Gem-quality opals should be considered as a percentage of an investor’s overall portfolio.
Many financial advisers recommend 5-10% of portfolio to be in Collectibles, which covers Art, Antiques, Gemstones as well as precious metals.
The Black Opal from Lightning Ridge, with its signature red fire, is considered by many to be best gemstone investment. This is due to both the rarity of the opal and the extreme rarity of the desired colour pattern and high cabochon. Boulder opals, with their spectacular colours, are also sought by investors.
Gem-fire opals come with a certificate of authenticity. The rarity of these gem opals make them a good long-term investment. They also provide the pleasure of having an opal unlike any other in the world. One does not own a gem opal; one holds it in trust for the next generation.
The government regulations are making opal mining at Lightning Ridge very difficult and uncertain,so many opal miners are not prospecting and this fact will decrease supply and increase demand for quality opals
In past there would be over 6000 opal miners at lightning Ridge but in mid 2013 it is down to maximum 3,000 miners many in the industry say production is down 80% from the peak years a s most miners are not working their claims and it is costly to work an opal mine now.
Opalauctions expect to see steady increase in quality black opals
Black cabochon opals with Body tone N 1 and brightness above B4 will be in high demand-Note new Brightness chart has N1 Brightest opal.
Over the last 10 years Ethiopian opals have made solid inroads into the opal industry
Actually this opal is responsible for opening new markets in rapidly developing nations and has introduced opals to many buyers that would not have seen opal.
Ethiopian opal can be seen at many trade shows in bulk where as Australian opals are not readily available.
Most Ethiopian Opal is considered low commercial grade crystal opal but when this opal displays patterns the results are spectacular patterns .
Advantage is that even the commercial grade has good cabochon so ideal ring opal .
Collectors and investors have been buying strong pattern opals like honeycomb, snake pattern , Patchwork, Cascade, Floral so many really unique interesting patterns.
In May 2013 the Ethiopia government will ban export rough opal from Ethiopia and many in the opal industry are concerned how this will effect long term sales.
Indian cutters have been cutting 80% of the opals to date and have good stocks but majority stock is commercial grade and not spectacular patterns that investors and collectors require.
OPAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY
We have seen buyers buy top opals from each field so they have collection of black, boulder, crystal ethiopian, brazilian andmexican opal.
Some buyer will be comfortable buying $3000 opals or collect a specific colour.
Others will be one particular type-most popular are red fire black opals and good pattern Ethiopian opal.
One aspect is clear.
Investment buyers prefer top quality with minimum flaws.
With black opal they ask to see bottom of opal to see how much potch is in the base of the opal.
Opals held by superannuation funds in Australia have to be insured and not on display so an investment of $50,000 is considered reasonable as insurance is available if opals kept in safe and secure alarmed premises.
This way the owner can enjoy the pleasure s of viewing their opals when they wish.
Please consider opal as 3-5 year investment, you can find more opals at www.opalauctions.com
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