Australian Opal is regarded as one of the finest varieties of opal gemstone found in the Australian Opal mines. They are recognised by their rich body tone, intense and long-lasting play of color effect. Being of the finest quality.
Australian Opal Mines
Australia has a rich history associated with the opal gemstone. A huge variety of opals displaying unique colors and characteristics are found in this small continent. According to a report issued by a trusted gemological institution, nearly 95% of the Australian Opal mines are located in the states of Coober Pedy, Andamooka, White Cliffs and Lightning Ridge. Here is a brief about some of the major opal mining locations in Australia –
1. New South Wales – Popular for Black Opals
New South Wales, Australia is regarded as the most significant producer of the lovely Black Opal gemstones. Lightning Right Opal mine is exclusively popular for offering the world with the finest quality Australian Black Opals. White Cliffs Opal mines is another popular mine in this region that majorly provides white Opals and crystal Opals in large quality.
2. Queensland – Popular for Boulder Opals
This Australian region is known for resourcing a unique type of opal called Boulder opal. They are amongst the most durable variety of opal as it is found attached to a host rock - Ironstone. This stunning variety of Australian Opal is produced majorly by the Opal mines located in Queensland namely Quilpie Opal mines, Winton Opal mines, Opalton Mines and Yowah Opal Mines.
3. South Australia – Popular for Australian White Opal Stones
Australia is also recognised for resourcing the superior quality White Opals. There are four major opal mines located in the South Australia namely – Andamooka, Lambina, Mintabie and Coober Pedy. These mining locations majorly produce the milky white opals which are highly sought-after for both astrological and healing purposes.
Coober Pedy Opal mines
– Coober Pedy White Opal is quite famous in the gemstone industry as it not just bears a clean, white body hue but also displays a wonderful play-of-color effect. These opals have blue and green hues on top with multi-colored fire. Cobber Pedy Opals from Australia are commonly found with play of color in green and blue tones. Amongst all, Australian Rainbow Opals shimmer brilliantly displaying a mix of color. Such pieces are quite rare and equally valuable.
Mintabie Opal mines
– After Lightning Ridge, Mintabie opal mine is the other important source of Black Opals. Mintabie Opal rough is characterised by a deep body color accompanied by the intense play-of-color effect and unique patterns.
Lambina Opal mines
– The lovely white Australian Opals from the Lambina mines feature a colourful fire that includes red, green and orange color. Currently, Lambina produces a good portion of South Australia’s Opal.
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Australian Opal Stone Benefits
For those looking for an astrological substitute of Diamonds, Australian Opal gemstone is undoubtedly the best choice. Apart from its aesthetic excellence, this gemstone brings along numerous astrological and therapeutic benefits. It can also be worn in charms or birthstone jewellery.
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Promotes Creativity & Imagination Power
– White Australian Opal is regarded as a highly effective gemstone for professionals involved in creative and artistic pursuits. As per the astrological belief, wearing a White Australian Opal gemstone benefits the individual by stimulating their creative ability and nurturing new ideas and thoughts.
Improves Financial Status & Lifestyle
– Astrologers connect White Opal gemstone with planet Venus which is the significator of luxury and wealth. Therefore, it is believed that wearing a good quality White Australian Opal can help the wearer by improving his financial condition and lifestyle.
Heals Liver, Endocrine & Urinary Disorders
– It is believed that White Opal gemstone has immense curative abilities. Astrologers place deep faith in the curative abilities of this gemstone and considered it beneficial for people dealing with urinary disorders, hormonal imbalance or any psychological issue. Its healing properties also improve the wearer’s reproductive health.
Brings Matrimonial Harmony
– In vedic astrology, Venus is regarded as the planet of love and romance. Therefore, White Opal is considered good for people facing critical phase in their marital or love life. It is believed that Opal gemstone boosts the Venus and enhances joy in the marital life.
The beauty of a natural Australian Opal gemstone is not only derived from its mesmerising ‘play of color’ but also from its varied body hue, high stability, good clarity like opals from no other origin. The quality of an Australian Precious Opal adheres to a variety of factors including its type, color, the play of color, clarity and shape.
– A huge variety of opals are found in Australia including white opal, black opal, fire opal, pink opal, boulder opal, white rainbow opal, boulder opal and blue opal etc. Amongst all these varieties, Natural Black Australian Opal and White Australian Opal are considered most popular and highly valuable species.
