Black Opal Lightning Ridge Australia || Free Shipping Worldwide

Year 2012


Dear absolutely-love-opals,

Well, you have certainly humoured far beyond that which is necessary. I'm now in your debt. I left you good feedback but I do not feel that is enough. Not many sellers take the time to explain how they cut their product from soup to nuts, as they say. Hopefully, I will be permitted to bid at your store in the future as your products are quite nice.

I was curious, from your position, where do you see the boulder opal market going? I would guess that they will be just behind black opal.  Of course, I fell in love with boulder opal because of the appearance of the pieces that are more specimen/pendant like.

I've found that these are the hardest to place a value on. I would have to say that beyond the presence/frequency of colours (particularly reds/yellows), that the FINISH is what seems to be the biggest variable. (I'm sure you recall my questioning how you did such a good job on yours!). However, I've yet to latch onto any type of "per carat" pricing system that is applicable to these types of opals (meaning non-homogeneous, etc.)

While I have certainly taken an unusual approach to making a friendly contact, much less a decent first impression, I would love to hear your thoughts on how our products are priced and other relevant info.

Absolute Opals Response;

As a Lightning Ridge Black Opal person, I am embarrassed to admit that I believe the marketing of boulder is more advanced then the marketing of Lightning Ridge or South Australian opal. The boulder community has managed to encourage its' markets to accept all kinds of variants and inclusions etc. In the last 12 years I have been pushing hard to emulate this for our opal with surprising success. Now Free Form Black Opal Carvings, Black Opal Feature Stones, (Picture Stones) and Black Opal Specimens are worldwide accepted and demanded as product lines....not only the "Oval Cab".


The most suited boulder opal for Standard Calibrating as Oval Cabs and for Beading is the thick veined matrix material. The losses of material and effect in Gem Clean Face Boulder, (particularly for regular pattern broad flash material) are considered too great to cut ovals. Also, from my experience whenever  opal ovals are demanded the requests are usually for a “dome" to be part of the form and as we all know, not many Clean Face Boulder pieces come with a dome,  partly because it often naturally splits in the rough.

The most suited Lightning Ridge and South Australian material for Standard Calibrating are the more affordable varieties with medium colour bar thickness. That is, stones less than $100 wholesale value and for use in mass casting jewellery. Again the losses in material and stone effect are considered too great to calibrate more expensive Opal.  For me, the whole "per carat" thing is for relatively inclusion free regular oval cabs with recognizable patterns. Anything outside these parameters I have always priced "per stone", based on the relative effect of the overall piece compared to its’ per carat weight.

 I also have not seen any pricing systems that include criteria to price nonconventional boulder opal material such as Picture stones, Matrix stones and generally any opal that is other than standard commercial.  There may be too many variables with these varieties of opal to develop an accurate pricing system. The existing Opal Industry prices these varieties based on visual impact compared with its relative size and usability, mostly based on personal accumulated selling experiences.

When It comes to pricing your opal, ultimately you are better positioned to price for your Market as you are the one operating within it.

Yes you are always welcome to bid...I haven't blocked you.