-ish appearance and when seen from the top is opaque [Not allowing light to pass through]. It is the dark background which allows the brilliant colors. Black opal can be any color. The specimen pictured has a dominant color of blue. It is approximately 1-1/2 cm in length.[This particular stone has now sold].

 

crystal opal carving from Lightning ridge featuring green-blue
crystal opal carving from Lightning Ridge

Dark Opal Dark opal is found on most fields. It’s background color ranges from grey to near black.. Black opals are in the same family as Dark opals (also opaque- not allowing light to pass through). They are just dark opals with a blacker background. As the background of this stone becomes lighter and grayer it gets closer to light opal and its sometimes difficult to decide whether a dark opal should be categorized as dark or light. It’s often in the eye of the beholder.

 

The Difference between Lightning Ridge and Boulder black opal

Light and Dark Boulder Opal from Winton Australia
Example of contrasting colors in boulder opal
Black Boulder Opal unset stone with dramatic reds
Brilliant red blue green boulder opal

Boulder Opal
A form of black or dark opal although it must be said that there are light colored boulder opals as well as dark and black. Boulder opals are still attached to the mother rock that they were born in. The latest Opal Nomenclature identifies Boulder opal as being black opal as well. The term ‘black opal’ does not identify the origin of the stone but rather its appearance.

 

Boulder opals often have the same dense color as Lightning Ridge stones and hence are placed in the category of Black Opals.  Most (but not all) boulder opals have flat tops and stones from Lightning Ridge are often high domed. However Boulders often have more denseness and brilliance than gems from Lightning Ridge at a more competitive price. Boulder gems often have ironstone inclusions in the foreground which reduces their price but in the opinion of many, add to the personality of the stone. Video of high grade black boulder opal

 

Yowah-nut-boulder-opalYowah opal:  This is a variety of boulder opal that comes in the form of small ‘nut-like’ lumps that, when cut, have layers of ironstone mixed with color and sometimes, rarely, a kernel of precious opal. These beautiful pieces are collectors items, each one totally unique in the world. examples shown here.

Boulder Opal specimen with mainly green features
Boulder Opal specimen

Opal Picture guide: Boulder Opal Specimen

From the Quilpie opal fields in western Queensland. Often these specimens are left exactly as they have been found in the ground and are used for display purposes in people’s gemstone collections. Because Boulder opal, as far as we know, i only found in one place on the planet, that is Queensland, Australia, you can imagine that specimens like this are in high demand

 

Boulder Opal split face specimens showing unusual pink green patterns
Five chunks of boulder opal split from one large piece

Split faced boulder As the title indicates, this is a boulder opal that has been split along the vein of color, resulting in two identical pieces, one concave and one convex. This amazing natural appearance results in an identical pair that can be used as earrings if they are small enough or for specimen collectors. This pair comes into the second category as they would be a bit much to wear on the ears.

Boulder opal abstract picture stone from Australia
Interesting lines of color in boulder opal

Opal Picture guide: Boulder opal Abstracts
(this is our terminology and is not an official description) but we feel that it best       describes the endless varieties of these unusual opals often call ‘fun stones’, an expression that really doesn’t tell you anything about what they are. Take a look here at our gallery of picture stones, if you have not already done so.

White Opal Koala Carving from Coober Pedy
Koala carving from solid white opal
Indian chief opal carving from boulder opal
boulder opal Indian chief
Boulder Opal Turtle carving from Quilpie, Australia
Boulder opal Turtle

Opal Picture guide: Opal Carvings
As the term suggests, opal, both boulder ironstone and white or black opal is often used to carve figurines

Boulder opal collectors item-pair of sheep
Opal ‘pair of sheep’
Boulder Opal specimen-Giraffe skin
Giraffe skin
Opal Picture stone collection - the prawn
“The Shrimp”
Opal specimen bird of paradise
Opal ‘bird’
Opal Picture stone specimen
‘the Slipper’
Black Opal picture stone drop
Rainbow drop
Boulder Opal picture stone cascade
Opal Cascades

Picture Stones
have received this name because from time to time as an opal is opened up from inside a boulder opal (particularly) or a black opal, something comes out that amazingly looks like an item from nature, such as an animal, a rainbow, a bird, a fish, etc. the variety is endless.

