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How Much is My Opal Worth?

How Much is My Opal Worth? Featured Image

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.

Call (800) 956-8505 for a Free Quote

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Real Reviews From Customers


I sold a diamond engagement ring and a wedding ring. Paula was exceptional to work with. She answered all of my questions and assuaged any concerns that I had. I know the price I got read more was fair, as I had a prior gemologist look at the rings, but I was not comfortable dealing with that outfit for reasons other than the price. I am comfortable with my decision to sell, and I know I got the best offer I could get at this time. I highly recommend Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers. Thank you, Paula, for all the time you spent with me. You have immense patience and empathy.

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Barbara M.

Yelp

Fastest and most honest experience by far. I tried selling my old wedding ring with other jewelry buyers last year but the process was so confusing and extensive I gave up. I found read more these guys and a few other sites online last weekend and decided to give it another shot. Carl and his team purchased my ring, received my shipment and sent the money (which was the highest and only definitive offer out of anyone) to my account all in less than 4 business days. The communication was thorough, timely, and responsive every step of the way.

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Jevonte K.

Yelp

When deciding to sell a special piece of jewelry, especially when you are sentimentally attached to it, it is very difficult to part with it. Then I realized that I would never wear read more it and keeping it in a box for years and years was useless. So I “made the call” to Lori after doing a little background reading of Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers. I was apprehensive about sending jewelry through the mail but it went very well and I was pleasantly surprised. Am I sure I received the best price? I have no way of knowing, but I was happy with what they offered and I am satisfied. I will no doubt use their services again.

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Kathi B.

Yelp

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!

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John P.

Yelp

Absolutely seamless sale of a two tone Rolex Submariner. The buy bid was honored, no changing of bid after receiving the watch. As far as I am concerned this is the only place to sell read more your jewelry and watches. Paula was super professional and easy to do business with. I was a little apprehensive, but after reading all of the reviews, I felt confident, and so should you.

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Richard L.

Yelp

Let me tell you, Paula was the best she helped me so much with my fathers watches. Money was put in my account as soon as she got the watches. I would recommend this place always thanks read more for such great service.

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Donna S.

Facebook

Extremely professional, kind, and intelligent staff. I felt confident selling my diamond ring because Paula and Jackie were honest, sincere, and communicative and made the process easy. read more I was indecisive because of the sentimental attachment to the ring but they were very patient and understanding. They didn’t just give me the quote, they answered all my questions and helped me to understand the specific reasons for the value of the diamond. I needed the money for medical bills for my daughter and it was nice to deal with people who I felt really work hard at, and care about getting the best price possible for the customer.

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Jennifer T.

Google

It was a pleasure working with owner Carl Blackburn. He bought a diamond from me and the process went as smooth as I could have ever imagined. I contacted his company via the website, read more sending him the diamond's specifics. He quickly returned with an offer. He then sent a FedEx Overnight label via email. The diamond was in his office the very next day and he immediately contacted me saying he needed a few hours to evaluate my diamond. Then he called me. We talked about the qualities of my diamond. Carl was very honest and kind. I agreed with his evaluation and he wired me the money. It was in my bank the very next day! I highly recommend.

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P.C.

Yelp

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!

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Rhonda B.

Yelp

Exceedingly pleased and impressed with this service. I worked with Paula who is professional, personal, and accountable. Everything happened as said from beginning to end, which was read more hard to believe at first. I re-read reviews even after I boxed up my items because of the anxiety! Paula helped normalize a sentimental event and held my trust throughout the whole process (which was actually very fast and exactly to description). Highly recommended and would use again without hesitation. Thank you Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers, especially Paula!

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Jesse S.

Yelp

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.

An opal with bright play of color is always more valuable than one with faint 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.

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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.

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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.

 

Assembled Opals

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

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About Diamond Estate

Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers is a leading fine jewelry buyer and watch buyer serving customers throughout the US. We've built our business on core values of integrity, honesty, and superior customer service. Are you looking to sell diamonds, rings, watches, earrings or other fine jewelry? Get in touch to get your no-obligation offer.

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Diamond Estate President and Founder Carl Blackburn was interviewed in 2009 by KUSI Television, along with the Better Business Bureau's Sheryl Bilbrey, as one of San Diego's trustworthy and reputable jewelry buyers.

Ten Years later, Diamond Estate still maintains its A+ standing with the Better Business Bureau, while helping sellers nationwide become better informed through the many videos, guides, and articles published on this website.

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