How Can You Tell the Value Of an Opal?
Please note that the ‘Smart Chart’ reported towards the bottom of this article, is no longer available due to the illness of it’s creator. We will keep reporting on any progress being made to replace it. In the meantime, please leave a message at the bottom of this blog if you need help in this regard.
As a rule when it comes to the value of opal, triplet opals and doublet opals are cheaper than solids, and a side view of the stone explains the difference, but this is not always the case. Some high quality triplets can be more expensive than lower quality solids. If you are confused about pricing, please ask us.
Compared with other more known gemstones, opal is quite new and this makes the value of opal difficult to arrive at because up untill recently there has been no consistent method to determine the value of opal. Although it has been known to Europeans for thousands of years, it did not become popular until it was found in quantity in Australia. (historical leather statement from pliny)
As top the Value of Opal, Many jewelers are unfamiliar with it, so often don’t carry stock, so the public does not get to see its beauty. opals.co has two goals in mind.
First to tell everyone about this magnificent stone, and second to sell you a stone that you will be proud to wear. Whether you are a rich person, or like most of us, just making a living, opal is the stone for you. There’s nothing worse, if you are wearing a lovely ring, to have to admit that it is synthetic, if someone asks. The value of opal is not just in how much the stones are worth from a dollar point of view, but how much it is valued from a personal point of view.
The exciting part about opal is that it can be cut in a number of different ways to suit everyone’s pocket, and whether you can afford an expensive opal or a cheaper one, you can still proudly state that it is a REAL opal, not a synthetic. After you have studied this section, you will quickly see why the value of opal is established and why some opal is more expensive than others. If you are still a bit confused, just let us know your price limit and your color preference. We will then make some helpful suggestions about the value of opal and what you should purchase.
There is absolutely no obligation to buy. And we have an international guarantee of quality. You may return your purchase for refund, no questions asked. Please take note of freight and insurance details in our returns policy in this regard. Feel free to ask all the questions you like.
Suggestions in making a buying decision
- Determine your budget. How much can you afford? $10, $100, $500, $1000,$10,000 etc
- Purpose of the purchase.
- Is it for you personally?. If so, perhaps you want to view it as an investment to be treasured and handed on to your children in time. In this case, you may want to spend more money and decide on a solid stone.
- Is it for a gift? If so, maybe you don. t want to spend as much because you may have a lot of gifts to buy for various people, but you still want the item to look really expensive and appealing. In this case, go for a lower priced solid ,doublet, or triplet, in a gold plated rather than solid gold setting. This way your budget will be stretched further and you will achieve the same purpose. Remember, with gifts its not always the opal values but the kind thought and love expressed by them.
- Keep in mind that if you buy multiples of gifts from our site, you can ask for a discount. Please do so when contacting me.
In this section we have tried to explain the difference in valuing cut opal and opal values. For a brief outline of buying Rough Opals, click here.The Value of Opal is established by supply and demand. This makes it a more appealing investment than some other gems which are kept at high prices by cartels. Having said that, the increase in opal value in the last 30 years is impressive. The following chart shows what happened up until 1980. Since then, the Japanese have become obsessed with the stone, and prices have gone through the roof. In recent times, since the Japanese recession, prices have levelled off, and now is a very good time to buy.
Value of Opal Using New Computer Software
(unfortunately this chart has now been discontinued due to the illness of its creator, but a new improved one is in process.
The following is taken from ‘Computer Software’ about the opal values system designed to be used by computers called ‘The Opal Smart Chart”
- World First - Smart Chart: Value of Opal Appraisal Software
- There is only one way to learn Opal values, that is by handling large volumes of Opal on a continuous basis.
- There are only a handful of people worldwide capable of accurately valuing every variety of Australian Opal, most valuers, when confronted with Opal, seek assistance from an experienced Opal person, this costs time and money
- The Smart Chart provides the means to access over 30 million Opals in photographic form, it will value these Opals in current dollar values by simply answering 14 photographic questions relating to Opal characteristics.
