Did you know that Opals can be found in every corner of the globe? Lets explore the Opals Of The World.
Australian opals have been the main source for opals over the last century with an estimated 97% of production coming from Australian Opal fields.
The newest opal fields are located in Ethiopia. They started the production of opals in commercial quantities just over 10 years ago. The oldest recorded opal mines are in Slovakia which produced crystal opals.
Opal buyers can view all these fabulous opals of the world online to compare and contrast the spectacular display of colours that no other gemstone displays.
From rare harlequin black opals to the stunning honeycomb patterns on Ethiopian opals, each country offers an opal that is unique. This gives each owner the pleasure of owning their own individual piece that no one else has. Compared to other gemstones that can look similar such as sapphires, rubies and even diamonds.
Opal has been created by mother nature and it is rare to get two matching opals. This is one reason why opals are so popular and retains good value as the demand is increasing more than the supply.
Lightning Ridge Black opal at Lightning Ridge NSW.
Black opals from Lightning Ridge have a body tone between N1 to N4 for black and N5 to N6 for Semi Black or dark opals.
Boulder opal from Queensland. Boulder opals are found over huge area of Queensland and it comprises of ironstone with inclusion of Opal color infused in the seams. Matrix boulder opal also has veins inclusion colours.
Coober Pedy opal from South Australia. Coober Pedy produces good fire in white opals and crystal opals, which makes good material for doublets or triplet opals.
Pink opal has been found in Western Australia and it’s a similar composition to Mookatite.
Tintenbar opal is a small opal field in New South Wales that is volcanic opal. There has only been a small production and most are made into doublets.
Andamooka is famous for its painted lady opals. The opals are not painted but are formed naturally this way.
Crystal opal from lightning ridge are generally stronger multi fire crystals than South Australian opals and also is formed in beep blue to clear opaque opals.
Welo opal stones are opals mined in the mountainous region named Welo.
Mezezo opal is a volcanic opal and is hydrophane. It is known for beautiful patterns from honeycomb to snake patterns.
Large pieces of rough is sold as specimens as they may have cracks or inclusions before they are cut into smaller stones.
Smoked opals are treated natural crystal opals that have dark to black appearance when treated.
America opals are spread over a large area from Utah to Nevada.
Virgin valley has reputation as the most unique opal specimens and most opals are offered as stabilized.
Utah has Utah lace Opal, it looks like agate, coloured silica sinister opal. It was formed by hot liquid silica depositing a seam of Haylite opal. Also Candy stripe is found in Utah.
Spencer opal Idaho is often made into doublets to strengthen the opal slices.
Crystal fire opals look beautiful as a faceted Mexican fire opals with deep orange to yellow sunset fire hues. They can come in artistic shapes and made into unique jewelry.
Leopard opal has play colour known as Zimapán, with colour spots in solidified volcanic ash.
Cantera opals have hues imbedded into natural potch which can be ivory to cream to brown hues and are classified as good cabochon opals.
Madagascar opals are beautiful sunset to yellow hues and known as Pyrophane Opal or Girasol fire opal.
Brazilian opals have good reputation as a stable opal due to a low water content and have unbelievable beautiful crystal opals. Also Brazil have beautiful two tone yellow hue crystals that arefaceted into stunning stones with earthly colours. Opal also forms in feldspar in various opal fields.
Honduran opal is volcanic and varies considerably from milky white fire to dark to black matrix, known as black matrix opal which is porous and is hard to obtain a smooth polish. Honduran black opal can have beautiful banded opal veins in different strong colours.
Slovakian opal has earthly colours yellow to browns and some banded patterns as wood replacement opal, but has no play of colours as most other opals do.
Local sellers sell a lot of Ethiopian opals as Indonesian opal, but it’s now hard to find local opals except for the petrified wood opal which is mostly treated by cooking, however it shows stunning patterns. The country also has some Opalite.
Tanzanian opals is the green colored Prase opal with some orange rolling cats eye opals but only in small production. Tanzanian opal is a yellow hues dendritic opal.
Peruvian opal is found high in the Andes mountains in pink and blue green colours and sometimes mixed in druzy chalcedony.
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It is amazing as 20 years ago I thought that just Australia produced 99% of the words opals
But today so much is coming out of Ethiopia in Africa and the prices are very reasonable
I have seen the American opal with wood vegetation and now we have Indonesian wood type opals and I find these pleasure to view. They look like petrified wood as black charcoal colour compared to quartz looking opals like honey or Prase opals.
The big question is which country’s opals will rise more in the future?