Australian opals rank high among the most valuable and popular opal types. Generally, black opals are rare stones with a unique personality. Also named the Mother of All Gemstones by Shakespeare, black opal contains a rainbow array of colors that make it a unique, beautiful, classy, and valuable option for special occasion jewelry.
However, purchasing authentic black opal requires due diligence and expertise. Below is a black opal guide detailing its origin, geological properties, healing properties, and value.
Black Opal Origin and Formation
Black are scarce and believed to have one origin, Australia. The majority of black opals circulating the market are believed to come from the town of Lightning Ridge. Due to their rarity and the fact that Australia produces 90% of black opals in the market, ethical and responsible mining has become significantly important. It is for this reason that most blacks are simply referred to as Australian black opals.
Black opals are made from a water and silicone oxide solution. Water carries silica via the earth and deposits it in the crust’s cracks and openings. As water evaporates, the silica chemical deposits are left behind. More pressure over the years on this process leads to the shaping and formation of opals.
Additionally, black opals are rare and valuable also due to their elusiveness. Unfortunately, even mining experts often lack a clue as to where to dig and find black opals.
The first black opal recorded was found in 1873 in Lightning Ridge. However, people remained unaware of black opal’s value until 1903.
How do Black Opals Get Their Color?
Contrary to popular opinion, black opals are not entirely black. Black opal stones have a natural feature known as potch that gives the stones the dark/black shade. Surprisingly, expect to find all the rainbow colors appearing in beautiful patterns inside the gemstone.
Generally, most gemstones achieve their colors due to the availability of specific elements during formation. One example is diamond gems turning blue in the presence of Boron. However, black opal achieves its vibrant colors differently.
Ideally, opals are great at light diffraction due to their silica composition, just like typical glass. As previously mentioned, water carries silica to the crust’s cracks and openings and later evaporates, leaving behind silica deposits. The deposits appear spherical, with a layering stacking formation creating gaps between the spheres.
Therefore, light splits like a rainbow from a prism as it passes via the spheres and gaps. The result is the massive display of stunning colors common in black opals.
The stone is characterized by a dark body tone ranging from dark grey to jet black. This refers to the stone’s general body tone and isn’t related to the rainbow of colors present in black opals. Additionally, black opals have iron oxide and carbon trace elements present, causing an unusual dark appearance, unlike in ordinary opals.
This vibrant display of colors makes black opals extremely rare and valuable. Black opals are the most valuable opal varieties.
|Formula (repeating unit)||Hydrated silica. SiO2·nH2O|
|Crystal habit||Irregular veins, in masses, in nodules|
|Fracture||Conchoidal to uneven|
|Mohs scale hardness||5.5 – 6|
|Luster||Subvitreous to waxy|
|Diaphaneity||opaque, translucent, transparent|
|Polish luster||Vitreous to resinous|
|Optical properties||Single refractive, often anomalous double refractive due to strain|
|Diagnostic features||darkening upon heating|
|Solubility||hot saltwater, bases, methanol, humic acid, hydrofluoric acid|
Black Opal Healing Properties and Benefits
Astrologers believe in stones’ healing properties. Generally, opals are considered spiritual healers. Below are the various physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing properties of black opals.
Black opal produces energies and vibrations that are known to soothe eye irritations and skin itching. In addition, black opals have nurturing vibes that balance the body’s water content and ensure the torso remains healthy. Its black and vibrant colors help to filter your kidney waste to purify your blood and blood vessels.
Black opal’s potency regulates the production and control of insulin. It also helps women to overcome their PMS or hormonal issues. The stone possesses an added ability to help in the formation of new blood cells in the bone marrow. It also helps in the effective absorption of calcium. As such, the gemstone is good for the vitality of bones, nails, teeth, and hair, which thrive on the abundance of calcium.
Black opals energies are essential in maintaining an overall proper physique. The stone helps to solve the troubles of the stomach and digestive tract. Additionally, it cures colds, flu, and ulcers. It treats infections and gets rid of the causes of fever. Finally, it normalizes hormone production and ends infertility and impotence-related problems.
Black opal supports not only the healing of your intellectual and physical torso but also the emotional part, allowing you to regain your self-worth. The stone can help you regain your lost composure and improve inner energy to help you tap into the surrounding positivity.
