Boulder Opal AN AMAZING stone
You really have to see a video of this amazing boulder opal piece to get the full impact of the dramatic reds featured here. Out of all the gemstones in the world, opal would have to be the most intriguing.
Not just because the color plays with your eyes as it is moved but the fact that opal can change from one color to another.
In this case the feature color is red, the rarest of opal hues. However, hints of green and blue show themselves as it is rotated. The shape of this stone, as with the color, is non-conventional.
The artist who designs the completed boulder opal be it a ring, a pendant, or whatever is your choice, will be inspired by its potential because free form opals like this lend themselves to an endless variety of designs. We provide a free design service with the purchase if you need help with this.
Boulder Opal – A close relative to Black Opal
Black Opals come from Lightning Ridge as well as Andamooka and Coober Pedy as well as Mintabie in South Australia. Boulder Opals come from further north in the western Queensland opal fields, starting from Yowah in the south all the way up through Quilpie, Blackall, Winton, Opalton and other smaller outback towns.
The reason why we can say they are related is because they are both cut leaving some of the mother rock in the background of the color, giving the opal a darker appearance than black or crystal opal.
Often, because the veins of color in the boulder OPAL ironstone rock are quite thin, when they are cut and polished the top of the stone can be quite flat in contrast to black opal which more often has a higher dome. This can be a plus and a minus.
Jewelers generally prefer a high dome because its easier to close down the claws of the setting onto an oval surface rather than to a flat surface. They have to be super careful not to crack the stone. However experienced opal cutters will tell you that the flatness of the boulder opal can sometimes make the stone even brighter than Lightning Ridge stones because the thinner the color the brighter it can become.