Beautiful Australian Opals

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About Opal
Getting Started
Base Color
Consistency and Directionality
Cut, Inclusions and Weight
Fire Color
Doublets and Tripletts
Fire Pattern
Glossay of Terms
Natural, Synthetic, Etc
Myths and Legends
Opal Books
Opal Care
Opal Evaluation
Opal Pricing
Some Large and Famous Opals
Types of Opals

Consistency and Directionality

Consistency - refers to the sameness of brightness, color, pattern and density of the fire and the density and the color of the background. Brightness is judged by the overall impression the stone gives and the one little bright spot in a corner is ignored. Now look at each of these characteristics and note if it is consistent across the stone. If it is inconsistent, judgment is called for . Does the inconsistency add to or take away from the beauty of the opal? In most cases, a little inconsistency adds to the character of the stone and makes it more attractive. Such inconsistencies should not be faulted. Only when inconsistency causes an opal to be less attractive should it be faulted.

Directionality - of fire refers to whether the fire shows as brightly from one direction as it does from another. Almost all opals will have some directionality in the brightness of fire. Some opals want to be rings (those that look brightest when looking straight down on them) and others want to be pendants (those that look brightest when held vertically and slightly behind the light). Most stones look best from one particular orientation. A truly nondirectional opal will appear equally bright no matter what direction you tilt it. Many stones will appear somewhat brighter in some directions than in others. An opal that looks bright from a direction which is not seen when it is worn is a less valuable stone. If the change is small, the stone would be graded slightly directional. If the change in brightness is at least one brightness level, the fire would be graded somewhat directional. If the stone looses most of its color from some directions, then it would be graded very directional. If it looses all of its fire in some directions, and especially if it only shows good color from one direction, it would be graded highly direction. The more directional the stone the less valuable it is.

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