What is a Boulder Opal?
Boulder Opal is a beautiful type of precious opal that is unique to Queensland, Australia. Boulder Opal is usually found in Ironstone, but sometimes found in sandstone which is referred to as Pipe Boulder Opal or Pipe Crystal Opal. Boulder opal is popularly used in pendant necklace designs, as well as in rings by jewelers around the world. Boulder Opal often has an earthy, rock look and can host an array of colors; from blues and greens to rainbows and reds. Any color combination of boulder opal is possible. Boulder Opal can also host fossilised vegetation or wood which can be very interesting to collect or use in jewelry design. Every piece of boulder opal is unique; one and only.
Where is Winton?
Winton is a very well known town for its amazing discoveries of precious boulder opals in Central Queensland. It is also the oldest of the Queensland Opal mines. When referring to Winton Boulder Opals, people may also include opals found in the Opalton mining region; a nearby region of opal fields to the town of Winton. The opal mining region of Winton covers a few hundred square kilometres.
Mining Boulder Opal in the Winton Region
Typical mines in the Winton / Opalton region are open cut, with heavy machinery / bobcats and excavators often used to cut away at the harsh desert landscape. When a promising area of colored ironstone is discovered, manual labour by hand is often commenced with pick axes. Discovered opal is then sliced by machine, cut and polished into finished pieces like what we sell on our website.
What is Boulder Opal Worth, and what is it typically used for?
Boulder Opal is typically known as the most affordable of all the different types of opals. You can easily find affordable pieces of precious boulder opal under $100. Some of the rarer pieces with bright colors can be valuable however up to a few thousand dollars.
Larger pieces of boulder opal are commonly used in pendant necklace designs by jewellers. It is not uncommon to see boulder opal pendants hanging on ropes necklaces at markets around the world. Jewellers also enjoy using smaller pieces in ring stone designs that strive for an earthy look and feel. Collectors and investors also enjoy purchasing rare boulder opal specimens that are often too big to set in jewelry. We have a number of interesting, rare Boulder Opal specimens for sale in our collection.