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Australian Opal Beads (21)

Australian Opal Beads are some of the most beautiful and unusual gemstones in the world. Fine opals display what’s called a “play of color,” a phenomenon where a rainbow of different colors flash inside the stone. Most of the world’s opals are found in Australia. Because we buy beads in volume, we always offer affordable beads and beading supplies at the Bead Traders.

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    Australian Opal Plain Nugget Beads 17 inch 50 pieces

    Beads average about 6x5mm to 15x10mm. These thin & petite nuggets have primarily light-beige bodies with ample opalescent flash in the full ran...

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  • Original price $141.00 - Original price $141.00
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    Australian Opal Plain Nugget Beads 17 inch 28 pieces

    Beads average about 10x9mm to 21x15mm. These gorgeous, sizable nuggets have primarily light-beige bodies across a rocky, boulder-like texture compl...

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    Original price $141.00 - Original price $141.00
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    Australian Opal Plain Nugget Beads 17 inch 30 pieces

    Beads average about 9x8mm to 19x13mm. These gorgeous, sizable nuggets have primarily light-beige bodies with ample opalescent flash in the full ran...

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    Original price $130.00 - Original price $130.00
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  • Original price $65.00 - Original price $65.00
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    7mm Tan Australian Opal Plain Heishi Beads 16 inch 190 pieces

    Beads measure about 7mm in diameter. These gorgeous beads have light tan bodies with a plethora of subtle colors mingling with bright opalescent fi...

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    Original price $65.00 - Original price $65.00
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    5-6mm Australian Opal Hand Cut Faceted Rondelle Beads 12 inch 130pcs

    Beads average about 5mm to 6mm in diameter. These beautiful hand cut beads showcase a wide range of colors, both on opaque beads in in opalescent f...

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    4mm Australian Opal Hand Cut Faceted Rondelle Beads 12 inch 150 pieces

    Beads average about 4mm in diameter. These beautiful hand cut beads showcase a wide range of colors, both on opaque beads in in opalescent flash. A...

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    Australian Boulder Opal Plain Nugget Beads 18 inch 50 pieces

    Beads average between 7.5x7mm and 16x15mm on a graduated strand. These gorgeous Australian Opals showcase beautiful flash in various vivid colors, ...

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  • Australian Opal Plain Tyre
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    6mm Tan Australian Opal Plain Heishi Beads 16 inch 200 pieces

    Beads measure about 6mm in diameter.

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  • Faceted Australian Opal Beads
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    6mm Australian Opal Faceted Heshi Beads 16 inch 200 pieces

    Australian Opal Faceted Heshi Beads measure 6mm on average and have a waxy luster showing visible matrix in their varied hues of beige, off white, ...

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    Australian Opal Plain Round Beads 16 inch 50 pieces

    Beads average about 8mm in diameter. Includes 1mm large drill hole.

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  • Original price $92.00 - Original price $92.00
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    Australian Opal Faceted Heishi Beads 16 inch 195 pieces

    Beads average about 7mm in diameter.

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    Australian Opal Plain Round Beads 16 inch 45 pieces

    Beads measure between 9mm and 10mm in diameter. Beads have 1mm large drill holes.

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    Australian Opal Faceted Rondelles 16 Inch 148 Beads

    Beads measure between 4mm and 5mm in diameter. Australian Opal faceted rondelle beads exhibit a symmetrical shape on the strand showing opaque to t...

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    4-7 Australian Opal Plain Rondelle Beads 16 inch 145 pieces

    Australian Opal plain rondelles have a waxy luster with good make creating a symmetrical bead show having play of color in blue-violet-periwinkle h...

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    Original price $152.00 - Original price $152.00
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    19x6mm-30x10mm Gold Leafed Australian Opal Natural Crystal Focal Pendant 1 Piece

    19x6mm-30x10mm Gold Leafed Australian Opal Natural Crystal Focal Pendant 1 Piece

    Original price $8.00 - Original price $8.00
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    6mm-7mm Tan Australian Opal Heishi Beads 16 inch 180 pieces

    6mm-7mm Tan Australian Opal Hishi Beads 16 inch 180 piecesThis beautiful shape is inspired by the traditional bead designs of the Kewa Pueblo peopl...

