We often get asked how to choose opal Jewelry. With all purchases in life you must first decide how much you are willing to spend. If you desire a ring or a pendant you may want to go for a bigger opal than if for earrings or a pendant.
In either case an Opal triplet or doublet will get you a bigger opal at a price less than a solid opal and is perfect as a gift. If you want to purchase your jewelry as a potential as set then purchase a solid natural untreated opal. For small souvenirs for friends, kids, etc triplets would be best as they provide the best value for money. Opals should be chosen based on their colours, patterns and flash and how they suit your personal taste and even dress sense.For example aglow, milky opal necklace may be arranged with a black evening dress.
Remember its your opinion and your opal. Opals are as individual as their owner, no one opals is the same, the colour, patterns and the brightness of opal need to be considered in price. Australian black opal is the rarest and most expensive whereas doublets and triplets are the cheapest as the opal has been enhanced and treated.
One of the most beautiful color patterns with black opals is sometimes referred to as the“floral pattern”, where the colors multiply through the surface, more or less erratically.Rarer and consequently more precious patterns include the magnificent rolling sparks where a great swatch of color presents itself.
There is also the straw pattern where the color occurs as lines and is linear in its look. There are also some stones that look like Chinese characters which is very rare. Another popular pattern is the Harlequin, a checkerboard pattern which is the rarest among all. Ethiopian opals have beautiful snake to honeycomb patterns to rolling flash patterns
In valuing opal there are some rules to follow but considering that opal tends to be unique there are no solid and quick rules in comparison to other gems. Identifying the worth of an emerald-cut white diamond, for example, is easy - mass, clarity, and faults will insert up to a purposeful value. Not so with the opal, if there is one over-riding aspect it’s luminosity.
Radiant stones of any color will be more priceless than any dull stones with rare colors. In fact, red is one of the more expensive colors, the quantity of red usually enhances its value. Again, a radiant, blue-green opal with great colour play and a striking pattern will be more priceless than a less concentrated than a light orange, or red.
The more colored the stone, the more precious the opal is, despite its type. The pattern will control the value. Opals with broad areas of solid color are typically more expensive compared with those smaller areas. In a general manner, all other things being identical, black opal is more priceless than light or boulder opal.
Generally normal shapes are more expensive than rough shapes as they can be used more easily for jewelry. An exception is the boulder opal which is typically brown ironstone; this is frequently set in more uneven pieces as they tend to have unique shapes and inclusions.
There are four classes of valuable Opal such as the Crystal, Boulder, Black, and Milk Opal / White Opals. There are also treated opals to choose from such as triplet inlay and doublet.
Australian Black Opal is the most valuable and exclusive type of opal.
Black opal from Lightning Ridge is classed as body tone 1 to 4 and Brightness 1 to 5 with 5 the brightest. A opal with a brilliant red color is the most exclusive. In fact the most vivid and sharp the colors are, the more expensive Opal it is!
Boulder Opal is a solid Opal which contains a fine layer of natural Opal and has been produced physically on ironstone rock. It originated from Queensland and was acknowledged by several experts to have the most brilliant and excellent appearance among all Australian Opals. Generally, Boulder Opal was considered as one of the best Opals in the world.
Ethiopian opals have been a recent find for opal lovers. The crystal opals from the Welo region are very popular due to their bright patterns and price discount when compared to black opals
Black opals are rare from Ethiopia but many opals are smoked and these are sold as treated smoked black opal so consumers have to be wary.
Can be found in Brazil, Mexico, Honduras as well as Peru and Tanzania Africa.
Doublet Opals are types of Opals, which are thick enough to be engraved as solid Opals. Most of the doublets Opals are produced using a coat of multi-colored precious Opal with either ordinary Opal (less vivid) or ironstone, which is usually attached at the back.
Good doublet Opals are considered colorful and attractive, as well as, a perfect option for those individuals who are looking for a striking piece of Opal jewelry without paying the value required for solid Opals.
Crystal Opal is translucent or particularly lucid and it has a range of diffracted tones. Crystal Opal is quite visible, and in fact, black can be set behind the Opal to permit the intense, natural colors of the Opal to show. Some of the most attractive class of Opals is crystal.
Inlaid Opals are firm Opals which have been included into a set of jewelry so that the jewel’s metal surface is similar to level surface of the Opal. It can also be any class of Opal, but it is typically preferred to Crystal, Black and Boulder-Opal inlay.
Jelly opal comes either in seam or nobby form. The various grades of jelly opal can vary from radiance to classy dark opal. Though it is still jelly, they have unusual densities and colors from bright to dark. Jelly opal is a large stone especially for the opal aficionado that has got others in their collection. You don’t need to spend your money on having the most jelly opal compared to crystal and black opal.
White Opal or Milky Opal is the most ordinary Opal. It has a luminous or pale setting and often shows green, red, and blue pinfire, as well.
When purchasing Opal jewelry, you must consider the Opal’s kind, extent, luster, tone and pattern. As with any gemstone it typically comes down to selecting a color of Opal that you may find striking and that sustains your budget as well.
Form and Setting color:The form and amount of Opal are the main factors in identifying the significance of Opals. Gem value black Opal commands the utmost price per every carat. Black Opal, which has a shady background, is more precious compared with crystal Opal which in turn is usually more costly than milky/white Opal.
Range:With all other elements held stable, the bigger the Opal the more precious they are. As with other stones like sapphires and diamonds, Opals are considered in carats.
Brilliance:The quantity of its intensity is quite significant. The livelier the colors are, the better its worth will be. A dry stone with several or all colors will be less priceless compare with the other Opal with a solitary, animated color.
Color:Usually, the extra color within Opal is quite more precious. The prevailing colors of fire in an Opal have worth in order starting from (red, orange yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet).
Pattern:Better patterns of colors together with brightness have a big effect on its worth and attractiveness of Opals. Wide patterns or great flashes are more priceless than pinfire and small classes of pattern. Different patterns such as harlequin, regular flash, jigsaw, block and strip are usually rare. Once more, it comes down to what is quite appealing.
Cracks/Faults: Also be aware of any faults or inclusions in the stone. Any opal seller should hopefully disclose any imperfections but make sure you do not buy a stone with cracks or mistake a crack for a natural formation.
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I see few people wearing man made opal jewelry or synthetic opal.
Its is so bright and colourful and I do wonder, do they know its synthetic opal or not, as i always make comment on how pretty opal jewelry is.
I know opalauctions sells only real opals but think they could do more information about synthetic opals as Etsy and eBay are full of these man made opal jewelleries.
It seems selling opals unset that description is more accurate but with jewellery I see beautiful rings and pennants and earring that are obviously man made but make no mention they are synthetic.
I just don’t like to see people buying synthetic opals and not aware of it
Thank you for posting my comments