Opal is one of the 6 most precious and valuable gemstones found in the world sharing it’s prestigious beauty with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and pearls.
Opal is the only gemstone which can display all the colours of the rainbow ranging from violet, indigo, green, yellow, orange and red.

One of the most striking characteristics of opal is it’s “play of colour” in which the grains in the pattern of the opal display a spectral hue which can include one or more or all of the above colours that strikingly change hue as the stone is viewed or tilted on different angles. The magnificent change in colour the opal displays is caused by light waves diffracting off the tiny spheres packed within the microstructure of the gem.
The smaller spheres will diffract the colour blue, moving up the spectral hue to the largest sphere diffracting red the rarest colour found in precious opal.
Other important characteristics of opal include the base colour, patterns, brightness, making each stone unique.
The finest of opals are known to exceed the value of diamonds and emeralds per carat. Over 95% of the world’s precious opal comes from Australia.

Unlike most other gems, this amazing stone doesn't require impurities or faceting to create its phenomenal beauty. Its bursts of radiant colour are produced by diffraction of light in the same way as the rainbow. Besides, there are many differences between opal and other gems. They include an unimaginable array of alternating colours and shapes with a diversity of types. Click here About Opals for more information on the various types of Opals.

On seeing a Taranto Opal, there is no doubting the unrivalled individuality of this gemstone. Multidimensional and infinitely colourful, the opal can enhance any occasion, in any season, in any nation of the world. It is also Australia's iconic gemstone with 97% of the world's supply originating from the Australian outback.

But be warned! Whether you are a fossicker, miner or just an admirer, Opal Fever, commonly known as the Opal Bug, is like gold - once in your blood you're hooked forever!

History

The history of Australian opals started at around the late 1840's at a cattle station just 80 km outside Adelaide, called Tarrawilla near Angaston.Australian opal did not appear on the world market until the 1890s.

The Differences between Various Opals

There are two main types of opal - precious opal and common opal. 95% of opal mined in Australia is common opal, the other 5% is precious opal.
Common opal is dull, colourless and does not exhibit a play of colour.
Precious opal consists of the following - black, semi black, light, boulder, crystal, matrix and fire opal.
Different types of precious natural opal ranging from high quality:

 Black Opals

A rare variety of precious opal, characterised by a spectacular play of spectral colours in a dark body (black, blue, brown or grey).
Its great deth of colour and large pattern make it particularly prized and valuable.

 White Opals, Light opals, Crystal opals

Light Opal Is also classified as a solid opal. A full range of colours swirls and flashes in the depths of a light opal. The background colour may be white or light blue.
Light crystal opal is translucent and shows colours sharp and visible below the surface. When clear and colourless, this form is referred to as 'water' or 'jelly' opal. Light opal has a lighter background while semi-black opal has grey colour tones.
Coober Pedy, Andamooka and Mintabie in South Australia are the most productive mines for light opal.


Boulder Opals

This opal is distinguished by the presence of host brown rock, usually ironstone, on the back of the opal; and is found almost exclusively in Queensland.
Boulder opal is also classified as solid opal. It occurs as thin veins of precious opal in the cracks and cavities of light and dark brown ironstone boulders in Queensland. The opal flowed into the cracks and fissures in the boulders in liquid form millions of years ago. With the passing of centuries, the liquid material formed into solid opal and now miners cut these stones into magnificent pieces with the natural host rock left on the back.
Boulder opal can be found in many different forms and colours: its surface can be smooth or uneven, with the opal occurring as a solid piece on top of the ironstone or showing as flashing flecks of colour throughout the ironstone (known as matrix opal).
There are also the famous nut opals, known as 'Yowah-nuts' and unique to Queensland. These smaller ironstone concretions up to 5cm across may host a kernel of solid opal or contain a network of thin veins of opal through the ironstone. The best development of this variety of opal is at Yowah, hence the name 'Yowah-nuts'.
Boulder opals are fashioned to standard shapes and sizes but are mostly cut in freeform shapes to highlight their individual beauty and to avoid unnecessary wastage.

 

What does the future hold for Opals?

The jewellery industry is increasingly motivated by and linked to trends in the fashion industry. Fashion is all about colour and the colour schemes change seasonally. As opal is the only gemstone to contain all colours, with a play-of-colours and patterns, it is well-positioned to take advantage of this.

Opal jewellery is graceful and sophisticated. The charm of Opal jewellery is irresistible and it can add amazing splendor to the personality of the wearer. Opal earrings make best gifts to women and Opal rings are highly classy. The beauty of Opal pendants and Opal necklaces can make any neckline look sexy. Be it a formal event or a casual day out Opal jewellery including Opal bracelets, Opal rings, Opal earrings, Opal necklaces or Opal pendants can add superb elegance to the entire look of the wearer. Opal jewellery is really pretty and attractive but very few people actually know about the mystical properties of this stylish gemstone. 

About Us

 As multifaceted as the opal itself, the Taranto family offer their story as testimony to the genuine nature of their product, without middle men, without models, without mark ups.

Two generations of Taranto family opal miners still live where the gemstone is mined, overseeing the mining and maintenance of the home of the opal – Australia’s legendary outback.

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Opal Classification

Opal is a gemstone consisting of hydrated amorphous silica with the chemical formula SiO2.nH2O. There are two basic forms of opal described by visual appearance.

 Precious Opal - is opal which exhibits the phenomenon known as play-of-colour, produced by the diffraction of white light through a micro-structure of orderly arrayed silica spheres to produce changing spectral hues..

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Why buy Opals from Taranto Opal?

Taranto Opal is committed to providing goods of superior craftsmanship and quality.Our jewellery products are guaranteed to be free of original manufacturing defects and our Opals are carefully examined for defects prior to release.
If a manufacturing defect is found upon inspection by our jeweller we will have the item repaired or replaced at our discretion, free of charge provided it is returned with your receipt within 30 days of purchase.

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