opal,about opal,opal information,opal facts,learn about opal,color grade,clarity,aniversary gemstones,birthstone,gem cuts,order,secure,inventory,sale,free,price,shape,cut,information,opal,lot,rough,synthetic,natural,man made,lab,simulant mens opal rings,black opal uk,opal earring,opal jewelry,jelly opal,opal wholesaler,opal ring,opal gemstone jewelry,opal miner,opal jewlery,opal,black opal,australian opal,opal rings,opal pendant,rough opal,cut opal,peruvian opal,fire opal ring,tanzanite opal earrings,harlequin opal,mexican fire opal,black opal as a specialty,opal pictures,opal inlay jewelry,black opal products,opal necklaces,opal history,fire opal,blue opal,opal jewellery,opal earrings,boulder opal,australian opal ring,australian opal jewelry,opal gem stone,black opal jewelry,opal inlay,opal stone,opal triplet,opal pendants,opal mining,opal necklace,opal bracelet,black opal ring,opal mines,crystal opal,opal rough,peruvian blue opal,black opal rough,inlaid opal,australian opal rings,opal beads,opal and diamond earrings,opal mineral,antique opal ring,fire opal rings,black opal rings,opal gemstones,opal gem,synthetic opal,opal gem stone jewelry,opal gemstone,opal and gemstone jewelry,mexican opal,australian black opal,custom opal jewelry,opal garnet jewelry,opal shells,opal stones for sale,opal sets,tanzanite with fire opal gold rings,opal sphere,discount opal jewelry,green opal jewelry,opal jewelry manufacturers,opal flash,peruvian opal pendant,opal glass,australia opal mine,moss opal,examples of opal simulants,opal amulets,princess opal antique ring,opal potch,opal gem characteristics,opal for sale,lightning ridge black opal rough,opal birthstones,created opal,limb opal,simulated blue opal bracelet,opal introduction,animal shaped opal,opal globe,black opal pictures,natural opal pendants,boulder opal jewelry,peruvian opal peridot rings,opal titan,silver opal ring,pink opal beads,white opal jewelry silver,custom opal inlay,vintage opal ring,mosaic opal jewelry,wholesale opal dealers,black opal pendant,custom black opal inlay,floating opal pendant,3 stone opal ring,opal dealers australia,mexican fire opal bracelets,opal butterfly pendant,synthetic opal jewelry,cabbing mintabie opal,opal and sapphire,tanzanite and opal inlay jewelry,world opal capital,opal and tanzanite rings,green opal pendant silver,tanzanite and fire opal rings,what is a doublet opal,opal bead,opal inlay beads,andamooka opal,floating opal jewlrey,opal gems,doublet opal,floating opal rings,wholesale opal jewelry,black hills gold opal ring,mexican opal silver jewelry,virgin valley opal jewelry,opal navel jewelry,gem stone opal,precious fire opal,opal ite photos,mexican fire opal earrings,opal and sapphire ring,mosiac opal ring,crystal opal inlay,opal birthstone mother,opal wedding rings,opal inlay ring,peruvian opal properties,loose opal,opal watch,pictures of opal in its final gem form,opal chips,opal silver ring,opal birth stones,stone opal,inlaid opal lapis,peruvian opal faceted,opal rocks,native american opal braclets,matrix opal,opal jewerly,peruvian opal necklace,kaban mens opal rings,opal silver jewelry,opal perlman,yowah opal,mexican opal rings,lapis and opal ring,opal cross pendant,boulder opal rough,unique opal rings,opal schleifen wie,opal color,pictures of opal the birth stone,australian opal bracelets,black opal gemstones,marine life jewelry opal,opal inlay asher,opal stud earring,australian opal inlay ring,diamond and opal earrings,australia-gemstones jewelry opal bloedcoral,inlay opal rings,black opal jewerly,opal inlay diamond pendant,opal matrix rings,opal mineral uses,opal ankle bracelets,opal the rock/mineral,opal rings and complete opal sets,opal enthroned,jewerly arizona opal,opal values,tanzanite opal pendants,mexican fire opal jewelry,black opal engagement ring,opal data,austrailian opal,unique custom opal jewelry,pink opal,peruvian blue opal beads,boulder opal beads,black opal inlay,care of opal jewelry,tanzanite and opal inlaid jewelry,arizona opal,everybody loves opal,opal and diamond rings canada,opal flower ring,wholesale rough opal,tanzanite and opal rings,ethiopian fire opal,triplet opal,opal birth stone,idaho opal,custom opal earrings,opal tumbled,opal white gold bracelet,where you can find a natural opal stone,opal cutting,opal formation,mosaic opal ring,custom australian opal jewelry,handmade jewelry and opal,opal peruvian jewelry,inlaid opal rings,fire opal jewelry,opal birthstone,blue opal jewelry,birthstone opal,opal stone jewelry,opal inlay rings,black opal necklaces,opal definition,silver opal rings,mosaic opal,opal rough wholesale,opal gem stones,fire opal in petrified wood,opal earth,virgin valley opal,black opal pendants,opal pendant light,wholesale opal,floating opal,tanzanite opal rings,opal jewelery,white opal,opal bracelets,gilson opal,solid opal,oregon opal,peruvian pink opal,black opal skin products,opal australia,opal information,opal stones,loose opal gem stone Black Opal, Opal, Opals, Black Opal, Fire Opal, Boulder Opal, Opal Rough, Opal Black Doublet, Blue Opal, Australian Opal, Peru Opal, Cherry Opal, Opal Doublet, Jelly Opal, Multi Color Opal, Orange Opal, Pink Opal, Red Opal, Semi Black Opal, Yellow Opal Opal: Nature's Fireworks Mysterious opals contain the wonders of the skies - sparking rainbows, fireworks, and lightning - shifting and moving in their depths. Opal has been treasured throughout history around the world. Archaeologist Louis Leakey found six-thousand year old opal artifacts in a cave in Kenya! Roman historian Pliny described the beauty of opal as the combination of the beauty of all other gems: "There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald - all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil." Opal was much loved and valued highly by the Romans, who called it opalus. At the same time, opal was also sought in what would become the Americas. The Aztecs mined opal in South and Central America. Opal was also treasured in the Middle Ages and was called ophthalmios, or eye stone, due to a widespread belief that it was beneficial to eyesight. Blonde women wore opal necklaces to protect their hair from losing its color. Some thought the opal's effect on sight could render the wearer invisible. They were recommended for thieves! Opal as Muse A beautiful opal called the orphanus was set