Boulder Opal: Properties, Benefits & Meanings

Boulder Opal
Boulder Opal

Boulder Opal Overview

Boulder Opal is a type of opal usually found in different regions of Australia. It’s a unique type of opal that shows its colors in large patches rather than small spots throughout the stone. Because of this trait, it is quite popular among collectors for use as the centerpiece of their ornamental stone collection.

Boulder opals can be found in many colors; however, reds and greens are the most common. This article will take a look into the properties, meanings, and uses of the Boulder Opal gemstone.

  • Variety of: Opal
  • Wearability: Good
  • Symbols: Serenity
  • Color: Many
  • Hardness: 5.5 – 6.5
  • Birthstone: None

What is A Boulder Opal

Boulder Opal is a form of opal that comes from Queensland, Australia. It is a beautiful multicolored stone that is famed for its stunning shades of red and green.

The Boulder Opal is related to the Sacral chakra and is said to symbolize serenity. Monks and enthusiasts often use it to help with meditation.

This type of opal is found in rock formations of ironstone and sandstone. The host rock is usually a different color than the opal, and it can be white, black, or brown. The opal itself can be any color in the rainbow, but most of it has a blue sheen.

This stone is mined from the ground and collected in large blocks. It is usually found in large, rough form. You can think of it as a giant piece of opal broken off from the central vein. The surface may be covered in dirt and debris, but under that, you’ll find a beautiful stone with unique patterns and colors.

Boulder opal is harder and more stable than other types of natural opal. Because of this, it can be carved into beautiful jewelry without breaking or chipping easily. It’s usually cut into cabochons, which are flat, polished stone slices that have been polished with a slight dome shape on top.


Boulder opal is a rare and beautiful gemstone with a distinctive appearance and varied color palette. 

It has several identifying features that make it unique from other types of opal. First, its name comes from its apparent “boulder” shape—it is large and rounded, with a flat back and a flat top. 

It also has a thin layer of mica over it, which makes the stone appear iridescent when light hits it at the right angle.

These opals are easily distinguished by their layer of solid brown ironstone left on the back of the stone.

This gemstone is characterized by its “opalized” appearance—that is, it has the same texture as normal opal, but it appears to have been broken up into small pieces and glued back together on a larger scale. 

This makes it possible for a Boulder opal to occur in large groups that are visible to the naked eye, as opposed to most other types of opals which are usually very small and require magnification to see their true beauty.

It contains a lot of iron and silicon, which give it its bright colors. The iron atoms cause the coloration, while the silicon atoms cause the play of color when the light hits the stone at different angles.

The most common color seen in this gem is black or dark gray with white flashes of color. This makes it similar to common opals but with a distinctive appearance all its own!

Boulder opal also contains a lot of water, which helps protect it from cracking or breaking when it’s being worked on or cut down into smaller pieces for sale or use in jewelry or other decorative objects like vases or bowls.

How is It Formed?

Boulder opal is formed in the same way that all opal is formed. The difference lies in the fact that this opal tends to have a higher amount of iron content, which gives it an iridescent appearance.

Opals are made of silica and water, which can be abundant in Australia’s dry areas. When an opal forms under dry conditions, it will often form on top of rock or gravel instead of sand because there is no moisture to hold any sand together into stable layers underneath the stone’s surface.

Boulder opal is usually found within rocks rather than on its own. It can also be very large; some pieces have been found as big as a football!

Physical Properties

Mineral GroupSilica
FormulaSiO2. nH2O
Chemical nameHydrated silica
Hardness (Mohs scale)5.5-6.5
Refractive Index1.450
FractureConchoidal to Uneven
LusterPearly, Vitreous, Waxy
Specific Gravity2.15
TransparencyTranslucent to Opaque
Table of Physical Properties

Where Is It Found?

Boulder opal is found in the Winton and Quilpie areas of Australia. It was first discovered in 1869. It is mined in only these few locations worldwide:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada

The most valuable pieces are typically found in Australia, sometimes referred to as “doublets” or “triplets.” 

