Opals can vary as widely as snowflakes, and are deeply treasured for the very variety that can make them difficult to judge
If you are looking to sell an opal ring or other item of opal jewelry, the first question on your mind is likely, “How much is my opal worth?” There are various factors which impact the value of an opal, and we will cover each one in article below on appraising the value of an opal gemstone.
However, if you would like to get started now, and learn how much your opal jewelry is worth, contact Diamond Estate now for a verbal market apparisal and cash offer. We specialize in the most valuable opal jewelry from luxury makers such as Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Real Reviews From Customers
I can’t express how much Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers’ employees will go to bat for you. Over a period of 2 weeks working with them on a piece of jewelry and a watch, I truly felt read more they understood the way my wife and I felt about those two pieces. I especially want to thank Paula and Jacqueline for going above and beyond to get us the cash to make my wife’s dreams come true. Thanks again to Paula and Jacqueline for a job well done.
When I was thinking about selling a piece of jewelry I had, I looked at several different places. I just kept coming back to DEJB. I called, spoke with Paula & she was wonderful to read more work with. So friendly & knowledgeable. She explained everything to me from the first phone call. She really put my mind at ease. My transaction was quick & easy. Paula & Carl were so easy to work with. I will definitely work with them again. Thank you Paula & Carl for everything!
I had a wonderful experience selling them my diamond ring. Paula was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would definitely do business with them again.
Thank you so much Paula for your professional handling of my heirloom diamond. When we first talked on the phone, your totally professional and knowledgeable demeanor regarding the read more diamond business assuaged any trepidation I had about sending my diamond. I was impressed with the way you shopped my diamond to get me the best possible price. When we agreed on the price the money was wired to my account within the hour. Well done! I will not hesitate to recommend Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers to my friends and will tell them to ask for you by name!
The people at Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers were professional and courteous and offered a good price for my engagement ring. I wasn’t sure I wanted to ship off my ring so I researched read more the company as much as I could until I was satisfied. Sure enough, their business with me matched up to the reputation I saw online. I highly recommend them.
While selling an engagement ring is never an emotionally fun experience, it was finally time to give it a new life. Working with Paula made the process so much easier. She is very professional read more and responsive, and showed a lot of empathy when I got misty-eyed on the phone. While I’ll admit to having been nervous about shipping my engagement ring off based on a few emails, the process went very smoothly. I was provided with an insured shipping label and instructions for packaging. I received a reasonable offer for my ring the day it arrived at their store. The transaction was settled exactly as agreed, and within hours of my giving final word. There is absolutely nothing to be concerned about in dealing with Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers via the web, and I would gladly use them again.
This company was excellent to deal with and very fair on their offer. Paula Dabney took care of my transaction and kept me informed of everything. The money was wired to me within an read more hour after the received my watch. I highly recommend this company.
Wonderful service! Paula made the selling process so easy for me from beginning to end. I live out-of-state, and she walked me through, step-by-step, exactly what to do to work with read more Diamond Estate to sell my diamonds. The process was effortless on my part! The owner gave me an excellent price. Paula was very professional and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend working with Diamond Estate.
Paula was so great to work with! Very professional, and they offered the best price for my Rolex GMT II (over 2 other watch companies that buy used time pieces). No bait and switch read more here—take good photos of what you are selling and give them as much detail as you can so they can offer you the correct amount to start with. No surprises. They paid exactly what I was offered. Great experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend their services to anyone. Thank you!
I reached out to Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers to sell my husband’s Rolex. Lori was very nice, knowledgeable, & inspired trust. Most importantly to me, there was absolutely no pressure read more to proceed—I felt very comfortable with the pace of the process. Lori gave me an estimated range of what the watch would be worth, subject to adjustment based on their appraisal once their buyer was able to examine it. She provided all details and the Fed Ex labels for shipping the watch—it was not hard and I was fully confident it would go without a snag. Lori called to let me know as soon as the watch arrived. The next day it was appraised by their buyer and Lori called to let me know the adjusted price. They dealt fairly with me, so I accepted and wire transfer was made same day to my bank account. Nicely done, Lori!