in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. It was described as follows: "as though pure white snow flashed and sparkled with the color of bright ruddy wine, and was overcome by this radiance." This opal was said to guard the regal honor. Opals are also set in the crown jewels of France. Napoleon gave Josephine a beautiful opal with brilliant red flashes called "The burning of Troy," making her his Helen. Shakespeare found in the opal a symbol of shifting inconstancy, likening play of color to play of mind in one of the most apt uses of gemstone symbolism in literature. In Twelfth Night, he writes: "Now the melancholy God protect thee, and the tailor make thy garments of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is opal." In the nineteenth century, opal was considered unlucky due to the plot of a popular Sir Walter Scott novel of the time. The heroine of the novel has her life force caught in the beautiful opal she wears in her hair and she dies when the fire in the opal is extinguished. Queen Victoria loved opals and often gave them as wedding presents. She and her daughters created a fashion for wearing opal. Queen Victoria was one of the first to appreciate opals from an exciting new source: Australia. Ancient opal came from the mines near Cervenica, Hungary, in what is now Eastern Slovakia, where hundreds of men mined the stone. Ancient opal fanciers never had the chance to see the opal of Australia, where the opal of today was born, which far surpasses the beauty of Hungarian opal in fire and brilliance. A Gem of Water, Born in the Desert The story of opal in Australia begins more than 100 million years ago when the deserts of central Australia were a great inland sea, with silica-laden sediment deposited around its shoreline. After the sea receded and disappeared to become the great Artesian basin, weathering 30 million years ago released a lot of the silica into a solution which filled cracks in the rocks, layers in clay, and even some fossils. Some of this silica became precious opal. Opal is one of the few gemstones that is sedimentary in origin. Opal still contains 6 to 10 percent water, a remnant of that ancient sea. Gold panners in Australia found the first few pieces of precious opal in 1863. Mines at White Cliffs began producing in 1890. Only opal with a perfectly aligned grid of silica spheres will show play of color, which is created through diffraction. The size of the spheres determine the wavelengths and therefore the colors seen. The brilliance of the colors are determined by the regularity of the grid. The strength of the colors seen in opal also depend on the background body color and the transparency of the stone. The body color determines the variety of opal and has a large impact on the value. Black opal, opal with a black to dark gray body color, has the most brilliant colors and is the most valuable. Crystal opal, the next most costly type of opal, is transparent with flashes and is highly valued due to the brilliance of its colors and the fact that many layers of color within the stone can also be seen. White and milky opals tend to have more diffused colors due to the light background color. This is the most affordable type of opal. Another more unusual type of opal is boulder opal, which has opal with an ironstone host rock matrix which creates a natural dark background to view its fire. These sometimes occur in "splits" a matched pair of opals created when a piece of boulder opal is split along the opal vein. These are particularly favored for earrings, since they are mirror images of each other. Choosing an Opal Within each opal variety, the brillance of the play of color is the most important value factor. After this consideration, the colors seen and the pattern of the colors will also influence value. Generally, opal with red fire is the most valued because opal that shows red will also show other colors when rolled back and forth: it contains the whole spectrum. The pattern of the play of color also influences value. Generally large flashes and broad patterns are more rare and valuable than small pinfire patterns. Black opal is found only in Australia in Lightning Ridge, the most famous opal deposit in the world since it was discovered in 1903, and in Mintabie, which also produces large quantities of light opal. Another large opal producing area in Australia is Coober Pedy, which produces light opal. The name Coober Pedy is an Aboriginal name meaning "white man in a hole." If you visit Coober Pedy, you will understand how it got its name: many houses - and even a church! - are burrows dug into the ground called dugouts. This type of dwelling is quite practical and cool as temperatures soar in the daytime. Andamooka is known for producing crystal opal and light opal. Boulder opal is produced in several areas in western Queensland. In addition to Australia, a small quantity of precious opal is produced in Brazil. Mexico and the state of Oregon in the United States produce a volcanic opal called fire opal. Fire opal is transparent opal ranging in color from colorless to yellow, orange, and red. Sometimes it also shows play of color in addition to its bright orange body color. Low quality opal was recently discovered in Ethiopia. Opal is cut in Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Germany, and other places. Calibrated sizes are widely available in light opal, which is very popular with jewelry manufacturers around the world due to the beauty even of inexpensive pieces. Black opal is cut in free sizes due to its rarity and high value. Boulder opal is often available in the natural shape of the rough. Fire opal can be found in both faceted and cabochon cuts, including many interesting fancy shapes. A green translucent opal that resembles chrysoprase or jade, which is called prase opal, is found in Tanzania. A beautiful blue-green opal is found in Peru in the Andes Mountains. These types of opal do not display play of color. The hardness of opal ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It should be protected from heat and strong light, which can dry it out, causing cracks. Ultrasonic cleaners, metal polish, acids, and any strong solvents should be avoided. Exposed corners or points on pear or marquise shape opals may chip if hit while they are being worn. Opal is best set in a protected mounting.

