Many opal enthusiasts, and lovers of opal have and continue to argue over the shape that opal should be.
Traditionally, opal is cut into oval shapes, with varying cabochons (low, medium, high domed tops), which most opal is cut into.
However, since Boulder Opal has steadily gained in popularity, a lot of new fans of opal are becoming more and more attracted to the freeform shapes that Boulder Opal has to offer.
Boulder Opal is cut into freeform shapes, as the opal-cutter will follow the seam of the opal and try to maximise the better colours, which can then lead to a higher cost per carat (simply put). Boulder Opal is also not cabochoned, instead left to have an undulating (curvy/bumpy) surface.
The benefit of the freeform shapes that Boulder Opal present, is that the stone lends itself to be used in more modern, contemporary settings, adding to the appeal of the unique stone.
This isn’t to say that White, Crystal and Black opal is only cut into cabochoned ovals – with these precious opals also occasionaly cut into freeform shapes, which can raise eyebrows with opal purists.
Whatever the shape, we don’t mind, as all opal, whether traditionally cut or freeform shape, when set right can look truly spectacular.