Black Star Opal owner Elizabeth Deskoski has helped tens of thousands of customers from around the world with their opal purchases over the past 35 years, and knows a thing or two about where to start when buying an opal.

“Opals are among the more popular and versatile gemstones to buy as they offer a broad range of colours, patterns and prices – however the ultimate choice is very individual," says Elizabeth.

To help you choose an opal or piece if opal jewellery that’s perfect just for you, Elizabeth offers these three great tips:

Be true to your heart

If you’re in love with the coastal tones of a gorgeous green and blue coloured stone, but your partner or best friend thinks the pretty pastel patterns in a crystal opal are more attractive, it’s best to go with your own instincts.

"You are the one who has to be comfortable wearing the opal for many years to come and it should reflect your own individual tastes and style,” says Elizabeth.

Know why you’re buying an opal

There are usually two reasons why someone will buy an opal – either to keep as an investment or to set into a piece of jewellery to wear.

There’s a lot more flexibility with an investment piece so you can really buy what you like, as long as it’s excellent quality, however purchasing an opal to set into jewellery requires a bit more planning.

“For this, I'd advise to first think about the piece you want to create –  will it be a ring, which usually requires a smaller stone, or a pendant, which can display a larger opal," says Elizabeth.

"Meet with a reputable jeweller to discuss your options, but if you come across a stone you absolutely cannot live without, keep an open mind about what style of jewellery will suit the opal best.”

Have a budget in mind but be flexible

Solid black opals from Lightning Ridge, especially those featuring a red colour and Harlequin pattern, are the most highly prized opals in the world and a collectors dream, but if cost is a factor in your purchase, being flexible can pay off.

“Buying the most expensive opal is not necessary, nor affordable, for everyone, especially if the stone doesn’t suit your taste or style and you’re not looking to buy it solely as an investment piece," says Elizabeth.

“If you can’t find a solid opal that’s within your price range, a composite stone like a doublet or triplet opal, which offers the look of a black opal but at a lower cost, may better suit your budget.”

We hope you found out Top 3 Tips helpful for your next opal purchase. If you'd like to keep up to date with more tips and the latest news from Black Star Opal please contact us to sign up to our mailing list.