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Opal Value: How to Value Opal Like a Pro

Opal Value: How to Value Opal Like a Pro

If you’re smitten by opals, you are one of the million people who adore opal too. Whether you’re a collector or one who is trying to understand opals in all its meanings, both geological and metaphysical, we can direct you to the right info. In this post, we will learn about opal value and the crucial five factors that teaches you how to value opal. Ready to find out the real value of your mystic stone?

Opal Value per carat

Opal Value: How To Value Opal Like A Pro


Opal prices per gram is determined based on a lot of factors such as the color, brilliance, play of color, body tone, patterns, brightness, shapes, inclusions and even the origin of the opal. Individual opal experts and gemologists will appraise the stone depending on all these factors.

Opal doublet Value is lower than your natural opal because doublets and triplets are assembled stones. It often contains not more than a thin slice of opal inside it.

5 Important Factors that Determine How to Value Opal

Crystal opal value is dependent on a collection of things, not just one. Together, the five core elements determine the opal value and prices per gram. It will help you identify real opals from fake opals.

1.    Color, Play of Color and Brilliance

Rare Natural Black Opal - $800

The first thing to determine the value of opal is by its color. There are various types of Opal Color Chart types that can help you divide the opals by specific categories. Play of colors is produced when light hits the silica spheres inside opal.

When you look at an opal from directly up, you can see the base color or the background color in the opal. Often you can see the primary color and the secondary color. The primary color of the opal determines the value. Red is the rarest color of opals, followed by orange. After that comes green, followed by blue and purple.  Secondary colors such as purple (with red) makes the red hue look grand. It is highly sought after.

Play of Color follows a different order of value. Red is the priciest, followed by green and then, blue. As for Brilliance, the thickness of the color bar makes it more valuable than the others. The categories of opal brilliance are brilliant, bright, subdued and dull.

2.    Body Tone and Patterns On Opal

There are three types of body types for opals- Black Opal with N1 to N4 on the Body Tone Guide. N5 and N6 are Dark Opals. N7 to N9 are light opals or crystal opals. Majority of the opal mined in the world are called light opals. It will have a transparent body with iridescence finely detailed on it. That’s why, the most valuable body tone is the black opal, followed by dark opal and then light opals.

Opal value is also determined based on the patterns on the opal. With Harlequin pattern being the most valued, floral variety of harlequin is also highly priced. It is followed by Mackerel, Broad Flash, Pinfire, Rolling Flash and Rainbow. Opals without patterns are not so valuable as the ones with.

3.    Brightness and Shape of Opal

On the Opal Brightness Guide made by Australian Opal Association, note B1 and B7. The brightest and the most valued opal is B1, with the brightness and value decreasing in order until B7, the dullest.

Shape of the opal also directs you to the price of opal because it speaks of the versatility of the piece for ornamental and lapidary purposes. Oval is considered the most desirable except for boulder opals where free form is desirable. Cabochon opals are the priciest shape due to their dome like surfaces while flat stones are less desirable.

4.    Inclusions and Origin of the Opal

Natural Black Opal Earrings - 925 Sterling Silver
Natural Black Opal Earrings - 925 Sterling Silver; $144 USD

Inclusions are flaws that are naturally occurring due to trapped sand to other particles. Analyzing the inclusions can show you the origin of the opal. While flaws undervalue the stone, in case of Ethiopian opals, these are desirable. Inclusions should not be confused with cracks, which bring down the value of the stone greatly.

Sand is another substance that can bring down the value of opals while opals with vegetation are desirable. When there is a gap on the bottom of the opal inclusions showing transparency, it is called a window. They devalue opals too.

5.    Artificial Vs Natural

Genuine Black Opal - 925 Sterling Silver
Genuine Black Opal - 925 Sterling Silver; $599 USD

Type of Opal or the class of opal is also one of the best ways to determine the price of your opal. The basic type of opal is natural while the counterpart is synthetic opals. Other than that, you have a variety of opals in the category of natural.

·      Precious Opal

The play of colors on a precious opal are remarkable. When you rotate such an opal, you can see the iridescence changing from all the sides. Red is the most valued color of precious opals followed by blue and violet.

·      Common Opal

The ordinary opal has no iridescence. It has a milky white hue called opalescence. There is no play of colors because hydrated silica is uneven, producing no play of colors. These are lesser in value than precious opals. Colors of common opals are green, blue, white, yellow, brown and grey.

·      Black Opal

A sought after opal that fetches high values when found naturally, black opal is precious. They are beautiful with a striking iridescence. Black opals are one of the most expensive opals. It is a grounding stone that keeps you strong and grounded throughout the day.

·      Fire Opal

Another beautiful category of opals, fire opals are opals with a predominant yellow, red or orange body color. Seen as transparent and translucent, fire opals are valued by their iridescence and color. One of the interesting facts about fire opal is that it can be seen without iridescence too. Fire opals connect with your life force energy in the lower chakras.  

·      Crystal Opal

When opal is seen with transparency, it is called a crystal opal. This is a common type of opal with many metaphysical attributes.

·      White Opal

Among the precious opals, the most undervalued opals are the white opals. It has a dull play of colors, but white opal commands your higher chakras.

Ethiopian Opal Price Per Cart

Ethiopian Opal Gemstone Pendant - 925 Sterling Silver
Ethiopian Opal Gemstone Pendant - 925 Sterling Silver; $70 USD

Based on the intensity of colors and the patterns in the stone, one carat of Ethiopian Opal costs $10-$250. In contrast, a higher valued opal is the Australian opal with incredibly sharp iridescence. Australian opal costs $10- $275 AUD depending on the iridescence and patterns as well as colors of the stone.


Opal value is easy to understand if you’re planning to invest in opal jewelry. Share us your D.O.B and we will tell you if opal is indeed the right stone for you!

More on Opal Benefits, Meanings, Properties and Powers to read ahead.

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