A rose carved from a chunk of opaque white opal from Coober Pedy
the Opal Rose

White Opal  A solid opal with an opaque [non see-through] light background. White opal is often called milk opal because of its light appearance. Crystal opal is of the same family but it is more translucent and sometimes transparent whereas the color of white opal is on the surface. This type of opal can appear in all fields but Coober Pedy is famous for it. Some people prefer the more delicate, less dramatic appearance of the white opal.  Crystal opal holds a certain fascination because the eye is able to look deep into the stone and gaze at its internal mysteries.

Opal crystal from Coober Pedy
Opal crystal
Opal Jelly crystal from Lightning Ridge
Jelly crystal

Light Opal crystal (sometimes called ‘jelly’ opal) This type of opal does not have a dark or black background and hence has a more delicate, less dramatic appearance because the surface is not opaque and the light is able to shine either right through the stone, or at least INTO it

 

 

 

Dark Opal from Coober Pedy
Dark Opal
Dark Opal from Coober Pedy opal fields
Large slab of Dark Opal

   Dark Opal Crystal    This is when the crystal opal has a darker appearance within it’s body. Dark opal describes the in-between status of the stone. Its not white opal and its not black opal, its a progression between the two types. This illustrates the marvelous complexity of the opal stone and the difficulty we have in arriving at accurate definitions. When its all boiled down, opal is at the mercy of the beholder. What appeals to one person will not be as appealing to another. But isn’t that what life is all about? We are open to choices.

 

Opal specimen from Coober Pedy opal fields
Andamooka “Painted Lady”

Andamooka Painted Lady This stone is what could be called the South Australian ‘boulder opal’. Not because it is boulder ironstone but because it comes in large chunks like boulder and is often split out of the ground along the lines of color. It is pale in appearance but sometimes has some dark potch in the background of the color which gives it an attractive feature and is another example of a type of black opal because any opal with a black background is in this category.

 

Opal Mosaic Turtle
Opal Mosaic turtle brooch
Opal Mosaic calibrations
18×13 mm mosaics

Mosaic Opal
The previously described opals are all naturally formed. Mosaic opal is created by a skilled artist who assembles the small pieces of natural opal into a mosaic pattern. These Slivers of genuine opal are assembled into an irregular tiled pattern with rivers of black potch framing each unique opal tile. Mosaic opals make stunning stones for all types of jewelry and allow the jeweler to include a wide range of colors within an affordable piece. This assembly of small opal pieces is not to be confused with the Harlequin opal which features squarish spangles of color appearing naturally in the opal face. It is the rarest and most expensive opal.

Boulder Opal matrix from Yowah
Yowah matrix
yowah matrix unset opal
Yowah Matrix
Yowah nut unset opal
‘eye’ of opal
green boulder matrix from Winton, Australia
green opal matrix
Pair of boulder opals for earrings
Boulder pair
Yowah matrix pair
matrix specimens

Matrix Opal This type of opal comes in two categories namely:

 

Boulder opal fish carving
Fish carving

Boulder Matrix which is a completely natural stone made up of boulder ironstone with flecks of precious opal showing throughout the stone. These come in endless varieties from Winton to Yowah and Koroit. Usually found in association with boulder opal which tends to have larger faces of opal found in veins, whereas the matrix opal color is scattered throughout the body of the mother ironstone. These amazing opals come in such variety and are much sought after by opal collectors.

 

andamooka matrix opal -South Australia
Large Andamooka Matrix Specimen

Andamooka Matrix is a natural stone that, when it comes out of the ground is quite pale in appearance. By impregnating it with a black carbon process, the stone turns dark and when cut and polished, takes on the appearance of black opal. However, keep in mind that even though the stone is natural, there is a man made treatment involved which has to be stated at point of sale.