These stones have been cut to reveal their translucent center, surrounded by a layer of dark-colored shellac or resin on both sides. This makes them look like they have a double or triple layer but only have one layer of opal with a thin coating on both sides.

Opal Fields

They are most commonly found in opal fields. Opal fields are areas where, over time, opals have been naturally deposited from water or wind. The most famous opal fields are in Australia and South Africa, but a few are scattered around the world.

The most common type of opal in these fields is boulder opal—which means it’s big enough to be picked up by hand! It’s called a “boulder” due to its size and rough surface of the stone. 


Yowah Opal

Yowah Boulder Opal is one of the most beautiful opals in the world. It comes from Yowah, Australia, and has been mined for over 100 years.

The coloring of this opal is unique. It can have a dark background with flashes of color that come through on its surface. The colors that are seen in this type of opal are red, orange, yellow, green, or blue. The pattern that this type of opal displays is called a flash pattern, and it is created when light hits the surface of these types of opals at just the right angle.

Many types of Yowah opals are available today, but they all have one thing in common: their beautiful colors!

Koroit Opal

Koroit opal is a type of opal that comes from the area around Koroit in Victoria, Australia. It is a variety of opal that is found in silica-rich sandstones and mudstones. This type of opal typically has a black or dark-blue body with white streaks or patches. However, the stone will reveal bright colors, including reds and greens, when cut properly.

These stones are typically used for jewelry and other decorative purposes but can also be used to make small mosaics or other art objects.

Koroit is found in sedimentary rocks that are 250 million years old. The sediment was laid on top of an ironstone bed, giving it its unique color and texture. However, due to its rarity, it was only recently discovered by scientists.

How To Tell If A Boulder Opal Is Real?

Boulder opal is also known as boulder ironstone or ironstone. There are a few ways to determine whether it is genuine or artificial.

To tell if the Boulder opal you’re interested in buying is genuine, perform a scratch test on an inconspicuous area of the stone. This gemstone has about the same hardness as glass, so it can be scratched easily.

The best way to tell if it is a Boulder opal is by checking how the front of the opal and the ironstone backing are jointed. The stone could be fake if the joint is perfectly flat and smooth. Artificial joins will be flat because the two sections need to be glued together, while natural formation creates an uneven join.

Boulder Opal Value

Cost and Value Value

Boulder opal value is calculated by several factors, including the piece’s size, cut, and quality. As a result, the price per piece can be anywhere from $5 to $1,000.

Size: Boulder Opal is valued by the carat—the weight of the stone—and its rarity. The price increases exponentially as the size increases; thus, larger stones are more expensive than smaller ones because fewer are available.

Quality: A high-quality opal will have a rich coloration with an even distribution of tones throughout. The stone should also show no visible flaws or cracks.

A low-quality stone will show some unevenness in its coloration or may have some clearly visible flaws, such as cracks or pits throughout its surface area.

Color: Boulder opal is valued by its color—the more intense the color, the greater the value. The most valuable colors are red, blue, green, and yellow.

The best way to determine how much your gem is worth is by checking with local jewelers or other reputable dealers who specialize in this type of gemstone. 

boulder chakra
Chakra Connection

Chakra Connection

Boulder Opal is a stone that is related to the Sacral Chakra. The Sacral Chakra is located in the lower abdomen and governs personal creativity, sexuality, and pleasure.

It’s also associated with the second chakra, which regulates our sense of self-esteem and our ability to love ourselves and others. As an opal, Boulder Opal allows you to shine your light in order to find your own unique path in life.

Metaphysical Properties

Boulder Opals have several metaphysical properties.

Firstly, it is believed that this opal can help you to connect with your inner self. This stone brings peace and harmony to your life, so you can shed those negative emotions that keep coming up in your mind.

Additionally, this type of opal is thought to have healing properties that can be used for stress relief and anxiety reduction, as well as properties that help with circulation and reduce inflammation in the body.

