Sometimes called ‘milk’ or ‘milky’ opals, Australian white opals are characterized by their pale white or light body tone. The same as any kind of opal, white opals can display any colour of the spectrum in a beautiful play of colour.
White opals are much more common than other kinds of opal like black opal and boulder opal. Often white opals will have white potch (colourless opal) left on the back of the stone, but in some cases the entire stone will consist of colourful opal.
Because white opals have pale body tone they generally have less vibrant colour than boulder opals and black opals. They don’t have the advantage of having a dark or black background which enhances the stone and makes the opal colour stand out.
White opals are the least valuable form of opal. This is due to the fact that they are the most common form of opal, but also to the lack of darkness in the stone which leads to the more vibrant colour in boulder opals and black opals. An opal with a very white body tone also tend to have very pale colour. However, good quality white opal can be incredibly beautiful, and may fetch prices up to AUD $200 per carat.