Opal Doublet parcel from Coober Pedy
Doublet parcel
Red free-form doublet parcel -  Coober Pedy
Red doublets
opal triplets calibrated
calibrated triplets

Composite Opals
Are natural opals that have been assembled with a dark or black background that is cemented in place so that the stone takes on the appearance of black opal. Opal is one of the only stones that can cater both for someone who can afford a large amount of money or someone who only has a few dollars. Composite opals such as doublets, triplets, and mosaics are still real opals and can be stated as such with the qualification that they have been assisted by man with the installation of a dark backing, or in the case of triplets, with a crystal protective cap as well.  for further general research on gemstones click here

 

We hope that you have benefited by this picture guide to the opal.

 

95 Responses to “Opal Picture guide”

  1. CJ Marie

    My mother wore this ring for about twenty years that I can remember almost all the time. What do I use to clean; you can see dirt around one of the side prongs (looks like triangle with prong going through center). The opal measures approximately 12mm x 5mm and is about 4mm high. Thank you!

    Reply
    • CJ Marie

      Reading through realize pics might not be close enough so here is another set. The pinking purple pic is with the flash on. No idea what this opal is or where mother acquired, just that she loved it and wore it almost always.

      Reply
    • admin

      Claude: A beautiful crystal opal, probably from the Lightning Ridge opal mines in western NSW. It looks like one of the prongs has been pushed to the side. it shouldn’t be difficult to straighten out. to clean, just pour some wash up detergent over it with a little water and give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush. that should do the trick. Hope that helps! best wishes, Peter

      Reply
  2. Maurizio Brunelli

    Dear Sirs, we are looking for solid opals,small size ( 4-8mm ).Cut:rectangular,trilliant,round. 20-30 pices each order. Colour( very important !!!! ):like your picture in your site ” doublet parcel” we mean: intense blue Crystal. Best regards MB

    Reply
    • admin

      Maurizio, unfortunately we are out of small doublets at present and the crystals we have of course are not dark in color but are nice bright crystal stones. we have them in 3 and 4mm. let me know if you want to see some pictures. i will send you an email to make contact and will let you know when we have another batch of doublets. thanks for inquiring, peter

      Reply
  3. T G P

    I am interested in you cutting my rough opal into gem pieces. How may I contact you ?

    Reply
    • admin

      Sorry, didn’t get your name. no problems regarding rough. i will send you an email to make contact. Peter

      Reply
    • admin

      opal back is not obvious enough to tell. Sorry Robin, thats the best i can say.

      Reply
  4. Robin Campbell

    marginally better quality photo this time – apologies for the first!

    Reply
  5. Robin Cmpbell

    Peter – cracking website. so informative – thank you! I’ve got a Percy Marks stick pin in the family, which I believe may be black opal. Any guidance you can provide would be well received! the stone itself is about 1.3cm x 0.8cm. maybe 0.3cm deep. From the front, the stone has an almost uniform green/blue ‘flash’, but viewed through the backside of the stone is a muted purplish pink – will send pictures through!
    Keep up the good work! Best regards
    Robin

    Reply
    • admin

      Robin its difficult to see whether its a solid opal or a doublet. its pretty well impossible unless its taken out of its setting. If it is opal it could either be a doublet or a solid black or boulder opal.

      Reply
  6. Heidi

    Hi peter here is some new clear photos. i wonder if this opal is worth something and what kind of boulder opal it is, thanks. here is one of the opal

    Reply
  7. Heidi

    Hi! I got this boulder opal from my grandmother before she past away, She did buy it in austrailia about 40-50 years ago. the smaller opal weight is 0,330 gram.
    i wounder how much this stone is worth, thanks.

    Reply
  8. sophie

    hello, I recently received this opal pendant as a gift and I have no idea what kind of opal it is. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • admin

      Sophie, i cant really tell by looking at the picture but it looks like its from the Coober Pedy field in Australia. Its a really interesting opal with striped pattern.

