Different types of opals

Different types of opals

An opal is known for its magnificent and enchanting colours. These beautiful gemstones are formed from silica and water. Over the years, these opals have already fascinated people with their colours and mysterious appearance.

But did you know that there are different types of opals? These opals all have their own unique properties and colour combinations. We will take a closer look at them in our blog.    

The magic of opals

Opals are extremely special and they owe this to how they reflect light, allowing them to display the most beautiful, bright and unique colours. The phenomenon, also known as "play of colours" varies incredibly and this of course depends on the type of opal and the conditions in which it was formed. The colours opals owe to the so-called diffraction of light. This moves through the microscopic silica spheres that make up the opal

The different types of opals

The world is home to a myriad of opal species? Do you know them all? Let's take a look at the different species together.

The black opal

A black opal, which is mainly found in Australia and only in Lightning Ridge, is the rarest and most sought-after opal worldwide. A black opal is known for their dark base colour which can range from dark grey to black. What you always see with these opals is that the colours are so incredibly vividly displayed. This is due to their black base colour. This intensifies the colours and the opal displays an unparalleled spectacle. This is therefore why they are so incredibly sought-after and incredibly expensive.

The white opal

White opals, also known as milk opals, again have a much lighter base colour. It varies between white and light grey. These opals too, actually like all opals exhibit the most amazing colours. They may be less rare than their black counterpart, but they are still incredibly sought-after in the opal world. White opals, in turn, are found all over the world and additionally in important mines in Australia.

The boulder opal

The boulder opal is a rather unique opal considering these are only found in ironstone as veins. This opal actually combines the iron and its colours with the vibrant colours of the opal. This naturally creates a striking contrast. Boulder opals, as far as I know, are only found in Queensland, Australia.

The fire opal

A fire opal has as its most important characteristics, a transparent base with bright red, orange and often yellow hues. These opals offer a completely different colour spectacle than all other opals do. Incidentally, these opals are also found exclusively in Mexico. This is why they are also known as the Mexican opal.

The water opal

A water opal is known for their special clarity and subtle play of colours. Water opals are completely transparent and can show a blue or green glow. This gives the water opal its distinctive water-like appearance.

The matrix opal

Matrix opals are only found in the natural parent rock. They are embedded here, so to speak. The matrix opal is known to distribute colours across its entire surface. These opals offer a unique aesthetic where the pattern of the opal adds to its overall beauty.

How do I give an opal the optimal care and appreciation?

When you care for your opal, it requires an awful lot of attention and care. This is because opals need to be protected from hard knocks and from extreme temperature changes. When you value an opal, you don't just value an opal for their physical beauty. You also value an opal on their rarity, the natural processes in which the opal was formed, as well as the history and cultures that have been influenced by opals.


We at understand the mysterious and mystical history of opals. They have enriched many a life with their beautiful colours. From the rarest black opal to the beautiful fire opal, opals are wonderful for any collection and are a collection in themselves. So have you always wanted a beautiful opal? Then be sure to take a look at our categories.

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