Australian Opals

   Found only here

Australian Opals are found in a type of soil known by miners as the “level”. The level can reach the surface or be found at 20 or 40 or even 80 ft deep.

It is found using a 9 inch drill and the soil brought to the surface is inspected for promising signs of opal within the level. If so, a 3ft shaft is drilled for ladders to be placed for miners to descend to the level and send out several shafts in different directions to find the most promising direction.

The opal dirt is taken to the top an electric bucket and washed in a concrete mixer truck. The slurry is allowed to wash off and the remaining opal inspected for good colour.

Australia supplies 90% of the world’s opal and Lightning Ridge is almost the only place that supplies black opal in the world. Unlike most other opal which is found in seams that the miner follows, black opal can be found as knobbies, like black currents in a cake, and if you find a rich pocket of them they can be incredibly valuable.

Boulder Opal is dark in colour and forms together naturally with dark brown ironstone. It is much appreciated for its natural form and is found in various locations in Queensland.

The most important aspect of Opal valuation is brightness of colour, that is, the brighter the colour the more valuable. Therefore a bright blue stone could sometimes be more valuable than a dull red one.

Opal Triplets are comprised of 3 layers. The top layer is a protective cap of hard quartz crystal the second layer is a thin layer of opal stone, the last a dark backing to enhance the look. They are relatively inexpensive and look very closely like the rare black opal.

Black Opal is dark in colour and forms together naturally with a dark opal backing. It is Australia’s rarest Opal and with reds and oranges is known as a “Fire Opal”. It is mined in New South Wales in the township of Lightning Ridge.

There are three main types of pattern, the most widely available is the pinfire pattern, then the flash pattern, and then one of the rarest being the rolling flash pattern. Again personal choice is the most important aspect.

Opal Doublets are comprised of 2 layers. The first is a slice of solid opal, the second or base is a dark backing that lies underneath it to enhance the look and colour. They are relatively inexpensive and look very closely like the rare black opal.

White opal is light in colour and is Australia’s most abundant type of opal. It is Australia’s main opal export and is mined mainly in South Australia in the township of Coober Pedy.

The rarest colour in Opal is red, then orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Although the “best” colour is always a very personal choice.

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Where Opals are found

Opals are found in 5 main fields in Australia: Coober Pedy in South Australia, the home of the white or milky opal and crystal opal. Mintabile in North South Australia is the home of the semi black or grey opal. Lightning Ridge in New South Wales the home of the black opal also semi black and crystal opal. Winton and Quilpie in Queensland is the home of boulder opal, mixed with a brown iron stone.

Cutting Opals is an art

Jasmine Opals are cut by our opal cutter with over 25 years of experience to bring you the best colours possible within a stone and our Jewellery is only crafted by the finest Jewellers. We pride ourselves on the quality of our opals and wish you many years of enjoyment in wearing your stone. Opals like to be worn and it is considered bad luck to leave them unworn.

 Opal stones before cut and polish

The beauty of  Fire Opal

Every one is different

Opal colours, from rarest to most easily found, are red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The patterns are harlequin (like a chess board) rolling flash, broad flash (big patches of flash), flash, pinfire (small points) and sheen (an overall hue lacking any brightness) The brightness of colour is desirable and the darkness of a stone also plays a big part in the valuation of an opal.