Fossicking for Opals


Where do Opals come from?


Opals are found deep in rock crevasses. It's believe that once water evaporates from inside these crevasses, the silica that is left behind dries out and solidifies into opal.


How do you find Opals?


Finding opals can be difficult for beginners. The most popular method of recovery for the casual fossicker is noodling. Sifting through tailings in search for accidental discarded opal.


The difference between Potch and Opal


Plain and simple, Potch is colourless opal.

While fossicking, majority of the time you will find Potch. Always bring a spray bottle and double check for signs of colour.


Types of Australian Opal


Black Opal

White Opal

Boulder Opal

Matrix Opal





How are Opals valued?


Many factors are taken into consideration when valuing an Opal.

  • Size - The larger the stone the more it's worth per ct. A 'perfect' black opal with full spectrum of colours can be worth anything from $15,000+ per ct.
  • Body Tone/colour - A darker underlying body tone will generally be worth more than lighter tones. Hence why black opals are more sought after.
  • Flash Colours - An opal with a range of the full spectrum of colours is considered the most valuable.
  • Shape - You may find an opal with the perfect colour, but unless it's shaped for faceting it may not be worth as much as you think.




Only hand tools are permitted in public fossicking areas. Big fines apply for those caught using power tools and machinery.


Sold out