Black opals are one of the rarest and most spell binding gemstones around. They can show every color of the rainbow simply with a flick of the wrist. Most people believe that Black Opals are expensive and out of reach, well we are here to tell you otherwise.
So you thought you couldn’t afford a Black Opal? Well what if I told you that Opals come in all sorts of colors and grades that vary massively on price. Sure a top quality Harlequin black opal is one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones in the world, but there are other types of Black Opals that are much more affordable.
The internet has allowed miners and opal cutters to offer opal direct to the public at amazing prices. This brings a whole array of Black Opals into the budget of ordinary people. By reducing overheads and keeping the costs low, Opals are available online at a fraction of the price as you would find them in jewellery stores.
A top quality “red on black” stone from Lightning Ridge can fetch up to $10,000/ct. Take this fine stone for example, it is 10.60cts and has an amazing fire. As you can see this is a top quality Black Opal.
Now let’s look at a stone that is for the average Joe or Mary. This opal is 1.15cts and because it has a body tone of N4 it is priced at just $29. There is a massive price difference between a top quality Black Opal and an average stone but none the less it is still a black opal and beautiful at that.
Here is another stone, 1.60cts and a beautiful purple color. The body tone is N4 and so it is priced at just $36.
To understand how to grade and compare Black Opals, you must first learn about the Brightness and Body Tone chart that is used to describe Black Opals. All Black Opals must have a body tone of N1 – N4 which means the base of the stone is dark. The darkness of the base is a major factor in determining the price since stones that have a jet black body (N1) are very rare. If your budget is smaller you can simply look for stones that are lower in the body tone. Stones with a N3 – N4 body tone represent great value.
Once the body color is identified the next three factors: color, brightness and pattern all play a role in determining the final value. The bright red stones are more expensive than blue or green stones. It is up to you to figure out what color you prefer and to try and find the best stone within your budget.
There is always going to be an Opal that is perfect for you that fits within your budget. All that is needed is some research and understanding on the factors that determine Opal price. Thought you couldn’t afford a black opal? Well now you know you can!
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