factors in valuing a colored gemstone


Valuing natural Australian opals can be a complex process and depends on several factors. The following are some of the main key categories that must be considered when valuing opals:

  1. Color: The play of color or iridescence of an opal is one of the most important factors in determining its value. The more vibrant and intense the colors, the higher the value.

  2. Pattern: The pattern of the play of color is also important. Unique or unusual patterns can add to the value of the opal.

  3. Body Tone: The body tone of an opal refers to its base color, which can range from transparent to opaque. The more transparent the opal, the higher its value.

  4. Size: The size of the opal is another important factor, with larger opals typically commanding a higher price than smaller ones.

  5. Clarity: The clarity of an opal refers to the presence of cracks, inclusions, or other imperfections. The clearer the opal, the higher its value.

  6. Shape: The shape of the opal can also affect its value, with symmetrical and well-cut opals often commanding a higher price.

  7. Origin: The origin of the opal is also important, with opals from certain regions or mines commanding a premium. For example, natural Australian opals are highly prized due to their unique color and pattern from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales.

  8. Rarity: The rarity of the opal can also affect its value. Opals with unique or rare characteristics can be highly sought after and command a higher price.

  9. Solid or Composite: Solid Opals value significantly higher versus a similar colour doublet Opal (two parts Opal and Potch) or Triplet (Quartz top Opal center and dark backing)


certification of gems

These are some of the key factors that must be considered when valuing natural Australian opals. It is important to keep in mind that there is no set formula for determining the value of an opal, due to the inherent unqiueness of each stone as prices can vary greatly based on the individual characteristics of each stone.

David van Niekerk