Jewellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping for opal jewellery parcels. There are a wide variety and range of opal parcels available for purchase, sourced from many mine sites such as Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, Winton, Koroit, Mintabie, Andamooka and Yowah. A very popular opal that is often sold in parcels are crystal opals from Coober Pedy. These opals come both as cabochon and facets and are often cut calibrated; meaning they are all cut the same size and shape. The cuts of these opals are often from the same slice of opal, so the colours, brightness and patterns are often very closely matched.
Calibrated opals are sourced by jewellers because they can be used in designs such as bracelets, earrings and as complimentary smaller stones in rings and pendant necklaces. Some parcels offer two calibrated stones and one larger stone for jewellers to make into a pendant or ring with matching earings. They also come in calibrated parcels of 2, 4, 8, 12 or 20. Coober Pedy opal jewellery parcels often come shaped in oval, round, teardrop or pear, heart and marquise shapes. They also come in raw shapes that are ideal for making into doublets. These parcels are not calibrated as it is very difficult to find 2 raw shape opal slices that are the same. The heart shaped design is very popular around the world, as is the teardrop that is often used in earring designs.
Doublets are another popular type of opal that are sold in parcels to jewellers around the world. Doublets are a two layer man made opal that consists of a black potch backing and a thin opal slice affixed to the top. The black backing enhances the colours in the crystal opal slice that is affixed to the top. Doublet opal parcels are offered in matched pairs, parcels of 3 to 5 or in shell opal parcels which are free form shell opals that have been made into doublets to ensure they are not easy to crack or break as the shell is often very thin. Doublets can be sold in calibrated parcels however most are sold in freeform shapes and people have demanded in recent times unique shapes in their jewellery.
Shell opal doublets are sourced by jewellers as they are very unique looking and stunning in the patterns they offer and have various height measurements across the stone giving the finished jewellery pieces a wave like look; absolutely stunning when used with blue opal doublets as it makes the piece look like an ocean with waves.
Although more rare and in lessor demand, Welo opal, boulder opal, white opal and black opal are sometimes sold in parcels for jewellery making as well. The demand is less due to the sheer cost in black opal and in buying multiple stones at one time. Boulder opal parcels are often sold to pendant and necklace makers who wish to make several pieces to sell at such places as markets.