Australian Opal: A Natural Novelty
Any lover of gemstones knows the exquisite beauty that opals hold. These delicate stones may not seem like much at first glance, but turn them over in the light and you'll be able to watch their natural, beautiful display of colors announce themselves one by one. What you may not know, however, is that while this unique gemstone is found in a variety of places, 95% are mined in the country of Australia.
Australian opals vary tremendously in color, ranging from the black opals of the New South Wales opal fields, to the white opals of Southern Australia. The kaleidoscope of colors present in many beautiful ways that are, of course, unique to their place of origin. While all opals are stunning representations of their geographical location, Australian opals are considered some of the finest in the world. Their rich and varied colors make them highly sought after for a variety of jewelry pieces including rings and necklaces.
Black Opals; opals with a dark gray or black background, can be found mainly in New South Wales, Lightning Ridge, and Mintabie. These opals are enchanting and mysterious in their natural design. The colors woven through the stone pop against the dark background. These opals are some of the most widely known and are praised for their bright, colorful faces. Black opals are a truly timeless, elegant fashion investment!
While black opals are most frequently known, White Opals; opals with a light colored or pure white background, are the elegant sister stone of black opals. These opals are found mainly in South Australia. They sparkle brilliantly when placed in the light, and pair elegantly with any metal type, making them a uniquely versatile option for those who like mixed metal styles. They are also known to be paired with diamonds in the more dainty styles of rings that are coming into the spotlight now, following the “clean girl” or “it girl” trends of modern day fashion.
One additional type of opal, Boulder Opals, are found in many areas of Queensland, Australia, and are second only to black opal in their extraordinary value. These opals are mined from between ironstone boulders and often have a layer of the brown ironstone on the back side of the gemstone. Similarly to black opals, boulder opals are brilliant in color, as the flakes and facets of color are contrasted against a darker background.
Opal stones are a soft, delicate material, and Australian opal does not differ in this matter. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you care for them as delicately as possible. Opal should never be exposed to harsh chemicals, steam or ultrasonic cleaners, or high heat. To clean your opal and restore it to its original, natural sparkling shine, wipe it down with a soft cloth, warm water, and mild soap if needed.
Day’s Jewelers Creative Content & Copywriter