Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is an Opal Watch Worth?
The value of an Opal Watch is challenging to assess! The opal's gemstone type, body tone, clarity, pattern, colour bar thickness, colour play, and flaws all play a role in determining its worth. In addition, the quality of the cut, polish, and gemstone size are all crucial factors to consider.
An Opal Watch is meticulously examined and assigned a price per carat when it is evaluated. The opal's price is determined by the total carat size of the stone.
Generally, opal gemstones with a black or dark body tone showcase a more vibrant play-of-colour, which is considered more valuable than opals with a white, light, or crystal body tone. As the most valuable form of opal, Black Opal Watches may cost over $10,000 AUD per carat.
The clarity of an opal's colour is critical when assessing the value of an Opal Watch. Red fire is the rarest colour, followed by green/orange, green/blue and blue. Therefore, Red Fire Opal Watches are generally more valuable than a predominantly green opal, which is more valuable than a stone showing only blue colour.
However, the brilliance and clarity of an Opal's proportioned pattern is the primary decision-maker. A brilliant blue/green can be more valuable than a dull red; bright twinkling stars of a 'pin fire' pattern can be more valuable than a cloudy 'open' or 'mixed' pattern of similar colouration; or a brilliant, lustrous light opal can sell more than a lack-lustre Black Opal.
What is the Best Opal for a Watch?
Many opal watches are designed with a mosaic of opals on the watch face, rather than a solid-gem opal. Mosaic opal watches are popular because they exhibit vibrant colours for a fraction of the price of a solid-gem opal.
A mosaic opal watch comprises three parts: a thin slice of tiny crystal opals bonded together tightly for maximum visual impact; a black backdrop behind the opal slice to enhance the colour, and a quartz top to preserve the opal.
At Australian Opal Cutters leather and stainless-steel watch straps are available, both for women's and men's opal watches. Stainless steel bands are available in dual or single Australian gold and sterling silver finish triple plated for extended wear.
The majority of opal chips used for mosaic opal watches are mined at Coober Pedy, South Australia. Opal-rich dirt is sucked out of the ground to the surface by a large vacuum machine, and then a person picks out the opal chips using ultraviolet lights.
Black Opal Watches
Australian Black Opal Watches are gorgeous and are the most precious opal variation on the market. Unfortunately, this variety of opal is so rare because Black Opals can only be found in one place on earth, a small 30km square field in North-western NSW called "Lightning Ridge".
Black Opals appear black but are really not black. Instead, they have a natural backing called "potch," which gives them a dark hue. Against this backdrop, the classic rainbow hues of an opal dance in beautiful patterns on top.
An intense Black Opal Watch that really mesmerises can be worth many tens of thousands. Black Opal Watches are in a class of their own for beauty, with their rainbow variety of hues blossoming in fire-like patterns, from oranges, greens, blues and flashes of red, pink and indigo.
However, many online stores stock a form of fake Black Opal Watches, which are dyed and treated Ethiopian Opal. Whilst still being an authentic type of opal, they are visibly unrecognisable from a Black Opal. Still, structurally they are extremely prone to cracking and losing colour because the dying treatment can be affected or reversed by household chemicals.