Different types of Australian opal

River Gemz only sells natural solid Australian opals. The featured image below displays what natural solid opals are in the context of other opals.

Australia is renowned for producing various types of opals, each with its own unique characteristics. The main types of solid natural Australian opals include black, boulder, white and crystal.

  •  Black Opal: Black opals are characterized by their dark body tone, which enhances the vibrant play of colours. The darker background allows the colours to stand out more vividly. The Lightning Ridge area in New South Wales is famous for producing some of the finest black opals.
  • White Opal: White opals have a lighter body colour, often displaying a more subtle play of colours compared to black opals. They can range from translucent to opaque. White opals are found in various Australian opal fields, including Coober Pedy in South Australia.
  •  Crystal Opal: Crystal opals are prized for their transparency, allowing light to pass through the gem. This type of opal can exhibit a play of colours with exceptional clarity. Crystal opals are found in multiple Australian opal fields, including Lightning Ridge and Coober Pedy.
  •  Boulder Opal: Boulder opals are unique as they form within ironstone matrix (rock), and the opal is left attached to the host rock. The contrast between the opal and the dark matrix enhances the colours. Boulder opals are predominantly mined in Queensland, particularly in areas like Quilpie and Winton.

These different types of Australian opals offer a diverse range of colours, patterns, and characteristics, making them highly sought after in the world of gemstones. The specific qualities of each type depend on factors such as location, mineral composition, and geological conditions during formation.

There are many other sub-types of opals including boulder matrix, boulder splits, jelly, pipe, Yowah nuts, treated matrix and pineapples. To add to the mix there are also stones with two types of opal in them for example black crystal etc. 


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