      Reply
    • admin

      Rob, regarding your opal, i will ask our site manager to find out why you could not post it. the program is supposed to reduce the size automatically. in the meantime i will send you an email and explain how you can reduce the size. Peter

      Reply
  9. Frank Griffin

    A few years ago I purchased some opal still in the matrix from an old collector. I ground away the matrix with a flex shaft tool. Most was light blue, but this one piece was different. I hand lapped and polished it. I don’t think I have polished it to it’s full potential, but I am really afraid to go further myself. ( I work mainly in agate). What is it, and is it worth have a professional cutter look at it to see if the polish can be improved? I left the matrix on the back, it is light colored.

    Reply
    • admin

      Frank, this is a typical example of a black or dark opal from the Mintabie opal field in South Australia, north of the Coober Pedy mine. Its a lovely piece. just clean the back up a bit but dont cut it two thin. its perfectly ok to leave the white sandstone type material on the back as long as you clean it back to reasonably smooth. no need to put a high polish on it. not sure of the quality of your polish on the front but you will need to finish it off with a paste of cerium oxide. if you need some help with cutting click here the color looks to be worth in the vicinity of three to four hundred dollars per carat. not sure of the weight but if that is a dime coin next to it, its probably around 7 carats. so it could be worth around $3000 cant tell exactly. Hope that helps. peter

      Reply
  10. Jacqui

    Hi – have had this ring for about 15 years, apparently set by my Nan in around 1970 from a Coober Pedy opal my Dad sent her when he was living there…any insights as far as the value goes? I know it’s probably hard to tell just from a picture but I noticed how helpful you’ve been with other commenters and thought it worth a go! It’s set in 14k gold. Thanks :)

    Reply
    • admin

      Jacqui, it sure is a nice piece. Probably crystal opal from Andamooka in South Australia. From the picture it looks like its a doublet because most Andamooka opal is crystal and hence more pale, unless its an Andamooka black opal. Cant really tell from the picture. if you look at the back and its either a grey or black color, its more than likely a doublet and would be worth around $1500. If its a black opal its worth more like $5000 but i doubt it. Hope that helps. Peter
      PS. Jacqui, if you get some time please Please follow and rate opalmine by clicking here
      Or paste this into your browser:
      https://plus.google.com/102995504959810313699/about?hl=en

      It helps us continue this free service. best wishes

      Reply
  11. Leslie Eguchi

    Hello. I found your site after I took this photo a ring that was my Grandmother’s for a photo project. I realized I really don’t know much about the ring, how old, what kind of opals, etc. I do know it is quite old but that’s about it. I just love this ring and would love any information you might be able to provide.
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • admin

      Leslie, the opal ring you sent a picture of is a cluster of solid white or crystal opals from the Coober Pedy field in South Australia. I cant tell you the age of the ring but nowadays it would sell retail possibly for around $500 to $700 in my opinion. Hope that helps, peter

      Reply
  12. Rick Wilkerson

    Chanced upon your site while searching for a way to safely clean Opal jewelry. Learned a Lot… Outstanding site. I read many of the comments back and forth and must say that you do a wonderful job of assisting your contacts. I will be checking in every once in a while and will probably become a customer. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise in such a down to earth manner. Easily understood and extremely helpful.

    Reply
    • admin

      Re: Opal jewelry cleaning. Rick thanks so much for your encouraging words. Not enough of it in this world!! Pleased to help if i can. Rick if you get a chance sometime please give us a rating and a follow as below:
      paste this into your browser:
      https://plus.google.com/102995504959810313699/about?hl=en

      It just helps us in the search engines. very best wishes, peter

      Reply
  13. Mandy

    Hi, I tried to match this with all opals, not quite sure what type is this, the fire rolling all over the top is quite amazing. I know it’s an opal, just no idea what type. Please help!

