The Truth About Opal

The Truth About Opal
Brilliant boulder opal with undulating surface

The Truth About Opal

The Truth About Opal: It’s good to know the facts about opals, because, unlike most gemstones, opal can be presented in a number of different ways that make them either less or more expensive

Opal facts – the truth about opal

As well as this, in recent times very clever imitations have been made that you need to know about.

This page is to help you understand these details 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 a 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 luxury 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 it’s better to take it off if there is a chance you will knock it against something hard or abrasive.

The truth about opal is to 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.

The truth about opal, 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 to set it for you. However, if you do have a family jeweler that you respect, Peter would be happy to give any help and guidance necessary.

Just ask your jeweler if he would like any assistance. There’s no big complication with this, but helpful 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 Details

The Truth About Opal
Opal Windlass at Lightning Ridge
the truth about opal
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

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: The Truth about opal you should know before buying

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. The 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 these 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.

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. 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, you can connect to our PINTEREST pages which are 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 member’s 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.

truth about opal

19 thoughts on “The Truth About Opal

  1. Good Day Peter,
    ( I’m sending this message again because here you allow me to upload pictures)
    Firstly I’m very happy to have found your website. It is extremely informative and I’ve learned a lot from it about your beautiful gemstones over the last 2 weeks since discovering it.
    Herewith a bit about myself and where the love for opals comes from: My father who came from Germany in the early 1950’s as a geologist was contacted by the SA Government to find oil in SA. Mom and Dad loved the country so much that they stayed and that’s where I grew up. The love for colored gem stones was instilled into us 5 boys from very early. Dad collected and Mom got the finished article. Mom did have a few good pieces of opal in her jewelry box.
    When our mother passed away a few years ago she left us brothers her jewelry and in amongst them this stunning Australian white opal pendent.
    I as the oldest brother had been instructed to sell it and share the proceeds between us. It has now been 4 plus years and we still haven’t found a suitable buyer in South Africa even though I have seen numerous people including jewelers, dealers and auctioneers. I have also, regarding the value of the pendent, asked all these people and also tried to gauge the value through surfing the internet but got so many different answers which is very confusing.
    Hopefully you will be able to assist. We are quite happy to give you a share of the proceeds.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Kind Regards,
    South Africa

    1. Karl, i have no way of telling the weight of the opal but it looks to be around 12 to 15 carats. approx value retail around $100 or more per carat. if the gold is 14 or 18k, the setting would cost perhaps $500 or more. So i would say the pendant is worth in a shop around $2000. this is approximate. but of course if you dont have a shop or some means to advertise it, its difficult to find a customer. have you thought of trying Gumtree or eBay. worth checking. hope that helps, peter

  2. Elise, well it sure is an amazing stone. The problem is that it is set in a bezel and there is no way for me to tell if its a solid stone or a triplet because you can only see that by looking on the side. however if you take a picture from the back it might be a clue but still not positive. i could probably tell at a glance if i examined the ring itself but not good enough in a picture. before posting any more pictures please cut the background area away and reduce it to around 1000 pixels . i will send you an example by email. if you cant do it please get someone to help because large graphics mess up the website. .

    1. Hi Peter I’m so sorry photo was taken from IPhone will bust the camera out and take some side/back pictures what’s your location I would love to get someone to have a look at it

  3. Hi I have this opal which has been handed down from my great great grandfather it is believed to be a black opal which my great grandfather had set into a ring. My father seems to think it may have originally come from lightning ridge.

  4. Hello. My partner recently purchased an opal ring for me as an engagement ring – I absolutely love it but it seems to have gone slightly cloudy already (had it 2 weeks) and I’m keen to find out if it is real/and if so what kind of opal it is so that I can care for it in the best way and maximise it’s longevity. I’ve been reading about hydrophane Welo opals and am wondering if it might be one of these (it goes kind of translucent after I’ve had a shower!). If you would be able to take a look and help me find out more about this stone I would be very grateful, and can forward on some photos. Thanks, Charlotte

    1. Got the pics Charlotte. Yes, i believe you have a hydrophane opal from Africa. They are very beautiful but if you put them in water the color almost disappears because of its porosity. i believe the color returns when it dries out so i hope it does that for you. i would say its better not to put it in water. just let it dry out for a while and the color should return. maybe under a light but dont allow it to get too hot in case you crack it. its better to buy Australian opals because they are from the desert areas and have become stable. i would take the ring back to the people you purchased it from as well just in case there are problems. I just hope you got a guarantee when you purchased it. let me know if i can help you further.

      1. Thank you! That’s really helpful. I’ve kept it out of water for the past day and it’s looking better already – I think the constant wetting/drying might have led to it not looking its best so I’ll keep it away from water from now on.
        Thanks again!

  5. 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?

    1. 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

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

  7. 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 can i tell if its opal.

    1. 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

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

  8. 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?

    1. Christina, please send me the number of the ring. just go to the contacts section of and leave a message. i will get back to you. peter

  9. 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

  10. 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?

    1. 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.

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