Are boulder opals valuable?
Valuing boulder opal per carat is not generally accepted in the industry due to the large component of ironstone present in the stone. However, to give a rough indication, top quality boulder opal may fetch prices of up to AUD $3,500 per carat for a gem quality stone.
What does boulder opal mean?
Boulder opal is defined as natural opal that occurs in ‘veins’ or ‘pockets’ in sedimentary ironstone or sandstone boulders (see image). Boulder opals are only found in one part of the world – Queensland, Australia.
What is special about boulder opal?
Boulder opal typically displays bright and vibrant colours. The natural iron stone base of boulder opal gives added stability and adds to the depth of colour produced in the gems. The varied and interesting natural shapes in which the gems occur make for added interest and unusual jewellery.
How can you tell if a boulder opal is real?
Most genuine solid opals have an irregularity in this area – curved or bumpy due to their natural formation – whereas a man-made stone will be perfectly flat because the two sections are flattened so they can be glued together. Be especially wary if the opal is set in jewellery and you cannot see its back or side.
Why is boulder opal so expensive?
All the coloration of the rainbow can be found in this amazing Australian boulder opal. Opal also an intense and mystical fire inside, which has really popularized it and in the process made it more expensive- for this reason, a fine example of an opal may be worth even more than a diamond.
How do you look after an opal boulder?
Solid boulder opal is not affected by water. Opal jewellery can be cleaned on a regular basis. You should use mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth to wipe them down. Since opal is quite porous, you should also avoid the use of bleach, chemicals, cosmetics or household cleaners when wearing opal jewellery.
Are triplet opals valuable?
However, they occasionally run as high as 50% of a natural opal if they are of exceptional quality. Triplets are only about 1% of the value of an equivalent natural and peak at $500.
How can you tell opalite from opal?
They do not have the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural opal; instead, they simply look like natural opal. Man-made materials called opalite range from glasses and plastics that have a pearly or opalescent luster, to plastic-impregnated resins that exhibit a true play-of-color.