- Each question is fully illustrated and is answered by simply clicking on the characteristic nearest to that of the stone in hand, help text is instantly available for each question, all photos enlarge for clearer viewing,
- After answering all questions, press the relevant icon to obtain the value in a per carat and whole stone price for the stone in hand.
- This can then be printed out along with the answers to the questions, which gives you both the value of opal and a verifiable document.
- As a learning tool The Smart Chart has no equal, after valuing an opal the characteristics can be altered infinitely, change the color, insert inclusions, change shape, even change the variety, all changes and their effect on value are instantly available
- Even a series of hypothetical Opals can be valued, The Smart Chart is fun to use and quite addictive.
- The information section contains over 25 screens of text with many previously unrecorded tips, EG how to detect a boulder doublet in a bezel setting.
- The text should be printed out and read thoroughly prior to seriously operating the program, this makes program operation easier and more accurate.
- Valuers inexperienced in the value of opal could expect to take 2 to 3 minutes for a valuation, with program familiarity it could reduce to under 1 minute.
- If the value generated by the program disproportionately varies from the expected result, the judgment of each question should be reviewed, if still evident, a second opinion from an experienced opal person should be sought.
- If correct judgments are made, the program is designed to provide a correct value, which is slightly optimistic for high quality stones and pessimistic for low grade stones.
- There is an extensive photo library showing a selection of each variety of Australian Opal.
- A new program will be available annually containing additional information, more photos and updated prices.
- All terminology conforms to CIBJO. Opal Nomenclature on the value of opal.
The Latest Research on the Value of Opal
A new method of automated valuation using a machine and software is being developed to achieve a consistent way of obtaining the value of opal. By the looks of this, opal valuation will become easier to work out in time. In the meantime, if you need some help with this, leave a message on this blog. You can do your own research on opal valuation here and here . This is the latest information on this subject from the Australian government organisation CSIRO.
Opal Valuations Are a Tricky Business
Opal valuations are a big challenge. Over the years it has been very difficult to arrive at a consistent price for opal because of the nature of the industry. Firstly, up unto relatively recently we did not have an official nomenclature (naming system) for opal and so each opal miner, opal cutter, opal dealer, opal exporter, opal jeweler (jeweller) and opal hobbyist had to make up his or her own mind about what to call this most diverse of gems.
Opal prices as a result were all over the place, based sometimes on how long or how much it cost to produce the stone and ‘what you could get’ for it in the world of supply and demand. To a large extent this situation still exists because opal does not have a standard valuation system even though we do have a nomenclature. In one way this is good because we don’t have ‘big brother’ telling us what to charge for an opal in the same way as firms like De Beers do with diamonds. Stones like diamonds are usually priced according to what the cartel states rather than because of a shortage or a sufficient supply of the gem
The price of opal is established largely by the people who deal in it from day to day. Buyers who search the mines for opal parcels. The prices in this way find a level because the miner obviously will sell to the highest bidder and this price is translated into finished opal stones and opal jewellery which of course commands a higher price taking into consideration the precious metals it is often associated with such as silver and gold.
Attempts have been made to produce software to address this problem and some have been moderately successful but unless a person is heavily involved in the buying and selling of opal from day to day, its difficult to get a computer to cooperate.
The Basics of Opal Valuations
For the purpose of opal information for the novice visiting this site, basically opal is valued according to it’s statement of color. The more colors of the rainbow existing in the stone, the better. When those same colors have a nice dark background and are clear with large patterns, the stone is more valuable. If it has red in it, all the better as this color is the rarest. Having said that though, opal’s value is often in the eye of the beholder who has a wide choice of preferences to suit different outfits and situations. More here in the opal Wiki
We provide a service for opal valuations and certificates of authenticity on this site. If you have a stone that needs to be valued for insurance purposes, you can send it to us registered in the mail for photographing and installing in a certificate. These certificates are of course our opinion and not necessarily the opinion of another dealer, so they are always issued with a clause that valuation of any sort whether it be for opal or for diamonds, is not an exact science. Still, it is an attempt to arrive at a value that can be insured. We are able to send your insurance company a copy of these official opal valuations as well if you submit it to us.
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