When it comes to iridescent natural gemstones, opal is considered one of the most valuable on the list.
It is one of the unique gemstones made from silica minerals. Unlike other family members, opal is non-crystalline.
The composition found in opal is amorphous instead of crystal. The most noticeable thing about the opal is its ability to flash fiery colours from the gemstone’s depth.
The range of colours that it can show is astounding. There are plenty of more features that make opal one of the most stunning-looking gemstones in the world.
How Much Does Opal Cost?
Opal prices will vary depending on a lot of factors. Countless attributes make opals a desirable gemstone for jewelry buyers and collectors. The rarer you choose, the higher the prices will be for the gemstone. Opal costs can come from $10 per carat to as high as $6,000 per carat. The size and the quality are the biggest influence on the price tag.
If you’re new to opal buying, you need to get as much information as possible about opal and its types.
Unless you like paying a high amount for the top-of-the-line opal, you need to do some research on this topic. Different types of opal will have a variety of price points attached to them.
Black Opal Cost
If you want to reach the highest of the highest, then black opal is held in high esteem by being the most valuable opal globally. They will start at $30 per half-carat and reach up to $1,500 per carat. If the black opal is of high quality, then the price can go up to $50,000.
Australian Fire opal Cost
They are known for their shiny lustre and hardness. Compared to black opal, fire opal is more affordable, and the price point will range from $70 to $1000.
At the same time, it is not known for its highest quality opal compared to the standard set by black opal. Australian opals are also very popular as they are very affordable and much more acquirable.
What are the factors that affect the price of opal?
Australian opal is one of the most famous opals in the world. If you take a look at the supply of opal, you will find they come from almost all around the world.
But if you take a look at the statistics behind it, you will find 95% of them come from Australia. Australian opal makes up 95% of the international opal supply.
There is a reason why Australia is considered a prime nursery for opals? Geological conditions have a huge effect on the formation of the opal.
Quality is one of the biggest factors that you will face buying an opal stone. Each specimen has a multitude of factors that could make the opal stone real unique in the market.
Hence the price of these stones will also see a rise. The price of opal will invariably shift depending on factors that affect the quality of the stone.
So it all comes down to what affects the stone prices. If you are new to stone shopping, then you will need to ask yourself this question to avoid scams.
Each one of the factors will play a crucial role in setting up the price. Nearly all opal collectors know about these factors so they make a wise decision at the end without spending an outrageous amount of money on a common opal.
It can be very difficult for anyone to know the difference between a unique and common opal. Since they share striking similarities.
But they all will have different elements that will make them unique or common.
List of factors that affects the price
Now you need to focus on 10 factors that can influence opal price: Colour, the play of colour, pattern, body tone, brightness, shape, and flaws.
Color – the first thing anyone will notice on opal is the color. Red is considered the rarest and most south out color in the market.
The most valuable colors range from red then orange, green, blue, and lastly, purple. You will never find an opal that only has a single color.
Dominant color will fetch a higher price tag in the market.
The direction of color: Opals will change colors based on the range they are viewed at. The direction of colour will affect the price. In addition, the direction will show how versatile the opal is.
Pattern: There are plenty of opals that share a rare and unique pattern. Some top patterns are mackerel, block, broad flash, rolling flash, pinfire, rainbow, and honeycomb pattern.
Body Tone: Opals are grouped into 9 subcategories, N1 to N9. N1 is the darkest opal, N9 being the lightest amongst them all. Black opals are generally sitting between N1 to N4.
Brightness: There are 9 subcategories of brightness ratings attached to opal B1 to B7. B1 is considered as the brightness and B7 being the dullest. Brighter the opal; the higher price it will be in value.
Shape -oval stones are more valuable than free form, their shape judges the versatility of opal. They are always cut in cabochon; cabochon stone is more valuable than a flat stone.
Because cabochon stones make up for great rings, they are less desirable than flat stones because they cannot be implemented in the jewelry design.
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What should you know about opal stone prices?
Opal Field Source
Certain mines have the reputation of producing high-quality stones compared to others. As a result, their stones will be on a higher price tag and are more in demand. So if you are eyeing these tones, they will be expensive.
Natural or Treated
Natural opals are always valued higher compared to treated opal. Opal auction has sellers that must state how the opal is treated.
The rise of fake opals nervous a lot of people from buying them in the market. Fake opal or synthetic opal can be very appealing, but they will not have the same quality as natural ones.
Over the last few years, opals that are treated or smoked have been sold in the market in the name of black opal.
Expensive price tag
An opal with more features tends to fetch a higher price tag on the market. Everything needs to be perfect for the opal to attract consumers.
It isn’t easy to find a unique opal in the market. It is guaranteed that you will also come across hundreds of common ones, but uniques are very rare to see. Most of them are bought by gem collectors.
Another thing you should pay attention to is the supply of opal. If the supply is low, then you can expect to face a tougher price than on average.
On the other hand, a high supply of opal will result in a reduction of price tag. Most of the unique ones are always going to sit on the lower end of the supply line.
You can expect to face a hard price almost all year round. The same can not be said about the common ones, since they are variable almost every single month of the year. So you will have difficulty getting your hands on them.
Another factor is the location, the prices of opal will vary from one location to another. The source also comes into play, which will have both negative or positive effects on the price point.
When the opal gets extracted, miners will carry out sorted work to prepare them to be sold in price per carat, weight.
Despite what many people think, opal doesn’t share a singular form; this results in a tough price point as they come at $10 to $6000 or more per carat. Different types of opal will have their appealing factor to them.
Australian opal is said to be the best in the market. But prepare to face some tough competition getting your hands on them.
Unlike other forms of opal that come from other parts of the world. Australian opal is known for its unique quality that is rather rare to initiate.
This is why many gem collectors always have a spot for Austrian opals. Since most of the opals in this country are known to share a unique look with a depth of colors.
When the opal comes in contact with light, it shows a whole new range of beauty that is harder to recreate on any common opal.
Not all opals are made in the same way, most of them are considered common, and some stand out amongst the rest. The unique ones are always low on supply and fetch a great deal of money in the market.
The demand for opal always seems to run high almost all around the year. If you’re interested in getting them, then make sure to learn as much information as you can about opal and how much they are going for currently in the market. Hire a professional to walk you through the testing process to not get cheated on your purchase.