– Australian Opal mines resource natural opal gemstone in a variety of body tones ranging from colorless, white, black to red, orange, yellow, brown and grey. Usually, the Australian Opal gems in darker body shades or nearly black background are considered most valuable because it displays the rainbow color more beautifully. However, due to the astrological significance, White Australian Opal stones are considered equally desirable and are always in demand.
Play of Color
– The distribution, pattern, intensity and overall color combination collectively define the quality of the play of color effect. Generally, the more intense, vivid and evenly distributed is the play of color, higher is the Australian Opal quality.
– Clarity in the Australian opal gemstone is judged by the level of transparency and inclusions present in it. The presence of spots, scratches and cracks within the opal stone can dramatically reduce its quality and overall value. The presence of natural inclusions (flaws) such as patches, visible crystals in transparent opals, windows (transparent areas) in black and white opal and ironstone patches on white opal areas reduce the quality of these gemstones. Smooth and clean pieces are always considered as an ideal option.
– The final cut of opal gemstone depends upon the shape of the Australian opal rough. The raw Australian opal is mostly polished and shaped as round and oval cabochons (non-faceted gems with one-sided domes). Australian Opal cabochon offering the best display of the opal’s characteristics and less vulnerable to damage can be an ideal selection for jewellery.
Australian Opal Value
The value of Australian Opal depends on numerous factors. The type of opal, its body color, pattern, quality of play of color, clarity, shape and carat weight, all play important roles in determining the cost of an Australian Opal gemstone.
Note – Typically, the price of an Australian Opal in India starts from Rs 800 per carat ($12 approx.) and reach up to Rs 7000 per carat ($100 approx.) and more. The prices in other countries like US, UK or UAE may differ significantly because of the variation in demand cycle.
Buyer Beware: Gemstone Weights in India are often expressed in Ratti. This system can be used to dupe customers who are not knowledgeable on how the conversion works. Read our guide to Understanding Gemstone Weights: Carats vs Ratti, and Don’t Get Fooled by Gemstone Prices in Ratti, instead of Carats!
– According to the gemologist, Australia Black Opal value remains the highest due to its high-end beauty and rarity. Australian White Opal price depends largely upon its quality of tone and pattern. As long as the Australian Boulder Opal prices are concerned, it relies upon the ratio of the surface with the play of color versus ‘brown’ matrix. Boulder opal with more colors is generally bright and more value.
– In Australian Opals, the brilliance and tone of the body color create a large impact on the value of this gemstone. The more intense and saturated is the better, higher will be the Australian Opal price in the market. This could be the reason why Australia Black Opal value can be slightly higher than the value of Australian white opals.
Play of Color
– Australian Opal stone price also depends upon the ratio and quality of the play-of-color. The more intense and widely distributed is the color play of color, higher will be the Australian opal cost. The range of color, dominance of certain hues and pattern also affects the Australian Opal prices in the market.
– Generally, the smoother and free inclusions is the gem, higher will be the Australian Opal stone price in the market. The presence of cracks, pits, groves on the surface and internal flaws such as visible crystals and color zoning often reduce the quality and overall worth of the Australian opal gemstone in the market.
– Most of the Australian Opals are cut in the round and oval cabochons to bring out the best color and brilliance. Stones with good symmetry and perfect domes appears quite beautiful and always fetch a premium value.
– Australian Opal price per carat may accelerate exponentially with increase in carat weights. This is because it is relatively difficult to find Opals with consistent body color and play-of-color effect.
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Australia Opal is the finest variety of natural opal gemstones resourced from the Australian Opal mines. The intrinsic beauty and ever-changing color patterns make this gemstone valuable and highly sought-after, world over.
In the gemstone industry, Australia is regarded as the world’s leading supplier of natural opal including boulder opals, light opals, black opal as well as some exquisite white opals. Theses valuable gemstone are extensively used for the beautification of jewelry, healing and astrological purposes.
Read our comprehensive buying guide to get an in-depth knowledge of Australia Opal types, quality, benefits and price.
To buy a real Australian Opal, it is very important to choose a reliable and trustworthy place of purchase. Whether purchasing from a local gem store or an online gem retailer, it is always preferable to look for a dealer that provides certified Australian gems to ensure that the gemstone you are purchasing is 100% natural and free from any enhancement.
You can read our comprehensive guide to check what to look for while selecting an Australian Opal, its benefits and pricing criteria to get a better understanding. At GemPundit, you can also find a huge variety of natural Australian Opal available online for sale in different price ranges. Our website can be a great point to start your Australian Opal gemstone shopping.