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Query from: Stella J, USA, 02/09/05
Topic: CONSUMER      Submitted on: Ask Agent
I'm going to Australia and would like to buy some opals while I'm there. What's the best place to buy? What do I need to be aware of, please help me with this, thank you.

Rate = 3.5 (Rated by 10 Council Members)
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Response from: Sridevi ,   
Council Member on
Dear stella, Before you buy opals you need to know more about the natural status of them.As the opals are distinguished mainly as solids where there is no intervention of the jwellers.Which are expensive.But there are other types of opals which are called doublets and triplets.Where thin slices of opals are attached to a darker background and the colours reflect through the glass. Go to this site and this will give you an idea of how they are made.… I bought some for my sister from sydney and they were a set of eight and she made her self a beautiful necklace and ear rings i think. Couple years ago went to Cooperpeddy in South Australia where they mine a lot of opals.I bough some black and solid opals from the miners there. So if you are travelling around australia then choose a reliable place, if you are not going to Places where they mine the opals.Mostly they are mined in South australia and queensland. If you are coming to sydney.The best place to buy them is at Queen victoria building or at the Rocks markets. These are the things you need to keep in mind when you are buying opals.Go to this site and htis will give you an idea of what to buy and what to look for in an opal.… This what you have to in general about Opals:

AUSTRALIAN OPAL How to choose an opal First, decide how much you are willing to pay, and what you want to do with your opal. The combination of these two may determine the type of opal you choose. If you want a ring, or a brooch, you may want a larger opal than for earrings or a petite drop pendant. In this case a doublet or triplet will get you a larger and flashier opal than a solid opal. If you buy your jewelry with investment in mind, then buy a solid opal

Patterns The most common color pattern is sometimes called the floral pattern, where the colors are spread through the face, more or less randomly. Rarer, and therefore more valuable, patterns include the wonderful rolling flash, where a large swatch of color appears as the angle of viewing changes.

The straw pattern, where the color appears as lines, is more linear in appearance.

Chinese writing, with larger and shorter single color lines against a dark background is very rare.

Harlequin, a checkerboard pattern, may be the rarest of all. Where to buy Where to buy opal

Opals are most easily bought at stores in the major cities, especially in areas visited by tourists. Such dedicated stores have a wide selection, and usually expert advice on hand. Some, such as the National Opal Collection store in Sydney has an adjunct of the Australian Museum on site with extensive information and displays about opals. And finally All opals purchased, except for low value stones, triplets etc, should come with a certificate of authenticity, just as with other precious gems. Most stores will sell tax-free if you live outside Australia; just take your passport and airline ticket with you when purchasing.

Source:http://www.naturetravelspecialists.… Go through the above website and it will give a fair idea of what to except of this 65 million year old gem and how to buy and look after them for years to come.

I hope you have a good time Down under and also choosing your Opals. Have a good day!

Rate = 3.5 (Rated by 15 Council Members)

Response from: marie sinha,   
Registered Member on
Hi J, You will be able to purchase opals in all the touristy areas of Australia. There are a variety of opals available in different colours, white (or milk), blue, green, yellow and red which is quite expensive. Good idea to purchase one that is unset so you can see the solid gem (and not those that have a thin veneer) - also, you could have the pleasure of designing the piece of jewellery according to your taste. Visit to a good store and avoid the $2 corner shops. Take your passport and airticket with you to avoid sales tax. Of course living in Sydney, I would say it is the best place to buy opals - eg. at The Rocks, Pitt Street, George Street.

Rate = 3 (Rated by 16 Council Members)

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Response from: ~R~ ,   
Registered Member on
visit this site:…

it has complete info about opals in australia and also where it can be found

Rate = 2.5 (Rated by 16 Council Members)

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Response from: - Bahu -,   
Council Member on
Dear Stella,

Yes, Australia is a good place to buy opals and I hope you enjoy your shopping! You can buy opals in any big city high street shops but avoid ny that look remotely suspicious.

Here are some things to be aware of while buying opals:

If you're not an expert, buying an opal can be a very daunting task. We at Opals Down Under understand this, so we've put together this little guide, which will hopefully help you make the right choice for your needs.

