About Opal Gemstones and Varieties of Opal
A gemstone associated with the planet of Venus, known for its cosmetic value just like the planet itself. Yes, we are talking about the Opal. Widely speaking, there are two different kinds of opal available in nature. Precious and Common. Precious Opal Varieties displays the play of colour, where it changes colour as the angle of view changes. Common opal stones do not display such play of colour.
However, this is a large generalization and there are a number of ways you can make a list of opals based on their characteristics. For example, Different Opal Stones possess and display different properties such as colour and transparency. Here, we have prepared a list of opals based on their availability, colour, geographic origins, and other dividing factors. Let’s have a look.
Opal gemstone types
The beauty and desirability of Different Opal stones have compelled humans to produce materials that resemble a Natural opal stone. There are three different types of opal based on their availability and manufacturing:
- Natural opal: Natural opal is the name used for a genuine Opal Varieties that has been mined from the Earth’s crust. It is the most natural form gifted by nature to humans.
- Synthetic opal: A lab-created opal made from materials that have the same chemical composition as natural opals. They have similar properties and appearance as Natural opals but they are cheaper in rates.
- Imitation opal: Man-made imitation of different kinds of opal is usually composed of glass, resin, or plastic. They are used as low-cost substitutes for Natural opals. Imitated opals can sometimes make it difficult for expert Gemologists to differentiate between a natural and imitated opal due to its structure.
Seven Different kinds of Opal Gemstones
Different Opal gemstone types have different set characteristics as we mentioned above. They can display colour flashes, which give them their distinct looks. Apart from their classification as Precious and Common, they are further divided into seven different kinds of Opal. Here is the list of Opals based on their subdivision:
- Black opal: Black opals are some of the most precious opals produced in Lightning Ridge, Australia. They are superior in quality and rarity.
- White opal: White opals have a medium grey or colourless base tone. They are also referred to as ‘Light Opals’ but are popularly known as White opals.
- Fire opal: Fire opals appear translucent or transparent and have distinct colour variations ranging from red and orange to yellow. They are famous as Fire opals in Australia and Mexico, their place of origin.
- Boulder opal: Boulder opals are formed within the crust of host rocks, which are naturally formed over years. Western Queensland is the major source of Boulder opals among different opal stones.
- Hyalite opal: This stone is described as a colourless type of opal that resembles a glass. Available in faint tints of green, blue, or yellow hues, this opal is also called Muller’s Glass.
- Matrix opal: These opal varieties are described as the opals diffused intimately as fillings of holes or pores between the grains in a host rock.
- Crystal opal: Crystal opals are usually transparent to semi-translucent, and flash a spectral of colours from within the stone, as it interacts with light.
Different types of opals are powerful tools that can bring positivity to one’s life. Our Vedic astrologers are well-versed in the study of gemstones and can progressively guide you with your choice of stones.
Different Types of Opal based on Colour
Talking about the colours, different opal stones can be found in a variety of beautiful colours like blue, pink, and many more. Here is the list of opals based on their colours:
- Blue opal: It is astonishing for people to spot a rare blue opal. A Blue opal ranges from light to dark pastel blue. It is a highly regarded variety of Common opal and is sourced from Peru, Oregon, and Indonesia.
- Pink opal: Opal also occurs in shades of pink. It ranges in colours from nearly white, through carnation pink and lilac. People of Mexico call the Rhyolite Hosted Fire opal a “Pink Opal”.
- Morado opal: Morado in Spanish means ‘purple’. Therefore, it is known as “Morado Opal” or simply “Morado”. Very few sources in the world produce opal with rich purple colour, making it one of the rare opal gemstone types
Thinking about buying an Opal Stone? Here is What You Should Know Before Buying a Gemstone Online.
List of Opal Stones
Different opal stones can be identified as per their colour patterns:
- Harlequin opal: Harlequin opal is an opal that displays patches of colours in the shape of rectangles or diamonds.
- Contra-Luz opal: This is the most intriguing variety of opal, which displays a spectrum of colours when the light source is flashed from behind the stone. This enables the light to travel through the stone directly into the eyes of the observer
- Pinfire or Pinpoint opal: Out of all the opal gemstone types, this name is used for the opal that pinpoints colour throughout the stone.
- Cat’s Eye opal: Cat’s eye opal reflects an optical effect that produces a ‘cat’s eye’ across the surface of the stone. It consists of a thin bright light that reflects from a parallel network of needle-shaped inclusions within the gem.
Different types of Opal come in varied colours, shapes, and sizes and have remedial measures for different problems of life. Select an Opal with the help of our expert Gemologists and enjoy the ecstasies of life
Where can you find Different Kinds of Opal?
Here is a list of opals as per their geographical locations:
- Andamooka opal: Andamooka district of Australia is the main mining source of Matrix opals, which weigh about 30 carats.
- Australian opal: Australia has been the world’s leading manufacturing source of opal varieties like Precious, Black, Matrix, Boulder, and Common opals.
- Coober Pedy opal: Coober Pedy, a small town in South Australia, is considered the first mining hub of opal production.
- Ethiopian opal: Precious, Fire, and Common opals originate from Ethiopia. It has a huge market with an extensive customer base for quality assured opals.
- Lightning Ridge opal: A small town in New South Wales, Lightning Ridge has become the world’s famous spot for Black opal deposits.
- Mexican opal: Mexico is the world’s largest source of Fire opals.
- Louisiana opal: Louisiana opal is a quartzite cemented with Precious opal that occurs in grey to black colour, and is mined in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.
- Peruvian opal: Peruvian opal, which does not display colour flashes, is said to be a Common opal of uncommon colour out of all opal gemstone types. Peru yields the world’s most beautiful opals ranging from pastel colours of blue, green, and pink.
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