Because of their rarity and fascinating beauty Black Opal is considered the king of Opals - and not only in the realm of Opals. Studies have shown that such a stone of average quality and size is at least 1000 times rarer than the average one carat diamond.
Black opals were found for the first time in 1901 in Lightning Ridge. It received its name from its discoverers due to the natural jet black to dark gray Opal background with no play-of-color (Potch) on which a layer of Opal with play-of-color has grown. The rich, deep black body color provides an excellent contrast which emphasizes the layer of Opal with play-of-color and brings out the brilliance and color deep out of the dark interior of the stone in an incomparable way.
The bodycolor of Black Opal can range from clear (dark Crystal Opal) to transparent, translucent to opaque. Often, the layer with the colors, even with very precious stones, is relatively thin.
Black Opals with a deep black bodycolor are among the rarest and most valuable Opals. In fine qualities, these colorful gemstones show the entire color spectrum of blue, green, orange and sometimes red like fireworks. Top quality Black Opals are very rare and therefore they can reach extraordinary high prices. Especially Black Opals with bright red color flashes are very rare and are valued accordingly high.
Sometimes you can see special patterns in Black Opals with names like ‘Rolling Flash ',' Harlequin 'or' PinFire' which increases the value of the stones even more.
Australia is not only the country with the biggest Opals resources, but also the country with the most numerous varieties of different Opals. In New South Wales, in the area of Lightning Ridge, and in the nearby fields Coocoran, Grawin and Glengarry are the main mining areas of the incomparable Black Opal.
Very rarely Black Opals are also sometimes found in Souh Australia, Mexico, Nevada/US and Indonesia.