A Basic Guide in Buying Quality Opal Gemstone

21 October 2016

With opals being the October birthstone, many people are in search of jewellery that contains this gemstone either to wear or for a gift. Before purchasing any pieces of opal jewellery, though, you need to realise how to detect quality stones. Experts grade opal gemstones ranging from extra fine to below commercial classifications in accordance to the directionality of the flashes, cut, imperfections and colours of these stones. Refer to the guide below to learn additional in-depth information about how to buy a quality opal gemstone before you make a final decision.


You must think about an opal’s colour, coverage, cut, clarity and carat to understand the value of the stone that you are purchasing from a jeweller. We share further facts on each of these considerations below:

  • Colour – The base colours of opals range from white to black with numerous shades in between the two. Various other tints on these gemstones, though, cause them to exhibit different colours as the light hits upon them. This is why people often compare opals to volcanoes, galaxies or fireworks. A low number of colours in these stones will diminish the value of them.
  • Coverage – This term refers to how much of the stone exhibits the play of colours that we mention above. When an opal has this play across the entire crown area, its value escalates. If the colour play is off to one side or the other, though, the value will decrease.
  • Cut – The preferred cut for an opal is an evenly proportioned high dome that is not too thin or thick. Many of these gemstones do not allow for this ideal cut, but the ones that do, are more valuable than the other ones.
  • Clarity – To realise the clarity of this stone, you need to examine an opal for inclusions, such as chips, sand and webbing just for three examples. The value of the opals is negatively affected by these inclusions on how much they affect the overall appearance of the stone.
  • Carat – The size of the opal in measured in carats. While the amount of carats may be a determining factor of other types of gemstones, it is not for the opals. These gemstones come in various sizes, but the moderately sized ones of five to ten carats are the most valuable in most cases.

At Ken Ross Jewellers, you can purchase quality opal gemstones set into unique pieces of jewellery. Give the pieces to a special someone or enhance your own wardrobe with them.

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