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Australian Opals

We have a nice selection of Australian Opals available for sale here on St Claire Opals. 

Peter Buchanan, who is Australian, obtains the beautiful opals from the finest of sources either from raw uncut stone or as an exquisite opal. He obtains the opals from various regions in Australia such as Lightning Ridge, which is also known as "Black Opals". Black Opals are highly sought after due to their brilliance in colour, especially when sunlight or light shines on them. Have a look at the wide range of such opals on the Opals link on the top menu. 

Peter, the owner, and producer of many of the opals, cuts opals from the stone, works on and polishes them to the highest quality. He also attaches chains to some opals and he can add a silver chain if you prefer. He also has opals mounted on silver as a jewellery piece. Or, indeed, if you are a jeweller who requires the finest opals for your crafted jewellery, Peter would only be too happy to supply you with them.

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Black Opals and other types of opals

The Lightning Ridge opals here are known as the Black Opals

Buy Australian Opal in your price range

Australis Fire Opals

Geology for mining at Coober Pedy

The story of Coober Pedy is intimately tied with geology. Some of the most fantastic episodes of human action and reaction that I have witnessed have come about simply because of the way that nature deposited opal in Coober Pedy. Furthermore, the great mystery of opal deposition and formation is illustrated in its purest form in Coober Pedy. It is there for all to see. Illterate miners from all parts of the globe recognised it, lived by it, dreamed about it, fought over it, and gloried in it, but technical authorities, geologists and scientists, let it pass unnoticed. How strange this is, how incredible but true - an to think of all the money that might have been mine if I had this knowledge six years ago or applied it later with more intelligence.

abstract from the great Archie Kalokerinos published book Australian Precious Opal

Australian Opal basics

No two Australian opals are alike. Each Australian opal has its own character, colour, brilliance, and personality. An Australian opal is the perfect choice to reflect your personality or that of a loved one. Knowing that your opal is completely unique is a treasure in and of itself!

Australian opals come in a rainbow of colours that change before your eyes. The opalescent effect occurs when light enters the opal and is refracted as it bounces off of tiny chips of hydrated silica found within the stone. Think of an opal as having hundreds of tiny prisms within, each creating rainbows. This colour play has fascinated opal lovers for generations.

While dozens of opal colours exist, it's helpful to categorise opals in terms of black and white. White opals are far more common than the rare Australian black opals from Lightning Ridge. Black opals get their darkness from iron oxides and carbon which are absent in white opals. Australian black opals are highly prized for their characteristics and uniqueness. Black opals from other countries do exist; however, they get their black properties from smoke, heat, or sugar treatments. Though black opals are dark, they are highly refractive with an amazing play of colour.

Australian opals are rated on a scale of 1 to 7 for brightness and body tone with 1 being the most desirable and 7 the least. They also come in a myriad of patterns with deive names such as: ribbon, floral, flagstone, and Chinese writing. Round, circular, and oval are the most popular shapes for Australian opals.

Australia mines about 95 percent of the world's white precious opals and almost all black opals. The most important deposits are found in New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland.

Buying Australian Opals for yourself or as a gift

Want to celebrate a personal milestone? Is a loved one's birthday coming up? Looking for gift ideas for a special occasion? Australian opals are perfect for the man or woman who has everything. Browse our selection of Australian opals or contact us with any questions you may have.

Know your Australian Opals? Choose an opal from the regions below

Shop for Australian opals by type. Most of our Australian opals originate from the following Australian states:

State Main Areas
South Australia Coober Pedy
Queensland Yowah Koroit Boulder
New South Wales Lightning Ridge
Western Australia Australis Fire Opals

Living in the UK?

Not found the opal you are looking forward, please contact Peter on +44 (0)2392468254 or simply email Peter at He'll be happy to assist you in any way he can.