Black Fire Opals
Beneath an unforgiving landscape where summer temperatures hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, black opal is found miners who’ve marveled and benefited from their allure for over a hundred years of this type of fire opal.
Striking – Deep – Victorian – Sentimental – Somber – Stunning – Elegant
Just a few ways to describe black opal. Black opal tones range from black to dark gray. The dark background acts as the canvas for the spectrum of colors it can display. So, despite having the name black opal – the gem can, in fact, encompass various colors. Quality black opal can uniquely reflect a full spectrum of colors.
Black opal is known for being one of the most fascinating varieties of opal and also one of the most popular.
Black opals often contain aspects of common opal. Common opal is strategically left on the backside of finished black opal stones. Common opal enhances the black opal and vibrancy of other colors that black opal can radiate. Black opal’s ability to display intensity is why black opal is considered to be the most valuable type of opal available today.
Black opals are the most valuable form of opal – with prices that range around fetch prices up to $11,000 per carat. Remember, that just because it’s an opal that’s black, doesn’t equate to value. There are many factors including brightness and pattern which determine the overall value of opal.
With black opal, the general rule is that the darker the color bar sitting on top and base, the greater its worth per carat. Reddish hues are also highly valued and appealing.
Typically, the shape and cut of a finished black opal will be dependent on the original.
Black opals have deep, dark colors which project depth. Black opals are ideal for any type of jewelry accessories such as pendants, earrings, brooches, and even men’s cuff links and tie-tacks. When wearing black opal as a ring, it is recommended to choose a protective style setting.
You may find:
A sold black opal ring, oval shaped, with a sterling silver setting, and subdued broad flash. A genuine piece like this, will be available in several online retailers for about $400
A similar piece, that would look like black lava tear drops average about $850.
On the lower end, amazon.com has several black opal jewelry pieces (from reputable sources)
A high-end necklace with a black opal surrounded by diamonds and yellow gold, can be up to $20,000 USD.
A popular New York jeweler, well reviewed and passionate about jewelry offers the following piece (with review)
“ In addition to being gorgeous, opals are reputed to have healing properties and the ability to stimulate the creative imagination. These 1/4″ long squares are set in sterling silver with sterling silver posts and backs. These studs, with their flat, easy-to-wear profile and glittering rainbow hue, are our most popular earrings EVER.” ericaweiner.com
Many jewelry lovers, first timers and casual wearers about comment aboutt he drama and beauty that having black opals brings.
Buying Black Opal Jewelry:
Black Opal commands the highest price per carat.
- Setting and form color: The amount and form of opal are the main factors in identifying its significance.
- Range: Like sapphires and diamonds, opals are considered in carats.
- Brilliance: It’s very important to consider the quantity of its intensity. The more vibrant the color the more valuable it will be. An opal with several colors may of less value than an opal with a single, intense color.
- Color: If there is a dominant “fire” color fire in an opal, it will be of greater value than other colors (this excludes black)
- Pattern: Brightness, together with patterns have an enormous effect of the value and appeal of opals. Patterns that seems to flash or that are noteworthy throughout the gem are more priceless than the opposite.
- Cracks/Faults: Make sure to recognize any faults or inclusions in the stone. The seller should disclose any cracks. However, do most mistake cracks for what may be a natural formation and lose out on a unique piece!