The stone possesses healing energies that help your soul forget the painfully emotional past and heal past the pain. It also helps you vibrate into the path of long-term happiness. The stone’s charismatic vibes teach your soul to accept the present situations and keep yourself grounded as well as emotionally stable. Black opal helps you let go of inhibitions, thoughts, and emotions that hinder your overall growth and development.
It helps you to relax and regain control of your spirit. The stone soothes your emotional being and lets you overcome any blockages, allowing you to see and feel the goodness surrounding you at all times.
Moreover, black opal helps to protect your relationships and helps you feel more determined. It helps you to open up more to your loved ones whether you are involved romantically or not. With black opal, expect to feel more open and receive warmth and positivity without a doubt.
Black opal is also a stone of the mind. It helps to alleviate negative feelings that typically stem from the mind, such as fear. The stone is perfect for conquering fear. It gives your mind the strength to push through the scariest events and moments.
Black opal provides you with the confidence and mental strength to survive such tough moments. Mental toughness is also important when faced with hard decisions. Black opal helps you put every decision and option on the table and help you choose without fear or bias. Moreover, since meditation often requires the oneness of the body, black opal is a highly effective meditative stone that links your mind, body, spirit, and heart for an effective meditation session.
Opals are considered spiritual gemstones. Black opal is known to help one regain their spirituality and shine spiritual light into their spiritual souls. The stone supplements the cosmic realization and awakens psychic and mystic abilities. Black opal acts as the great shamanic guide that helps your soul achieve its highest meditative states.
Black opal’s energies and vibrations help in improving communication. It stimulates the energies vital in yielding the peace of the heart, mind, and soul. Most importantly, it encourages you to embrace and rejoice in the beauty of the moment.
Black Opal and Chakra
Different colors stimulate each chakra. Therefore, the different color energies present in black opal are predisposed to stimulate the different chakras and ensure they are in working order. Specific colors tend to trigger different chakras to balance the energy and transmit it to the torso for general balance.
The attractive tints of the black opal stimulate the Crown and Root chakra. Furthermore, black opal’s cleansing effects restore energies at all levels, helping to stabilize your inner being. Black opal the discouraging vibes from your inner spirit and allows you to embrace positive living.
Black opal stimulates your crown chakra, helping you feel a oneness with Mother Nature. This restores the feeling of joy and tranquility in your life. Stimulating the crown chakra helps your soul understand life’s divine purposes and the existence of life. It also activates the root and base chakra, thus helping to bring stability to oneself.
Meditation with Black Opal
Black opal is an effective meditative stone. When meditating with black opal, place it in front of you with your eyes closed while inhaling deep breaths. Start channeling feelings and emotions clouding you. Project these negative energies into the stone until you are cleansed. Take the black opal and cleanse it as you would for other stones. Carry it with you to help deflect every negative energy that comes your way after cleansing.
Black opal is connected to the zodiac sign Libra. It represents creative, free-spirited, and balanced people who love beautiful, gentle, and gracious things. However, it can be used and benefit people with different zodiac signs.
Black Opal Value
Black opals display different colors, which is unusual in opal varieties. This contributes to its high value. In addition, mining experts agree that this stone is extremely rare, seeing that it is impossible to determine or locate their presence anywhere.
Currently, Australian black opals are the most valuable in the market due to their rarity. Top-quality black opals can cost up to $10,000 per carat, making it the most expensive opal variety.
Black Opal Vs. Boulder Opal
Boulder and black opals are both mined in Australia. Boulder opal is almost identical to black opal in its patterns, colors, and brilliance. However, there are some significant differences.
Black opal measures between 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. However, boulder opal has a strength advantage over the black variety. This is due to the presence of ironstone on the back of the boulder opal that gives it extra strength and hardness.
Both opals also differ in shape. Black opal is usually oval-shaped and tends to be symmetrical. On the other hand, boulder opals are usually cut as irregular shapes due to the stone vein’s thin nature.
However, the black opals are still the rarest and the most valuable above boulder opals despite being sourced in the same country.
Black opals are among the rarest opal varieties. Despite their grey-black appearance, black opals possess distinct colors that appear stunning. These rainbow colors play a part in the stone’s value since it is a rare feature. Generally, 90% of black opals mined globally come from Australia.