Determine whether you are looking at a doublet, a triplet, or a solid opal. Doublets & triplets consist of a very thin slice of opal, cemented onto a black backing. This causes the stone to be dark & bright in colour (the idea being to replicate the highly valuable black opal). The advantage of buying a doublet or triplet is a lower price (they are much cheaper to produce) - however the disadvantage is they may eventually be destroyed if repeatedly immersed in water. Solid opals are therefore considered a quality, long-term investment.

Black opals, boulder opals, & white opals - These are all different types of opals, the difference being that they are found in different parts of Australia, and each have individual appearances. Black opals are the 'Rolls Royce' of opals, and often have a certain price attachment associated with their status and rarity. Boulder opals are the much lesser known cousin, with equally stunning colour, however the opal forms in thin veins on an ironstone backing (hence the dark colour), therefore the price is generally much less per carat due to the ironstone content of the stone. Be wary of people selling boulder opal at a price 'per carat', leaving a heavy ironstone back on the stone. This is a sneaky way of boosting the price of the stone. Boulder opals are the most 'hardy' of all opals due to their very hard ironstone backing. White opals have a 'milky' white body tone, and are much more common. The white body tone often causes the colour to be less bright, however by the same token I must say that some of the most beautiful opal I have ever seen has been white. Oh, and let's not forget crystal opals - this is any type of opal with a translucent / transparent quality, and can add value to a stone when combined with good colour.

Pick a stone that appeals to you! Each stone has an individual personality, much like people, so nobody can tell you what your opal should look like. Red on black is most valuable, but if you like blue, go for a blue stone!

Consider what you are going to be using the stone for. Shape and size is an important factor when considering the setting for jewellery. If you are buying a high quality stone, consider matching it with a high quality setting.

Brightness, brightness, brightness. A brilliant stone is valuable, no matter the colour or body tone.

Colour - red is the most valuable, followed by orange, yellow, green, and then blue being the most common.

Certificates of Authenticity - always ask for a signed certificate of authenticity. Not only is it good for insurance and purposes, and re-sale value, you are also making the dealer accountable.

Cracks and faults - if you are inspecting the stone in person, allow it to dry, then hold it up against a lamp to inspect it for cracks. Be careful not to mistake natural formation lines in opal for cracks (eventually you will be able to tell the difference). A cracked stone is virtually worthless. The person you are buying the stone from has an obligation to make you aware of any cracks or faults in the stone before you purchase it.

GST (tax) - if you are buying from an Australian company, remember that your purchase is not subject to our 10% goods & services tax. Make sure they are passing on the saving to you!


I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip and shopping!

Rate = 3.5 (Rated by 11 Council Members)

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Response from: Sri(Pri) .,   
Council Member on…… Opal Retail Shops: Bevans Opal-Wholesale Angledool Heights 02 6829 0429 Everything Opal 39 Morilla St 02 6829 0135 Greenfire Lapidary Opal Street 02 6829 0425 LostSea Opals Harlequin Street 02 6829 0066 Sunset Opals Opal St 02 6829 0466 The Big Opal 3-Mile Rd 02 6829 0247 Opal Cave 51 Morilla St 02 6829 0333 Opaltrend Morilla Street 02 6829 0339 Walkin Mine Bald Hill 02 6829 0473 Opal Wholesale Absolute Opals & Gems 0427 291386 Black Opal Wholesale P/L Morilla St 02 6829 0888 Bob's Bright Opals & Wholesale Po Box 1476 0427 292877 Carl Babic Morilla Street 02 6829 1386 Everything Opal 39 Morilla St 02 6829 0135 Fire Opals Mining & Trading Pty/Ltd Po Box 12 02 6829 0126 Greenfire Lapidary Opal Street 02 6829 0425 Lightning Ridge Opal Co Po Box 942 L/Ridge 02 6829 0275 LostSea Opals Harlequin Street 02 6829 0066

