Opals are some of the most fascinating stones on Earth. They’re very rare, and each one is unique. Opals form from the same mineral as amethysts, but they have a few key differences that make them unique. Opals are made up of silicon dioxide, but there are different types. The majority of Opals are found in Australia. Moreover, some of the most popular ones are Australian opals.
Black opals are the rarest type of opal and are the only ones that can be found outside of Australia. They have a black layer on the outside and a green layer on the inside, so they have two colours. Black opals can be cut into domed shapes to show off the play of colour that is unique to this type of gemstone.
Boulder opal is an Australian opal and can be either black or white. It’s often found in the form of a boulder unearthed by miners in Australia looking for other gems and minerals. Boulder opal is usually cut into cabochons but can also be set into jewellery.
Crystal opal is a type of common opal that is translucent. It has a glassy appearance and is typically found in the same areas as common opals. Due to its lower value, crystal opal is often used for decorative purposes rather than jewellery.
Fire opal is a type of opal with a bright yellow, orange or red colour. It is often called “potch”.
Harlequin opal is a patterned opal with bands of colour that form a mosaic pattern. The colours can be black, grey, brown or red. This type of opal is found in Australia and Brazil.
A jelly opal is a hybrid of black and boulder opals. These gemstones are often a mixture of all three types, but they can also be made entirely of any two or even just one.
A jelly opal is usually found in the same environment as crystal opals—underground coal mines, caves, and lava tubes—but it’s not as common because it has more surface flaws than other kinds of opals (like “dead” spots). Because of this, jellies have a wide range of prices depending on their size and quality.
A doublet opal is made of two layers of opal glued together. It’s a less expensive option than a solid opal, but you may be able to find quality doublets at similar prices. Doublets can also be made in any colour and pattern, so if you’re looking for something specific, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find it in this type of stone.
There are downsides to purchasing doublets over solid jewels. Unlike their single-layer counterparts, these stones don’t have any additional value aside from the potential for being worn as costume jewellery or used as decorations. However, if affordability is your primary concern and having an opal ring on the hand isn’t necessary (or even beneficial), this option might work well for your needs.
There are many different opals, each with its own appearance and composition. The most common type is black opal, which has a dark background with bright colours. Boulder opals are found in large pieces, while crystal opal is translucent. Remember to survey the market thoroughly as it is an expensive purchase.