    Reply
    • admin

      Mandy the opal face is not clearly seen but it could be a treated opal from Andamooka in south Australia. They come out of the ground a pale color and after carbon treatment they take on a black opal appearance. Thats the best i can say without a clearer picture. hope that helps, peter

      PS.Please go to https://plus.google.com/102995504959810313699/about?hl=en and give us a follow and rating. it helps us continue with this free service. thanks Mandy

      Reply
      • Mandy

        You guys are fantastic, thanks so much! What about this one, same or black opal?

        Reply
        • admin

          Mandy this looks like a high qualiy black opal from Lightning Ridge. Of course i cant tell without having it outside its setting but i am pretty sure it is. Its very high quality and could be worth in the vicinity of $1000. Incidentally, to help our site so that we can continue giving this free service please go to: https://plus.google.com/102995504959810313699/about?hl=en and give us a follow and a rating. it helps us in the search engines. very best wishes, peter

          Reply
  14. Chad

    Hello,
    This opal ring has been in the family for quite some time. It’s flat cut on top, slightly ruff and is an older setting that may be from the 1930’s (?). I have never had anyone look at it. It’s quite large – 3 cm x 1.5 cm. My mother wore this as a cocktail ring. Can you tell me anything about it? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • admin

      Chad, it sure is an amazingly large opal. its difficult to tell what type of opal it is but by the color and the shape, it seems to be a boulder opal, from either the Quilpie or Winton area in western Queensland. I would say, if the setting is 14 or 18k gold, it would be worth around $3000 retail. If its silver or silver gold plated you could reduce that by around $500. This is only an approximate without actually seeing the ring. Hope that helps. Best wishes Chad. Peter

      Reply
  15. Arlene

    IM sorry, do you mean the color fades after it’s removed from the water? If so, it looks like it fades slightly and then does return when dry.

    Reply
  16. Arlene

    Thank you. I received this ring in new condition about 1 month ago. When I put it under water, the color actually increases. Especially the red/orange.

    Reply
    • admin

      regarding opal color. dont know Arlene. i have no experience with hydrophane opal. but if the color comes back, thats great!

      Reply
    • admin

      Arlene, this is not a triplet. its a very beautiful solid opal crystal. other comments below

      Reply
  17. Arlene

    Thank you Peter. I have only had this ring about a month, I noticed yesterday that when I run my nail across the surface, I can feel some fine “scratches” … I am worried about the fragility. But I also want to wear it as much as I can, while taking the best care of it. Can you give me any advice? Ideally, the only time I will remove it is at work because of hygiene (I’m a nurse) … also I often use alcohol based hand sanitizer and wash my hands many times throughout the day. Will this harm the stone? I am attaching some more pictures so that you can see how high the dome is. Also, the picture from underneath — can you tell if this is a solid stone and not a triplicate? Thank you so much. And how do I clean it? I also have another milkier white oval pendant opal that is about 100 years old, I want to be able to take the best care of these opals as they are my birthstone, as well as my daughters, they will be hers one day. Thank you for your help in sharing your expertise and knowledge. Arlene

    Reply
    • admin

      Its a solid opal Arlene, but i am not sure of the origin of the stone. If you put it in water and the color fades, it will be an Ethiopian opal so you have to take extra care of it. they are called hydrophane opals. they say the color returns when it dries out but i would be careful. how long have you had it? that will give me a clue because these type of opals have only been sold in the last 5 years or so commercially. Australian opal is not effected by water or just about anything else but its always wise to be a bit careful wearing expensive rings of any kind in work situations. you can easily dislodge a claw and lose a stone.

      Reply
  18. Arlene

    Can you please help me identify the type of opal my ring is and where it came from?

    Reply
    • admin

      Arlene this is a really nice high domed crystal opal ring probably originating from either the cooper pedy or lightning ridge opal fields. orange-green. Of course without analyzing it properly, this is the best i can say. it could come from somewhere else as well, but that’s my opinion. Let me know if i can help further. but hope that gives you an idea, Best regards, Peter

      Reply
  19. Mick

    Hello I brought an opal and tested it under a black light (ultra violet light) after I turned the light off the stone continued to glow for a few seconds after. Is this normal or could it be a fake?