Opal Cave Morilla Street 02 6829 0333 Morgan Po Box 614 L/Ridge 02 68288430 Opaltrend Morilla Street 02 6829 0339 Opal Buyers Black Opal Wholesale P/L Morilla St 02 6829 0222 Bentine P/L 10 Opal St 02 6829 0744 Brian King Opals 02 6829 2111 Peter Caroll Po Box 975 L/Ridge 02 6829 1144 Andrew Cody Melbourne 03 9654 5533 F.J Giles & Associates P/L "The Canadians" 3 Mile Field 02 6829 0586 Everything Opal 39 Morilla St 02 6829 0135 Gemtec-Max Lane Sydney 02 9231 3454 Jurgen & Justin Morilla Street 02 6829 2847 Karen Lindley Sydney 02 9231 5494 Lightning Ridge Opal Co Po Box 942 L/Ridge 02 6829 0275 Lomax opals 3 Mile Field 02 6829 0278 Opal Cave 51 Morilla St 02 6829 0333 Opalus 56 Morilla St 02 6829 1413 Seda Opals 3 Agate St 02 6829 1493 Shermans Harlequin St 02 68290238 Sunset Opals Opal St 02 6829 0466… Altmann & Cherny 128 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia

Telephone: 61 3 96509685

Facsimile: 61 3 96547078 Altmann & Cherny 19 - 31 Pitt Street, Sydney New South Wales 2000 Australia Telephone: 61 2 92519477 Facsimile: 61 2 92514717 Email: ********@*****.*** Web:…

Rate = 3 (Rated by 9 Council Members)

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Response from: Sakhi... Your Friend....,   
Registered Member on
You can buy rough opal in several different conditions.

Mine Run. Direct from the mine. The stones have not been cut or ground down. This means that there is more guess work in the cutting. Purchasing mine run opal can be risky if you are not very experienced.

Off Cuts. The miner has removed whatever opal he has a market for and sells you what's left. With off cuts, you can usually tell what you are going to be able to cut. You must still watch for cracks in the opal because once a crack becomes obvious, a stone can lose half its value.

Rubs. This can often be the best way of buying rough if you are not very experienced. The miner has cut and ground the stones into basic shapes, after having removed most of the rubbish. What you have left is the stone nearly ready for the dopping and polishing process. You have the satisfaction of cutting your own stones without the high risk of buying mine run rough. Opal is officially sold in troy oz. there are 20 d.w.t pennyweights to a troy oz. There are approximately 30 grams to a troy oz and approximately 30 oz to a kilo.

Hints and Tips Here's an ecclectic assortment of hints and tips you may find helpful when buying or working with opal. 1. Not all opal is valuable. Potch, sometimes called "common opal" does not reflect colours. Potch does have its use, however, as a backing for doublets and triplets. When there is color mixed with potch it's called "potch and color." 2. Some classes of rough opal are unsuitable for making gemstones. Some are very porous. Others have a chalky appearance. Still others can lose their colour in a short period of time. And yes, it is common for certain types of opals to shatter in a dry atmosphere when the water from the gel evaporates. The best protection for buyers is to purchase opal from a knowledgable and reputable dealer who accurately details exactly what you are purchasing and is willing to guarantee the stones. Note: If you buy rough opal, there is no guarantee that it will not crack. This is the calculated risk you take and is part of the "excitement" of opal cutting. 3. When examining opal jewelry, look at the stone from the side to determine whether it's a triplet. Solid and doublet opal domes are simply the opal formed into a curved dome shape. Triplets have clear crystal domes to protect the flat opal surface. 4. It is very difficult to tell whether a stone is a doublet or a solid if it is in a setting. It helps if the back of the setting is open, but it is still no real indication because the back of a doublet and a solid looks very similar, although a doublet is usually perfectly black on the back whereas a solid black opal usually has some imperfections. So if the back of a stone looks too perfect, you have to be a little suspicious. For this reason it’s best to buy opal from reputable dealers who know what they are doing because, unfortunately, many jewelers also are not experienced in opal. 5. When buying opal over the net, ask the seller to give you a summary of how close the graphic sample is to the real thing. Opal is very difficult to photograph and the appearance on the computer screen may give it a different look. Particularly is this the case in regards to size. Graphics come out in all different sizes, usually a lot larger than make sure you get your ruler out and actually draw the size on a piece of paper so that you will know in your own mind’s eye the actual size of the stone. 6. The same thing applies to the colour of the stone. Make sure you get the supplier to give a commentory on the colour so that you will know pretty well what you are getting. The camera sometimes picks up colours that are only minimal, while ignoring the feature colours.

Rate = 3 (Rated by 7 Council Members)

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