Opal Australias National Gemstone
Opal is Australia’s national gemstone. It was known to its indigenous people as the fire of the desert due to their brilliant flashes of colour.Australian opals are world famous with its opal fieldsproducing black opal themost expensive and sought after opal. The finest stone is referred to as“Black opal” which can be found inLightning Ridge (New South Wales).
More about Opal
Opals can only be found in a few places around the world with Australia responsible for 90% of world production. Opals can display powerfulgreen, blue, red, orange flashes of colour against settings of grey, blue, and black tones. Deep red and Harlequin patters are the rarest opal and areconsidered the rarest gemstone after Argyle Pink diamonds.
The world’s source of black opals is mined from opal fields in New South Wales. The majority of light or white opals usually comes from South Australia and itsWhite Cliffs field. White opals are the most common among all valuable opals. They tend to show a milky colour when compared to black opal. These opals are produced in intensely weathered stones and associated with silica minerals. It is a distinctive stone as no one opal is the same. Even one opal can display varying colours depending on the angle it is held.
Native storytelling has described the formation of opal as“The combustion of the desert”.
Government Decree: The decree stated that Governor-General Bill Hayden declared that the opal was the official gemstone since July 27, 1993.
Description: A stone with sparkling play of color against a gloomy or obscure settings.
Opal is also the birthstone for October.
Every opal is different.Opals are usually identified by the variety’s origin and tone. Classes include black or shady, pale or glow, crystal or milk, matrix or boulder opal, Yowah Nuts, (originate from Queensland), Fire and Mexican opals. Opals mineral structure can vary significantly depending on the field it is found.
Opal sets it self apartfrom other stones because of its brilliant colours which changewith the angle it is held. Valuable opal is categorized based on their body colour, mostly the brilliance of the opal as well as, the nature of colour sample or play of colour. Another type of opal is boulder opal which is found in layers of ironstone, they tend to display less colour than black opal as its background tends to brown.
You can find Australian opal at www.opalauctions.com
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