    Reply
  20. luke s

    hi peter is this a boulder opal? I have others I took pics of too but you only allow one photo to be uploaded! will post a few more after this

    Reply
    • admin

      Luke, Yes, this is a boulder opal probably from the Winton field, western Queensland but of course it could also come from Quilpie or Koroit.

      Reply
    • admin

      the picture is too dark to identify it but i have tried to lighten it and it looks like a very large crystal opal. i would guess that it could be from Africa although it could come from and of the australian fields as well. difficult to tell its value without much better pictures.

      Reply
    • admin

      “opal picture” not good enough to identify it accurately but it looks like a very large piece of crystal opal probably from Africa but it could come from any of the Australian fields as well.

      Reply
  21. admin

    without me actually seeing and feeling it there is no way of telling but by the look of it its definitely a real opal and i would say its from Ethiopia. Just soak it in water and if it loses its color i am right. this opal is called hydrophane. its porous and soaks up water but the color will probably come back as it dries out. Best kept as a specimen because of possible cracking problems. peter

    Reply
  22. Jennifer

    Hello again thank you for your info. I was wondering if it’s about the same with this one. How can I tell if they are real opals and do you know where I could go to get them checked?

    Reply
  23. Jennifer

    Sorry if this photo is submitted twice I was having a little error issue. Just wondering what kind of opal this is?

    Reply
    • admin

      rough opal picture Jennifer, this is a typical piece of rough crystal opal. it could be from a number of different mines both in Australia and perhaps Africa and Mexico. From an Australian point of view it looks like a stone from Coober pedy in south Australia, but material like this can also be found in the Lightning Ridge area. If its thick enough to cut and polish, it could finish at around 5 to 7 carats with a value of possibly $100 per carat retail, so it could be worth between $500 and $800 but this is only a rough estimate. hope that helps.

      Reply
    • admin

      re rough opal: no problems Jennifer. i will answer your other inquiry with the picture

      Reply
  24. Paul

    Dear sir
    May I ask 3 questions please?
    1. Ten years ago, I was bought a set of mosaic opal cuflinks. They are matched, but one remains brilliant, the other less so, with a milky appearance in parts. I cannot remember if it was like that when I got them. I’ve cleaned with vinegar since, but no real difference. Is this intended or is it a flaw, or is it likely moisture has got into it.
    2. How are they made – just with a backing like a doublet (and between the opal chips) or like a triplet with a resin surface too? These cuflinks have a roughness to the touch, suggesting a bare surface. I’ll try to attach a photo
    3 . Time has moved on, And I think I can probably look for bkack opal cuflinks now. What do I look for, and will they damage easily – I work at desk and they inevitably scrape the desk or keyboards etc?
    Thank you
    Paul

    Reply
    • admin

      opal cuff link problem: Paul, pleased to make some comments. mosaic opals are made from small pieces of opal. they are cemented onto a dark background usually with the assistance of epoxy resins. for some reason one of your stones has not been made well. perhaps there was some moisture there when the mosaic was being put together. unfortunately its almost impossible to correct this without a huge amount of work but if you do have a lot of time on your hands, the only way to do it would be to soak the offending stone in metholated spirits. its also called wood alcohol. check it every day or so. eventually all the little pieces will dislodge and then you would need to spray the background of the stone with flat black spray paint, then, when the paint dries,m painstakingly with epoxy resin, glue all the little pieces back together again. if the opal was oval, i could easily replace the stone but because its square its very difficult because all of my mosaics are oval in shape. so that’s about all i can suggest, unless you want to just buy a new set here with an international guarantee that does not run out. Peter

      Reply
  25. Jillian

    I was given a price of fossilized wood that has these white bubbly formations inside of it. The person qho have it to me said he got it at withlacoochee river. They have a background of red amber and black/blue-ish color. Is it the beginning of an opal formation?

