Top 7 Most Expensive Opals In The World

Opals, with their mesmerizing play of colors, are among the most fascinating and valuable gemstones in the world. They are formed over millions of years as water carries and deposits compounds throughout the earth.

The process is so slow that it takes more than 5 million years to develop just one centimeter of opal. The value of an opal is determined by several factors, including its size, color, quality, and rarity.
Black opals, for instance, are usually the most expensive, selling for $10 – $20,000 per carat. However, the price can vary greatly, with some opals being essentially priceless. Here we would like to share with you the top 7 most expensive opals in the world.

7. Pink Opals (Up to $300 Per Carat)

Pink Opals, with their enchanting pink hue and mesmerizing iridescence, are among the most captivating and valuable gemstones in the world. Pink Opals are formed from copper, water, silica, and iron, which together create a striking hue of pink. 

The more that iron and silica are present in an opal’s composition, the higher the value. The finest quality of natural pink opals have the potential to be up to $300 per carat. Pink opal is relatively hard, with a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6.5. This makes it a durable gemstone that can withstand everyday wear and tear.

It is a popular choice for jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings.

6. Peruvian Opals (Up to $300 Per Carat)

Unlike other opal varieties, Peruvian Opals do not exhibit the characteristic play-of-color that is commonly associated with opals. Instead, they are admired for their soothing pastel hues and tranquil energy.

The formation process of Peruvian Opals involves the deposition of silica gel in volcanic rock cavities, which then solidifies over time to form the gemstone. This natural process results in the stone’s unique color range, ranging from pale blue to vibrant green.

Peruvian opals which are in greenish-blue stones are a hallmark of the nation’s opal supply. These gemstones are called Andean opals, referring to the Andes mountains where the stones are found. At about $300 per carat, Peruvian opals are among the most expensive opals you can buy.

5. Blue Opals (Up to $300 Per Carat)

Credit: Truly

Blue Opals are a unique variety of opals that come in shades of blue and blue-green. The blue opal is a delicate gem of great beauty and ornamental value. Its mystical brightness gives it an air of elegance that is hypnotizing for those who approach this stone. 

The Greeks believed that it came from the tears of Zeus’ luck after his victory against the Titans. Blue opal is a stone that is valued for its ability to help with astral travel. It is believed that you can protect the spirit by creating a connection that maintains body and spirit in permanent bonding.

With that being said, the blue opals can command high prices of up to $300 per carat.

4. Mexican Opals (Up to $500 Per Carat)

Credit: Mardon Jewels

Mexican Opals, known for their vibrant colors hold great cultural significance in Mexico and are even recognized as the national gemstone. One of the most famous types of Mexican Opals is the Mexican Fire Opal. 

Basic fire opal is actually an affordable stone, averaging about $10 per carat on the retail side of things. However, great specimens, with a lot of color play and unusual size, can fetch as high as $500 per carat.

Based on history, the Aztecs used to call these opals as “quetza litzle pyolitli”, which can be interpreted as “the stone that alters its hue with motion.

3. White Opals (Up to $6,000 Per Carat)

White opals, often referred to as ‘milk’ or ‘milky’ opals, are characterized by their light body tone, which ranges from pale white to light, as indicated in the chart under “light opal”. Like all types of opals, white opals can exhibit a stunning array of colors from the spectrum, creating a beautiful color play. 

However, due to their light body tone, white opals typically display less vibrant colors compared to boulder opals and black opals. This is because they lack the contrasting dark or black background that enhances the stone and makes the colors of the opal more pronounced.

The price of white opals can go from anywhere from $10 per carat to as high as $6,000 per carat depending on their quality.

2. Fire Opals (Up to $10,000 Per Carat)

Coming in second will be the Fire opals which come in shades of yellow, orange, and red, resembling fire, hence the name. Fire Opals are considered precious Opals as they contain iridescence, otherwise known as ‘play-on-color.

These vibrant stones are created within the heart of ancient volcanoes, where the interaction between water and lava transforms ordinary compounds into breathtaking gemstones. The price of Fire Opals can vary greatly, from $50 to $5,000 per carat with the most expensive Fire Opals being the Fire of Australia worth $652,000.

1. Black Opals (>$10,000 Per Carat)

Black Opals, renowned for their dark body color and vibrant play-of-color, are known to be the most expensive opal in the world. Some people might not know that these opals are not entirely black but they merely picture the dark-colored tone of the body.

It can be in various colors and can be found in many parts of the globe. High-quality black opal can cost over $10,000 per carat but a high grade may fetch a price of more than $25,000.


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