Australia is one of the largest storehouses of natural opal on Earth, so one well imagine that its market is flooded with multiple varieties of the precious stone. However, the types are too extensive in number, and soundly remembering the appearances of them all can be a tough nut to crack. Fortunately, there are many an opal museum in places like Brisbane and Sydney, where you can quench your thirst for knowledge about the valuable stones.
Let’s take a quick look at the different types of beautiful opal stones found in Australia:
Discovered recently and found exclusively in desert regions of Western Australia, this peculiarly exquisite opal comes in shades of reddish and sun burnt orange. It bears a great deal of resemblance to its Mexican fire counterpart.
As the name suggests, this variety is restricted to the area of Andamooka, which is a small town close to Adelaide in South Australian outback. It is quite famous for its spectacular appearance that looks like a matrix from the cyberculture inspired by the movie with the same name.
This is perhaps the most popular form of opal, but it’s not characteristically black, unlike its name suggests. In fact, black implies that the stone simply has a dark tone. It is particularly more common in the Lightning Ridge area of NSW.
Featuring a body tone that is white milky, this variety is generally mined in the Coober Pedy region of South Australia. Although having a unique beauty of its own, this opal does not appear as bright as its black peer.
This type is usually formed with another rock known as ironstone, and its primary source is the opal fields of Queensland. Boulder opals are further subdivided into various categories, which include matrix, yowah, fairy, koroit, mintabie and tintenbar.
Being almost as clear as water, it has a near-transparent jelly like appearance with flashes of colours on it. The transparency usually varies from one specimen to another, and can be nearly opaque in rare cases.
The best way to take a close look at the above mentioned opal types is by paying a visit to any good Australian opal jewellery house. Such a place would not only offer a great visual experience, but also provide plenty of information about the different kinds of opal existing in the world.