Australian Opals and Pearls – what a beautiful combination!
The Opal is Australia’s offical Gemstone and the majority of the Opal is found in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
Precious Opals display iridescence, meaning that different colours are visible when turned in the light. Common Opals don’t display the ‘play of colour’ but may still be attractive and valuable. Common Opals are found in several countries around the world, however Australia produces 95% of the precious Opals.
There are different types of Opal including Matrix, Crystal, Boulder and the most valuable type: Black Opal.
Opal used in jewellery consist of the following styles:
Solid – The most valuable of all Opal is the solid Opal. It consists of a single piece of Opal and is cut to highlight the natural colours and shape. Solid Opals of high quality, especially Black Opals, can sell for 10’s or 100’s of thousands of dollars.
Matrix – Is a valuable Opal which includes a solid rock such as quartzite or sandstone. It is usually presents as thin veins in the rock.
Boulder Opal – Is found in Ironstone or Sandstone predominantly from Queensland. It consists of a thin layer of Opal with a darker natural rock backing, highlighting its colours.
Doublets – Consist of an Opal slice (usually more than 2mm) fixed to a dark background to highlight the natural colours of the Opal. It is then shaped and polished into a rounded Cabochon style gem. Doublets are a good compromise for quality versus price.
Triplets – Are made from a very thin Opal slice (less than 0.5mm) which is glued between a dark base layer and a glass or quartz top layer. The Glass layer acts as a kind of magnifying glass to enhance the colours and the dark layer reflects the colours back out. Triplets are the most cost effective of the jewellery styles and can be found in costume and cheaper jewellery.
Combining Opal with Pearls produces a stunning and unique look which is truly Australian.
Blue, Red, White and Black Opals compliment the Australian Pearls and is both eye catching and individual.
See our Pearl and Opal Earrings here: Regent Pearls Opal Earrings
If you have your own design you’d like made into a bespoke piece of jewellery, please contact us for a quote
Whatever type of Opal suits your taste or your budget, you can find the best quality in reputable Australian stores and E-commerce sites.
For more information about Opal, we recommend the Australian Government Geoscience Website here: Link