More than almost any other gemstone, opals are uniquely individual. Not only do they occur in a wide variety of types, but they can exhibit all the colors in the rainbow, often all at once, in flashes of color as the stone is rotated. This phenomenon, know as ‘play of color,’ makes opals one of the trickiest gems to evaluate.
From precious black opals with dark blue, green, or black backgrounds to the translucent deep orange fire opals of Mexico, opals can vary as widely as snowflakes, and are deeply treasured for the very variety that can make them difficult to judge.
Evaluating Color in Opals
Color is the most important factor when evaluating opals, and is by far the most complex aspect to judge. Opals occur in hues of every color, and often more than one at once. Body-color, also known as background color, is a result of suspended impurities in the opal, and it determines the type of opal, like black or white. Black is generally a more favored background color as the dark background tends to highlight any play of color.
Play of color is the defining characteristic of a precious opal’s appearance. Also known as opalescence, play of color is the combination of color flashes that occur when viewed from different angles. Regardless of the combinations of colors, play of color is most prized when it is vivid. An opal with bright play of color is always more valuable than one with faint play of color.
In addition to the brightness of an opal’s play of color, the range of colors is important as well. Some opals exhibit only one main color with one or two secondary colors, but opals with a play of color that spans the entire spectrum are highly valued, especially if the colors are vivid.
Opals with red as the prominent hue in play of color are traditionally the most valuable, followed by orange and green, though personal taste can also dictate value. Play of color can also change with the viewing angle, with certain colors dominant only from certain angles. The most valuable opals exhibit play of color when viewed from any angle.
Pattern in an Opal’s Play of Color
Pattern in an opal refers to the arrangement of the stone’s play of color, and can take many forms. Generally speaking, large areas of color that are closely assembled are preferred over small pinpoints or scattered areas. Regardless of the pattern, the colors must be vivid for the stone to be valuable.
Also of importance when considering the pattern is the inclusion of “dead spots” or what is known as extinction. These areas in which there is no play of color and only the stone’s background color is visible can greatly detract from the overall value of the opal.
Evaluating Opal Transparency and Clarity
Opals naturally occur in a wide range of clarities, from totally opaque to completely transparent. Different types of opals are valued for different transparencies, based mostly on how the opacity highlights the play of color. In crystal opals, transparency tends to accentuate the play of color, whereas in black opals, an opaque background better displays its play of color. Cloudy or milky background colors will generally lower the value of an opal, regardless of its type or color.
Like all gemstones, opals can exhibit fractures, pits, or other surface imperfections that can lower their value. Fragments of the ore surrounding an opal, called matrix, are sometimes included in the polished gemstone, and can also negatively affect the value. Crazing, or small cracks that look like a spider’s web, can occur in some opals when exposed to extreme heat or dryness, and also lower the value of the gem.
How Opal Cut Affects Value
Because of the delicate interplay of background color and play of color, opals are usually cut in a way that best accentuates the play of color. In particularly large and exceptional opals this can lead to asymmetrical shapes that are best suited for a custom, one-of-a-kind setting. Most opals are fashioned into symmetrical ovals, often en cabochon, as the domed surfaces tend to highlight play of color the best.
Opals are relatively soft and fragile, and as a result, thinner opal material is sometimes fashioned with backings to give them greater strength and durability. Assembled opals called ‘doublets’ consist of opal material with glass, obsidian, or plastic backings. ‘Triplets’ are a thin layer of opal cemented between colorless quartz on top and a doublet style backing. While still of value as jewelry, assembled opals are valued at only a fraction of solid opals.
Get a Free Opal Appraisal
Contact Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers today for a free verbal appraisal of your opal ring, necklace, brooch, or loose opal gemstone. You can also get the process started online by telling us about the opal jewelry you wish to sell in the contact form below.
Call Us Toll Free: (800) 956-8505