Opal gemstone has a truly special place among all other gems for me. Each stone holds a miniature universe of colours and shapes that change with a slightest movement. It was considered the most precious gemstone in many ancient cultures due to its ability to show all colours of the rainbow and considered very lucky since Roman times. Opal gemstone fell into disfavour after a novel "Anne of Geierstein" was published in 1829. The irony is that the author didn't mean to suggest that Opal brings bad luck but the public didn't read the third volume carefully and jumped into the conclusion. Opal's fortune rose again after Queen Victoria laughed at the superstition, wore opals and gave them to her daughters as gifts. When Australian black opals arrived to Europe sales rose again, despite diamond merchant cartels spreading stories about opal's bad luck. The best opal gemstones can show virtually any colour there is and the infinity of possible patterns makes it difficult to even classify all opals. European traditional source used to be located in Hungary but most of the stones were white/milky, with a limited amount of colours showing. The discovery of Australian deposits, especially Lightning Ridge area black opal gemstones, showed us the true potential opal holds. Australia had a virtual monopoly in the opal market for a long time with a 97% of global production and still enjoys the top spot despite some promising newcomers, like Ethiopia with its hydrophane Welo opals. You have a wide selection of loose opal gemstones available in our store, in both traditional and unique carved shapes, with many patterns and colours available. All divided into two main categories of Australian Opals and Ethiopian Opals. Special varieties of Australian stones can be reached form the main menu on the top of the page.