Opal stone is known to be extremely beautiful, and they are produced in different parts of the world on a regular basis. They are also considered extremely lucky, which is why many people buy them for their personal collection.
Whether you intend to buy opals as jewelry or for your personal fascination with them, it is important that you acquire comprehensive gem information about them so that you can pick the best specimens.
Here is a look at the various types of opal stones that you can find.
Precious Opal Stone
Among all the gemstone names that you can ever come across, the Precious Opal is by far the most important. These stones are known for flashing iridescent colors as they are viewed from multiple angles; a phenomenon that is called “play-of-color.”
A wide range of colors can be noticed in such color plays, such as red, orange, bright yellow, blue, green and purple. They are always in high demand in the gem and jewelry industry.
Harlequin Opal Gems Stone
A Harlequin Opal is a type of opal that has gotten patches of color appearing like diamonds or rectangles. They are known for their variations of sizes, colors, and looks.
Pinfire Opal Stone
The Pinfire Opal or Pinpoint Opal is a stone that has got distinct pinpoints of color all over the stone. Australia is a rich source of Pinfire Opals.
The “Contra-Luz” opals are characterized by color-play which can be visible when a light source is placed behind the stone. Such an effect is only noticed in stones which are either completely transparent or almost transparent.
Cat’s Eye Opal Stone
Opals do not usually show the chatoyancy, a special type of optical effect which helps to create a “cats-eye” on a stone.
With these opals, a sharp prominent line is created by reflection through a system of numerous needle-shaped inclusions that are present inside the gem.
This line or the so-called eye tends to move back and forth over the surface of the stone as it is moved or as the source of light is moved. You can also notice it when you move your head slightly.
There are some specific types of purple colored opals that are known as Morado opals. The term “Morado” is actually Spanish for purple. In most cases, Morado opals are found in Mexico.
Peruvian blue opal stones are mined in Peru, South America. While some variants of blue opals come with a play of colors, there are others that do not exhibit such a property.
However, both types of blue opals are in equally high demand. These opals are loved by all for their beautiful, serene shade of blue.
Pink opals, just like the blue ones are produced in Peru. They can range from being almost white to lilac shades and even carnation pink. They are often used for making jewelry.
The solid opal stones are cut stones or rough stones that are entirely composed of the opal material and do not have any trace of the host rock components or other major inclusions.
These solid opal stones can sometimes come as a combination of common and precious opal stones. Solid opals are generally referred to as the “Type 1 Opal”.
Andamooka is a mining district in South Australia and the opals produced there are called Andamooka Opals. Commercial production of opals began sometime around the 1920s.
It is particularly known for the production of matrix opals. Opal stones produced here can weigh as high as 30 carats.
Ethiopia is known for the production of precious opals and fire opals, which are known for their vibrancy and attractiveness.
They are always in high demand in the gem market and often used for the manufacturing and designing of jewelry.
Nowadays gem quality opals are produced in Ethiopia, which is usually so big and bright that they can easily compete with the opals that are produced in Australia.
Honduras Black Opal
Honduras is famous for producing opals that are known for their black and basalt-matrix structure. They also include tiny vesicles that are filled with shimmering opals.
Honduras Black Opals are extremely vibrant and attractive and are used widely in jewelry making.
The crystal opals are translucent or transparent opals that are known for their vibrant shimmering play of colors. The playing of colors may include shades like violet, blue and green.
Fire opal Stone
The fire opals are some of the most well-known types of rare semi-precious stones in the world. They have a bright fiery color and mostly come in red, orange or yellow shades.
These stones may not show a play-of-color, although every now and then one can find fire opals that do exhibit such a property.
The distinct warm colors in which these are found make them extremely attractive, a reason for which they are widely favored around the world.