Australia’s opal mines are responsible for approximately 90% of the world’s opals. Defined by its shifting colours, semi-transparency and silica composition, the opal – or particularly, the Australian opal, came into being between 30 and 40 million years ago, when heavy weathering began to dissolve the silica stored in the holes of a rock.

 

Patterns

Opals have so many patterns that is nearly impossible to find two opals that look the exact same. Distinct and attractive patterns such as harlequin, rolling flash, Chinese writing, ribbon and mosaic are extremely rare and considered collectors’ items.

 

Value

The value of an opal is determined by its type, its predominant colours, the clarity of these colours, and the patterns in which the colours are displayed. Other factors can include the shapes by which it is cut, its body tone, its brilliance or its transparency.

There is no governing body to value and price the world’s opals. Instead, demand from the international market decides what buyers must pay to obtain these gems. Demand relates to customer enthusiasm and may be directly influenced by the world economy or global fashion trends.

 

Quality

As opals are of such a rare and high quality, their scarcity is increasing on a global scale. In a good quality opal, the spheres of silica are packed together in a regular pattern – which creates a three-dimensional appearance with bands, or flashes, of colour.

Other factors at play within an opal’s quality include its body tone, brilliance, the thickness of its colour bar, and any faults such as cracked or natural inclusions.

 

Comparison

When choosing and comparing opals, be sure to select a colour that appeals to you. In your comparison, be aware that an opal is judged on its range of colour and colour composition – so the more colourful an opal, the more valuable it will be.

It is also important to look at as many different opal types as you can to decide on which type you like best. If it’s a solid opal you’re after, for example, this research will help you ascertain that a solid opal is durable but also quite expensive in comparison to a composite opal.

 

Inspection

It is extremely important to have a jewellery inspection conducted before you purchase an opal. A professional jewellers’ opinion may affect the gem’s value, and may also provide valuable insight on its care requirements for maintenance in future.

Once you’re ready for purchase, be sure to obtain a certificate of authenticity. Reasons for doing so include insurance purposes, re-sale value and accountability of the seller.

 

Where to purchase opals in Perth

If you’re on the hunt for a precious opal in Perth, look no further than the team at Allgem Jewellers.  Allgem jeweller Alfie has extensive training and experience with precious gems and Australian opals, and has qualifications as a Registered Valuer, Gemmologist and Master Jeweller. Conveniently located in Hay Street Mall in the CBD, our services involve the valuation of custom jewellery, gemstones and more. Contact our professional master jewellers to book in for your next jewellery valuation.  

Put An Engagement Ring On It

Choosing an engagement ring is often the toughest element of the proposal and wedding process. Luckily for future brides, however, there is no shortage of jewellery design and style trends on the market (or in the store) for your ideal engagement ring purchase. Therefore, it’s time to ramp up the process and read our roundup of engagement ring trends to suit any and every bride.

Take a peek below at what trends Australian jewellers and brands will be championing this year.

Engagement Ring for Women

Stacked Up

Adding depth to a set of rings allows the future bride to create a unique look by experimenting with different ring styles, stones and shapes. This is a highly customisable option, and can tie in nicely with the bride’s future wedding band – which can be designed, in turn, to complement or ‘stack’ neatly the engagement ring.

Embellished

If you’re opting for a ring that is a little less simple, embellished rings can feature intricate markings or studded gems and can make for stunningly complex pieces. These rings can also feature combinations of diamonds and gemstones that evoke a unique brilliance and make for an eye-catching piece of jewellery.

 

Rose gold

The rose gold trend is certainly not restricted to the jewellery scene. Offering plain gold pieces an updated, rosy finish, many brides are now electing to choose a rose gold colour for either their engagement ring or their wedding band so that each piece can complement the tone of the other.

 

Barely there

The minimalistic rounded style of engagement ring is making a splash in the jewellery industry currently, particularly thanks to Meghan Markle’s slew of tiny thin gold bands. These ‘barely-there’ wire rings are ideal for a more casual bride, as they offer the simplicity and timelessness of a delicate, dainty piece.

Rings for Men

Mixed metal

Incorporating a variety of metals including yellow gold, platinum, rose gold or brushed steel into your ring design can make for a very stylish and versatile men’s jewellery piece.

 

Finish

Neutral materials are proving to be quite a trend for men’s engagement rings this year, with mixes of woods and metals providing an extremely unique style that is perfect for a man who loves nature and the outdoors.

Custom design

Utilising custom design techniques such as a personalised inscription, unique blend of materials (as mentioned above), creative shaping and more can create an extra sentimental, customised ring for the special man in your life to cherish forever.