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How much is opal worth?

Miners invest significant time and resources in opal mining, anticipating high opal worth. However, market fluctuations often lead to inflated prices, driven by miners’ perceptions of value. Competition among miners further impacts market dynamics, although the availability of high-quality opals for sale remains limited.

Opals are valued according to many different factors. These include brightness, body tone, the density of color, colors, patterns, size, shape, and pattern rarity (e.g., Harlequin). Often, an opal is graded by the seller and priced at a per-carat weight.

How much is opal worth?
A rare pattern such as this Harlequin Black Opal is valued much higher than an opal with more common pattern.

Pricing Opals: What Determines Their Worth?

So, what are opals worth? Opals are not graded as precisely as diamonds because every single Opal is different from diamonds, which are all relatively the same. Opals are worth what someone is willing to pay for them! They have also increased in value over time because discoveries have become scarce. This has happened on many occasions where an opal was bought, for example, for $1,000 20 years ago and sold recently for $50,000. If someone loves the Opal, then it is worth paying the asking price. Gem opal, especially gem black Opal, has such a display of different colors and patterns that no other gemstone can equal its beauty. Therefore, their value increases over time. Excellent Opal with sporadic patterns will never decrease in value unless you have overpaid for it in the initial purchase.

There was a time in 1992, however, when the market witnessed a decrease in the value of Opal when new fields were discovered in Lightning Ridge around the Corcoran area, resulting in an oversupply of mid-grade Opal.

People who own opals ask us daily for a price recommendation. Please know that we do not do appraisals. Pricing an opal for today’s market takes time. To price an opal, look at other opals of similar quality, size, shape, type, pattern, colors, etc., and determine the price per carat. It takes us hours, sometimes even days, to price a gem-quality opal correctly for the market. We also need to review our prices regularly. About a third of our time in our business is spent in pricing and valuing our opals for sale to ensure we are competitive with our prices.

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