Mysterious Opal

Australian Opal history,Gem Information, information on gemstones, facts, learn about gemstones,natural ,synthetic

AFRICA

Africa has numerous deposits of gem quality corundum and has recently been a source of new sapphire and ruby discoveries.

Tanzania
UMBA River - Some blue, lavenders and purples to plums, yellows, golds to orange browns, pinks, and padparadschas.

SONGEA
Deep red rubies, blues, blue greens, greens, yellows, pinks, alexandrite-type (blue in sunlight and fluorescent light, lavender to purple in incandescent).

TUNDURU
Full spectrum of colors.

Madagascar
Blue, very much like Sri Lankan blue. The rubies are clear red and often unheated. Range of pink from pale to intense.

Kenya
LODWAR - Clear deep blue to very dark blue-green and an abundance of opaque blue stars.

GARBATULA
deep, blackish blue-green to intense pleasant green.

ASIA

Sri Lanka
The island nation south of India was known as Ceylon for many generations. Consequently "Ceylon-blue" is a color name outliving the change in national name. Sapphires of note in large sizes - over 5 carats - of outstanding color are predominantly of Sri Lankan origin. White, blue, purple, pink, yellow, gold, and padparadaschas.

Mysore (India)
Star rubies.

Myanmar (Burma)
Ruby and sapphire mines of Burma are legendary and have produced some of the world's finest rubies and blue sapphires.

MOGOK STONE TRACT
Star rubies, star sapphires, rubies. Sapphire - violet, yellow, color-change, and blue.

MONGSHU
Ruby.

TADJIKASTAN
Ruby.

Thailand (Siam)
Thailand is a traditional supplier of sapphire and ruby. The majority of sapphire production from the Kanchanaburi field has been mined in the last ten years. This deposit is approaching depletion.

CHANTABURI
blue, rubies, dark blue, green, yellow, and black star - 6 and 12 ray.

KANCHANABURI

blue and green, yellow and rubies.

Vietnam

Rubies and sapphires have been found in Vietnam since the late 1980's. They are very rarely seen in the jewelry market.

LUC YEN AND QUY CHAU
red and red-pink rubies, hot pink and purple sapphire.

Cambodia
PAILIN - blue sapphire and color change ruby.

AUSTRALIA

Australia also has several deposits and contributes greatly to the sapphire jewelry market in mostly Inky blues to less known brilliant true blues, green, blue-green, yellow-green, yellows, oranges, and some pinks.

NORTH AMERICA

Montana
Montana has four main deposits:

DRY COTTONWOOD CREEK
yellow, gold and green, some pink, blue, and very, very rarely a ruby.

MISSOURI RIVER
green, blue, yellow, orange, pink, and very rarely ruby.

ROCK CREEK
full spectrum of colors including many bicolors, and also very rarely ruby.

YOGO GULCH
blue and purple.