Australian Boulder opal can bring the wearer a sense of calm, peace, and harmony. In addition, it is said to help with reflection and meditation, which makes it an excellent choice for yoga practitioners.

This is a stone that assists you in achieving your goals. It allows you to focus on what’s important and to see the big picture.

Moreover, Boulder opal is a good idea stone, meaning it may help you come up with great ideas and provides clarity when you’re trying to make decisions.

Boulder opal encourages self-awareness, helping you to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses so that you can use them to better yourself.

Boulder Opal Meaning And Uses

  1. This type of opal has been used for centuries as decoration and jewelry. The Romans used boulder opal in their mosaics, while Native Americans carved them into ceremonial tools. Today, it’s commonly used in jewelry making and other artsy endeavors.
  2. Boulder Opal cabochons are a great way to add beautiful color and depth to your jewelry. They’re also easy to set, making them a great choice for beginners.
  3. Boulder opal also has a long history in traditional medicine. The gemstone can be used to help heal infections and skin conditions, as well as boost energy levels and improve vision. 
  4. It is also believed to promote beauty and health in the body and spirit.
  5. Boulder opal is said to bring good luck to the person who owns it. 
  6. It is said that the bearer will be protected from all evil forces, and their wishes will be fulfilled more quickly than usual. They will also attract success and prosperity into their lives.
  7. It is also believed that Boulder opal can help one connect with their spirit guides and guardian angels so that they can receive guidance from them when needed.
boulder sage
Burn Sage to Cleanse

How To Take Care Of Boulder Opal Jewelry?

  • If you want to clean your boulder opal jewelry, use warm soapy water. 
  • A mild detergent and soft toothbrush or microfiber cloth are also effective. 
  • Avoid bleach and chemicals, as these can damage the opal finish.
  • Boulder opals are susceptible to heat, so you mustn’t clean them with hot water or steam. 
  • To cleanse your stone, burn white sage or other cleansing materials to remove any leftover negative energy.
  • Recharge your boulder opal jewelry. This can be done by meditating or doing yoga while wearing the jewelry. The idea behind revitalizing your jewelry is that the positive energy will flow through you into the stone, making it more potent than ever! 


Are Boulder Opals Rare?

Yes and no. When you first start looking for boulder opals, you’ll find that they’re not exactly rare. You can find them in just about any rock shop, and you can even buy them online. But what does make them rare is how hard it is to find one that’s going to be valuable.
A lot of the time, the boulder opals you’ll find have been treated in some way to make them look pretty. This can include polishing or even dying them. These treatments are legal—it’s just essential that you know what they are before you buy them.
To get a natural boulder opal, look closely at the stone itself. Is it rough? Does it have lots of colors? Does it look like something natural? If so, then it might be worth your money!

Is Boulder Opal a birthstone?

Opal and Tourmaline are the official October birthstones. Therefore, Boulder Opal is often associated with the month of October.

What is Boulder opal good for?

Boulder opal is suitable for a lot of things.
First, it’s great for jewelry. It can be used to make rings, necklaces, and earrings. Second, it is also good for making art pieces. You can paint them or use them to decorate your home.
Third, you can use it to make crafts such as bookmarks or keychains. Finally, boulder opal is an excellent investment because it is rare and beautiful!

Can boulder jewelry be worn every day?

Yes, it can. Boulder opal jewelry is a great choice for everyday wear because it’s durable and long-lasting.
If you’re worried about the color fading or being damaged by water, don’t be! Boulder opal is highly resistant to chemicals, acids, and other substances that would typically damage jewelry.

Which gemstones go well with boulder opal?

Boulder opal is a beautiful gemstone that can be paired with almost any other gemstone. However, it is best to match the color of your boulder opal with your other gemstones.
For example, if you have a white diamond and want to pair it with blue-green boulder opal, go for it.
If you’re looking for other options, you might consider pairing your boulder opal with Carnelian stone as it has colors that are similar or complementary to those in boulder opal.

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