Antique opal and pearl brooch made in the early 1900’s
Australian opals are regarded as the best in the world. Producing around 95% of the world’s precious opals, they come in a few varieties. At the top, the solid opal is always the most prized. This is a solid piece of opal with no backing. These are found in the form of the famous solid black opal from Lightning Ridge and the solid white opal from Coober Pedy among other sites. Then there is the boulder opal which has its natural ironstone on the back. These beautiful opals come from all opal fields and often have captivating colours. Then opals that do not have great colour are backed with black, often potch, but anything else black can be used. This will intensify the colour. And finally the opal triplet which has the black backing, a this sliver of opal and a protective clear top. Australian opals are not only the most prized but also have the distinct advantage over Ethiopian opals by being a lot more stable and less likely to dry out and crack as the Ethiopian opals have a tendency to do after a few years of being worn.
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