Black Opals were found for the first time in 1901 in Lightning Ridge, NSW. They were named by the miners who first found them because the rough opal they unearthed revealed a natural, intensely colored layer of opal with play of color combined with jet black to dark gray potch (opal with no play of color). The rich deep black body color provides an excellent contrast when the opal is cut and polished emphasizing the layer of opal with play-of-color, bringing out the brilliance and color from the depth of the dark interior of the stone in an incomparable way. The body color of Black Opals can range from clear (dark Crystal Opal) to transparent, translucent to opaque. Often, the layer with the colors, even with very precious stones, is relatively thin.

Black Opals with a deep black body color are among the rarest and most valuable opals. In fine qualities, these colorful gemstones show the entire color spectrum of blue, green, orange and sometimes red like fireworks. Top quality Black Opals are very rare and therefore they can reach extraordinarily high prices. The rarest are the Black Opals with bright red color flashes and are valued accordingly high.

Sometimes you can see special patterns in Black Opals with names like “Harlequin”, “Rolling Flash”, or “Pin Fire” which increases the value of the stones even more.