Homepage RGC Advertising newsroom

How to Choose the Perfect Loose Opal for Custom Australian Opal Jewellery

Announcement posted by RGC Advertising 01 Sep 2021

This short guide will ensure you make the best decisions for your requirements.

When shopping for perfect Australian opal jewellery, of course, buyers can opt for pre-designed pieces. But on the other hand, bespoke opal jewellery created from loose opals makes a gift so much more precious and sentimental, as the gift giver has had a part in creating the final custom piece, which is sure to impress any loved one.


As meaningful as bespoke Australian opal jewellery is, creating custom jewellery is a much lengthier process. So, to assist you, this short guide will ensure you make the best decisions for your requirements.


Who Are You Designing for?

The first step in creating perfect custom opal jewellery is to nail down the purpose of the purchase, as this will help you determine what type of loose opal you want to select.


There are three types of loose opal cuts, opal doublet, opal triplet, and solid opal. Solid loose opals are the complete gemstone that stays whole through the cutting and polishing processes from a single piece of rough. In contrast, loose opal doublets and loose opal triplets are assembled opals, where a slice of natural opal has been glued together to another silica-based material.


The benefit of purchasing a loose opal doublet or loose opal triplet is that they are less expensive to create; but, if frequently worn in water, they will be eventually damaged. Solid loose opals, on the other hand, are considerably superior since they are 100% constructed by nature, more durable and will last as a long-term investment.


Depending on the purpose of your opal gift, some cuts of loose opal are more suitable than others. For example, a larger size loose opal should be chosen if you desire a custom opal ring or custom opal brooch. In this case, loose opal doublets and loose opal triplets will be more suitable as these types of loose opals tend to be larger and flashier without the huge price tag. Opal doublets and opal triplets especially make beautiful presents for little children and as small gifts for loved ones.


On the other hand, if you're looking for a long-term investment that holds ultimate luxury and beauty, a solid loose opal is the way to go. For example, suppose you are shopping around for an opal engagement ring or opal wedding ring. In that case, solid loose opals are the best choice for a durable and one-of-a-kind jewellery piece that will withstand the everyday wear and tear such rings receive.


Type of Australian Opal

There are hundreds of Australian opal types. The main difference between them is the location they are mined from, which then causes the loose opals to have a different appearance.


Typically, by nailing down the type of loose opal you like the look of, the shopping experience is almost complete! In general, the most popular types of Australian opals chosen for modern custom jewellery includes:

·        Black opals are the loose opal equivalent of a Rolls Royce, as due to their rarity, dark body tone, and prominence, black opals are often regarded as the finest loose opal in the world, but this opulence comes with a larger price tag.

·        Boulder opals are the less well-known relative of black opals and are just as beautiful. Due to their ironstone component, the boulder opal develops a dark colour, which relates to higher quality in the loose opal industry. Still, the price is significantly lower than the true black opals.

·        White opals are more common and have a milky white body tone. The white body tone might make the colour appear less vibrant, yet high-quality white opals can be very captivating.

·        Crystal opal holds a translucent or transparent characteristic. When coupled with good colour, the crystal opal is more valuable.


Australian Opal Appearance

Loose opals with a play-of-colour are the most precious types of Australian opals. The play-of-colours refers to the rainbow spectrum that the gemstone produces when it is turned in the light. Even if the loose opal does not entirely exhibit the play-of-colour, unique patterned loose opals can be even more valuable, such as a Harlequin pattern.


Opal brilliance is also crucial for selecting the best loose opal, as its colour's vibrancy determines its value. A good mix of brightness and colour significantly increases the value of a loose opal.


Pattern uniformity affects the preciousness of loose opals. Opals are made up of thousands of tiny silica spheres clustered together; more precious loose opals have spheres arranged in an ordered three-dimensional grid.


Sourcing High-Quality Australian Opals

While the above three considerations are essential to the appearance of loose opals, more important is where the Australian opal is bought from. The most significant recommendation to ensure you receive the best quality Australian opal is to find a retailer who gives you confidence and flexibility.


It's reasonable that some individuals may be wary about shopping online, especially if the items are as precious as Australian opals!


However, in today's market, all of Australia's best opal sellers conduct business online. To ensure the retailer you are buying from is genuine, there are a few signs that trustworthy online companies will offer that signals the site's authenticity, including:

·        A legitimate Australian opal retailer will have a gemmological or jewellery organisation membership as this shows their extensive expertise in the Australian opal industry. Check if the merchant's website has an SSL Certificate and that the Opals are coming straight from Australia! It just makes sense that your Australian opal comes from the source, rather than, perhaps, the United States.


·        All genuine opal jewellery and loose opals should come with certificates of authenticity. This certificate provides customers with 100% confidence in the purchase quality, ensuring the Australian opals were ethically mined, conflict-free, and untouched by human exploitation.


·       An ethical Australian opal retailer will offer a money-back guarantee for all products. To ensure complete satisfaction, customers should be able to send any poor-quality Australian opals back for a full refund if they don't love the opal jewellery.


·       "Direct from miner" sources are typically a sign that the Australian opal retailer has extensive roots in the industry to have obtained these relationships, enabling them to cut out all middlemen and pass the savings on to their customers.


·       Suppose every Australian opal jewellery is crafted using materials of exceptional quality and inspected thoroughly before shipment. In that case, the Australian opal retailer should offer a lifetime warranty. This signals the retailer has 100% confidence in their loose opals and confidence in the quality of their craftsmanship.