Everything You Need to Know About Black Opals


Black opals areamong the most stunning gemstones due to the intricacies of the colours that are present within them. These colours can range greatly, meaning a black opal can sometimes be brilliantly bright or deeply dark. A black opalis one of the rarest kinds of opals you can find, and it’s usually also one of the most expensive.

If you’re thinking of buying jewellery made with black opal, it’s essential to learn more about the gem itself. This article covers everything you need to know about black opals.

How Are Black Opals Formed?

The formation of the black opal is a tedious process that takes many years of constant pressure and friction. The time that it takes for ablack opal to form is also why it tends to be in such high demand. Over the course of many years, black opal undergoes a number of geological improvements, all of which can help it attain the right shape, colour and texture. There are also certain climatic and biological elements that affect the overall formation. The ideal climatic conditions for this are dry deserts that tend to receive showers of rain every now and then. Australia is known for being one of the biggest producers of black opals in the world because of its ideal conditions for this gemstone to form.

Because black opals are the rarest type of opal that can be naturally found, they’re generally also the most expensive. The main difference between light and black opals is the base colour, with one having a whitish baseand the other black. The rock that the opal is formed on usually dictates the colour of the gem.

What to Look For

When buying a black opal, it’s essential to know what to look for. In particular, it’s important to beaware of all the factors that determine the price, including base body and brightness.

Base Body

The base body of black opals is one of the first things that you need to consider. For a black opal, a black body is what you should be on the lookout for. Keep in mind thatthere are some cases where the base body isn’t completely black in a black opal, and somecan also have darker hues. The darker the body of the gem, the more it’s generally worth in terms of value.


Brightness is another important factor to take into account when buying black opals. The brightness of an opal doesn’t just determine its value, but also its appearance. Opals that are richer in colour and more intricate in terms of pattern are generally regarded as brighter gems. Jewellers use a five-point scale when determining the brightness of an opal, with the different levels being:

  • Faint
  • Dull
  • Bright
  • Very Bright
  • Brilliant

There’s no doubt that a black opal is one of the most beautiful gemstones you can find.Choosing the best black opals should be easynow that you know what to look out forin these stunning gems.

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