Opal, Australian’s national gem, is one of nature’s most beautiful gems. Australia produces more than 95% of the world’s opal supply in a wide range of styles, shapes, colors, and patterns. On the 1st century A.D., Pliny described opals as the “Queen of Gems”. Known to bring good fortune, Opal was also included in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. Ancient known elites like Mark Anthony even once coveted it as a gift for Cleopatra.
Divided into the categories of black, dark, light, boulder and matrix opal; natural opal’s classification of black, dark and light is determined by the body tone. One example to determine this is through the degree of darkness in the background. In choosing an opal however, you have to consider the combination of brilliance, pattern, colour, shape and size.
The value of opal is determined by how vibrant its color and how large the stone is. Of course, the value significance affects the price as well. Another thing to determine its value is through patterns. Those with broad patterns are considered to be more valuable than those with small patterns.