What is the Difference between White and Black Opal

If I asked you what the difference between white and black opal is, there is a chance your answer would be something like:

Well the main difference must be that black Opal is black and white Opal is white, right?

Well actually nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t worry though you would not be the only one who would make the assumption that black Opal is entirely black and white Opal is entirely white.

The colour actually refers to the body tone and not the colour of the Opal.  The following Opal body tone chart gives you some idea of how the body tones can differ in the Opal world.

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Different types of Australian Opal

Introduction to the Different Types of Australian Opal

Did you know that 90% of the worlds Opal is found in Australia? You also might not realise that depending on which Opal mine you are at you will find very different types of Australian Opal.

You can find black Opal in New South Wales, white Opal in Queensland and boulder and matrix Opal in South Australia and Queensland.

After the break I go over each of the different types of Australian Opal.

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The outback dunny at Lightning Ridge

Mid July Update on our Lightning Ridge Mining Trip

As the sun rises on our 15th day mining out at Lightning Ridge I thought I would share a few images of what life is like working on an Opal mine in the middle of the outback.

It’s been a great first two weeks, with a lot of fun to come!

For those of you who didn’t see my last blog post, we are running an Opal Mining Adventure on the 21st to 25th July.

This is open to absolutely everyone and anyone interested to get a taste in what Opal Mining is like.

The Lightning Ridge adventure includes:

  • Experience true opal mining with a dinky di Aussie bloke.
  • Delve underground with Mac in a working Lightning Ridge Opal mine.
  • Bask in the hot artesian bore baths, morning and night.
  • Accommodation in a real shearer’s quarters in the heart of this sunburnt country.
  • Camping with campfire cooking, breakfast and dinner included.

Tour dates: Thursday 21st July to Monday 25th July 2016
Departs: Macs Opals Store in Bellingen at 8am
All inclusive price of only: $1650 (Discounts for children under 12 years old)

We cater to all ages and physical abilities.

Call us now on: 66 55 23 12

Pics below – enjoy!

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Sunset at Lightning Ridge

You are Invited Behind the Scenes on an Opal Mining Adventure

Hello fellow Opal lovers,
I am currently busy packing my mining equipment, filling my spare petrol cans and making sure everything is in order for another trip to Lightning Ridge!  I wonder what I might be lucky enough to find this time……

Who wants to join me in the Outback Downunder?

All through the month of July I will again be out in Lightning Ridge trying my luck mining for black opal.

You are invited to join us for a few days if you’d like to visit the outback and see the Heading to Lightning Ridgewhole opal mining process from the inside.

It’s a one of a kind experience that was very well received by everyone on the last tour!

The adventure includes:

  • Come and experience true opal mining with a dinky di Aussie bloke.
  • Delve underground with Mac in a working Opal mine.
  • Bask in the hot artesian bore baths, morning and night.
  • Accommodation in a real shearer’s quarters in the heart of this sunburnt country.
  • Camping with campfire cooking, breakfast and dinner included.

Tour dates: Thursday 21st July to Monday 25th July 2016
Departs: Macs Opals Bellingen 8am
All inclusive price of only: $1650 (Discounts for children under 12 years old)

We cater to all ages and physical abilities.

Call us now on: 66 55 23 12 Read more

worlds largest matrix opal - over 55,000 carats

World’s Largest Opal Matrix is over 55,000 Carats in Size

What is the World’s Largest Opal Matrix?

The largest Opal matrix ever found is a colossus of an Opal Matrix found in the fields of Southern Australia. It’s an unbelievably huge stone of some 55,000 carats in size. Thats 11 Kilos of Opal, the same as 4 bricks or 4,500 penny’s!

The Opal has the mighty dimensions of 30 centimeters long, 15-20 centimeters high and 4 centimeters thick.

Uncut it’s worth is estimated at more than a million dollars, but once cut up and made into jewellery the total value will be far greater!

The previous largest opal weighed “only” 6,100 carats and can be considered a dwarf stone compared to this one.

So what exactly are Matrix opals?
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Triplets And Doublets – What Are They

If you are an opal lover but not so well-off, doublets and triplets might be your first choice. As you probably know, there are three categories of opal – solid opal, doublet and triplet. Natural opal or solid opal refers to the gem that is cut from a single piece of material, while doublets and triplets contain only a thin layer of solid opal. Solid opal is the most valuable of the three and therefore the most expensive. Doublets and triplets are made to resemble the solid opal and due to that fact they are significantly cheaper. Read more

The Uniqueness of Australian Opal Rings

Beauty, complexity and wonder are just some of the words that can be used to describe an opal, but there is one more which describes opals and opal jewelry perfectly and that is – uniqueness. Every single stone is different – various shapes, sizes, colors make every ring made of Australian opals one of a kind. Read more

The Difference between Opal Solids, Opal Doublets & Opal Triplets

This question gets asked quite a lot in emails and also by customers who come into the shop.

So just what is the difference between solid opals and opal doublets / opal triplets?

While us jewellers tend to be an honest bunch (our reputation depends on it!) unfortunately there are a select few that won’t let on about what exactly a piece of jewellery might be. Read more

Starting Out Tips for Buying Opal Online

Are you just starting out on your Opal hunting adventure? Where do you start when searching for the very best Opal you can buy for your hard earned money?

Well, for most modern-aged people, the power of the Internet is now the most likely resource for a fine gemstone search.

While there is nothing as good as seeing the real thing in the palm of your hand, the web is still a great starting point to begin the search for the very best Opal!
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Short Look at the History of Opal in Australia

A Short Look at the History of Opal in Australia

The world famous blond girl, Marilyn Monroe, performed a song “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” in the 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Clearly, she never heard of opal. Opal is listed as one the six most precious gemstones in the world. The opal stands side by side with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, pearls and emeralds. Word opal comes from Sanskrit word for precious stone “Upala”. Read more