Types of Opal
NATURAL SOLID OPAL
Black Opal is a natural solid stone and is the rarest and most famous and valuable Opal.
It is called black due to its dark body tone and with a black or dark grey base with brilliant colours on the top ranging from blue to red, red being the most valuable if everything else is equal.
Found mainly at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales and some areas in South Australia, this magnificent variety in gem quality is arguably the most valuable. Ablaze with colour, it dark appearance distinguishes it from Light Opal. Lightning Ridge is about 750km distance from Sydney and Brisbane. It is a small country town relies mainly on opal mining and tourism is also a major income for the town with 60,000 visitors coming to town every year.
Found in South Western and Central Queensland. They are formed in cavities of ironstone or sandstone rocks. The colours are similar to black opals. They are also cut in freeform shape to highlight their individual beauty.
This is the most common opal of all because the production is much larger than other types of opal. This type of opal sometimes called light opal or milk opal due to its appearance. Coober Pedy, Mintabie and Andamooka (South Australia ) is the main source of White Opal.
With brilliant red, blues and greens intermingled in a White or light background. Coober Pedy is an aboriginal word Kupa Pita or Kupa Piti meaning “White man in a hole.”
Doublet opal is a composition of two pieces where a slice of natural opal is cemented to a base material like black potch or ironstone backing.
Triplet opal is a composition of three pieces where a thin slice of natural opal is cemented between a dark base material and a transparent top layer like plastic or quartz top.