Opal Patterns

How the pattern of the play of color affects the value of an Opal

Larger, regular patches of color in which the colors have definite boundaries are the most valuable patterns. Small “pinfire” color specks in an opal are fairly common, less striking and less valuable. Uneven, random patches of color are usually more valuable than the pinfire patterns, but are also more subjectively valued.

Least valuable:This opal has a pinfire pattern. Very small “pins” of color. This is the least valuable pattern of opal. Moderate value: This pattern has one dominant flash of color. This is more valuable than pinfire, especially of the color is red. More Valuable: Patterns with multiple colors in random patterns are valued very subjectively. There are many ways of sub-categorizing these. You can find a pattern that speaks to you at a relatively low price. Most Valuable: This is an example of “harlequin” opal. This is the most valuable pattern of opal. It is distinguished by color patches with highly defiend borders.

Learn More About Opals


How the TYPE affects the value of an Opal
How COLOR affects the value of an Opal
How PATTERN affects the value of an Opal
How CUT affects the value of an Opal
Opal treatments and synthetics
Opal meaning and symbology
Opal myths and misconceptions