    Reply
    • admin

      Jillian, i dont know much about fossilized wood as opal is my specialty but it sounds like a nice piece. peter

      Reply
  26. کیهان

    سنگی به رنگ یشم و نقطه های تیره در آن دیده میشود و در شب نور میدهد. میخواستم بدونم چه سنگیه.

    Reply
    • Peter

      Saheb, not sure what you would like to know. do you want to buy an opal? peter صاحب، آپ کو جاننا چاہوں گا کہ کیا بات کا یقین نہیں. آپ کو ایک دودیا پتھر خریدنے کے لئے چاہتے ہیں؟ پیٹر

      Reply
  27. merv

    hello i want to know what is needed to make mattrix opal,i have been told a couple ways but its not correct wondering if you can send to my email what i need to bring the coloure out please.they call it cooking of the opal.regards merv.

    Reply
  28. susan jennings

    my uncle passed away and hes done a lot of opal mineing hes got opals from ligting ridge cooperpeddy hes got other stones look like dimonds and lots of gems so many of them need to get them valued he cut and polish them himself hes got all the tools could you please help who do we get out to value them

    Reply
    • Peter

      Susan, we have had a few technical problems in the blog of opalmine.com and i am just checking on some comments made. Many apologies for not getting back to you earlier. please comment again if you would like. very best wishes, Peter

      Reply
  29. John

    I found an opal in coober Pedy 20 years ago that is in the shape of a small seashell (similar to a clam). Is it possible that the shell has fossilized w/ opal?…is it rare?..it’s about an inch wide.
    Thanks,
    John

    Reply
    • admin

      Yes John, there are many opals found in Coober Pedy and some in LIghtning Ridge which are actually fossils of all sorts of sea creatures and other things. Opal shells are getting rarer, depending on the quality. if you like you can submit a picture so that we can see what you have. best wishes, Peter

      Reply
  30. Grace

    I was wondering if you had anymore specific information on the Black Opal? I was also wondering if any types of opals have been discovered in SPACE? I’m not sure if you are the right person to ask but have there ever been any opals or gems/rocks of any kinds discovered from a meteor? Please get back to me, thanks so much!

    ~Grace

    Reply
    • admin

      Grace, thanks for your interesting question. I will post a new article on the black opal subject on this site. just submit your details in the contacts section so that i will get an email reminder. I heard something about opals being discovered on Mars. Here is an article about it. Just how much you can believe that of course is dubious, but its certainly interesting. Peter

      PS. I just noticed that the link i have installed here just takes you to another section of opalmine regarding black opals and does not link to the Mars article. Site manager checking into this at present.

      Reply
      • admin

        Thats interesting Dee. ive heard that they have found indications of opal on Mars as well. should be interesting to check if they ever get there. peter

        Reply
  31. ali

    i can,t see here any australian fire opal,can u please tell me some of its finest types and picturs.

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Ali, the term ‘fire opal’ is often applied to Mexican opal usually, i believe, which is an orangy-red mostly without a play of color. The use of the term ‘fire’ is often applied in Australia to any opal of any color as long as the color is dynamic and not subdued. Of course there are many opinions and termanologies applied to opal but if you look at any of the bright images in this site, they could be said to contain ‘fire’ I have written an article on the new opal nomenclature so if you would like to see it, just let me know and i will email it to you. best wishes Ali, Peter

      Reply
  32. D.Webster

    Our opal earrings look like the surface might be a chip of brilliant colours in the sun that at a point looks like a diamond, however the opal is not straight through. I was wondering what kind it is, perhaps it is too expensive to be an opal solid on the other hand maybe it is…?

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • admin

      Mr or Mrs Webster. Its really difficult to give an opinion without seeing the stone. if you have a digital camera with a macro (close-up) ability, please take a couple of pictures and send it to me. But first list your information through the contacts form here: http://www.opals.co/contact-us/ and i will be able to talk to you direct by email and you can send me a picture and i will do whatever possible to help you identify the opal. Thanks for contributing to the site, and please accept our kind regards from opalmine, Australia, Peter

      Reply

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