Opal, Australia’s national gemstone will colour your world. Known to Indigenous people as “the fire of the desert” it represents a powerful symbol of Australia’s arid interior.
Opal Horizon has long been established to explore for and mine the precious gem and to advance its appreciation by the public through the distribution and sale of high quality boulder and pipe opal from the Company’s own Queensland operations.
Quality, colour and brilliance are paramount to the successful adoption of the gem’s integrity and value in the marketplace. In 2011, at the Gemological Institute of America Symposium in Carlsbad, California, the Company announced development of a new comprehensive gem quality opal grading system – the 3Cs classification and grading scheme. This scheme provides a solid quantifiable grading system that establishes specific gem grade qualities for this precious stone.
When you acquire an opal, whether it be black, white, crystal or boulder, you want the best!
Australian opals are the finest in the world, but before you race out and buy one, learn a little about them what forms they come in and what’s available.
They fall into 3 categories: solids, doublets and triplets.
Solids are natural stones which have been cut and polished. Many of them have natural potch or rock backs.
Doublets are two pieces cemented together. Bonding a layer of high grade opal to a black back enhances the colour and makes them very attractive. Some have a nice cabochon top, which in many cases, resembles black opal.
Triplets are doublets that are usually made from a wafer-thin layer of opal with clear domed caps cemented to their faces. The cap can either be glass or quartz, depending on the quality of the opal. Not only does it protect the opal, but also magnifies the intensity of the colour and pattern, greatly enhancing the overall appearance of the stone.