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    6x5x3-13x5x3mm Australian Opal center drilled Natural Crystal Chip Beads 7.5 inch 64 beads

    Australian Opal Natural Crystal Chips have a dull & waxy luster showing visible matrix in their varied hues of beige, off white, brown, and san...

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    Matte Australian Opal plain nuggets 13 inch 32 beads 8x6-12x9mm

    Matte Australian Opal plain nuggets measure approximately 13 inch on the strand of 32 beads with size ranging from 8x6-12x9mm

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  • Best buying 10x8mm Australian Opal faceted oval Black Gold Chain by the foot 18 pieces - Buy From The Bead Traders Online Store.
    Original price $18.00 - Original price $18.00
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    10x8mm Australian Opal faceted oval Black Gold Chain by the foot 18 pieces

    10x8mm measure for these Australian Opal faceted oval beads hand wrapped onto Black Gold plated Rosary Chain sold by the foot with approximately 18...

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    Australian Boulder Opal Tumbled Nugget Top Drilled Beads 7 inch 15 pcs

    Australian Opal Beads Tumbled free shape nuggets have a waxy luster with good Surface polish and rounded edges. The beads show a moderate matrix of...

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    4-5mm Australian Opal Plain Rondelle Beads, 14 inch

    Approx. Length 14 inch | Approx. Bead Size 4-5mm

    Original price $8.00 - Original price $8.00
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Play of Color

Opals are famous for their play of color, an effect that is caused by the internal structure of Opal beads. Unlike quartz, opal is not a crystal and is considered a mineraloid, a mineral-like substance without a crystal structure. Opals are made up of silica and water, and it is the high water content--up to 20% in some stones--that contributes to opal’s colorful show. Silica spheres inside the amorphous stone catch the light and reflect it back. The spheres are arranged in a lattice structure and the distance between the spheres determines what colors will be present in the stone. The brightness of the fire is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the brightest.

Varieties of Opals

Black opals are the rarest and most precious of the Australian opal beads, with black stones with red flashes being the most sought after. White or light opals with green, blue and orange or yellow fire are more common. Sometimes thinner, lower quality opals are combined with another material such as onyx or glass to create a doublet or triplet opal. While these combinations can be very pretty, they are not as valuable as pure opals.

Cabochons

Although Australian opal beads are available in a range of shapes and sizes, most opals are cut and polished into cabochons, which are large, single, rounded stones used to decorate items such as statues, sword hilts, boxes and chalices. Opals have a hardness value of 5.5 - 6 on Moh’s Scale and are considered fragile, so they need to be set in a protective setting.

Down Under

Most of the world’s precious opals come from Australia, and most of those are mined in the Coober Pedy region. The world’s largest opal, called "Olympic Australis," was found in this area in 1956. Olympic Australis is almost a foot wide and weighs 17,000 carats. Although 90% of the world’s opals have been found in Australia, they do occur in other regions, and NASA reported in 2008 that opals have been found on Mars.

Opals in History

The name ‘opal’ come from the Roman word ‘opalus,’ which is believed to have come from the Sanskrit word ‘upala’. The Romans valued opals above all other gemstones, and they had a good reputation until the 19th century when Sir Walter Scott used an opal talisman with supernatural powers in one of his novels. Their luck changed in the early 20th century when opal was designated as the birthstone for the month of October.

Purchasing Opals

The Australian opal beads available at the Bead Traders are covered by our Three-Part Value Pledge of value, quality and authenticity. The beads we sell are the best quality available at the best price we can offer, and if we need to make a substitution, we always send you beads of higher quality rather than lower. When you are looking to put a little color in your life, try Australian opal beads from the Bead Traders.

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