Take A Break & Dream A Little...

                                                                                                             OPAL

The Opal is the official Gemstone of South Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia. Opal is the official Birthstone  of the month of October.

About 95% of the world's Opals come from Australia. In particular, the town of Coober Pedy in South Australia is the major source. Common, water, jelly, and fire Opals are found mostly in Mexico and Mesoamerica. Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, is another town in Australia, is the main source of black Opal that contains predominantly black background (dark-grey to blue-black displaying the play of colors).

BOULDER OPAL is found sporadically in Western Queensland, from Kynuna in the north, to Yowah and Koroit in the south.

A source of WHITE BASE OPAL in the United States is Spencer, Idaho. A high percentage of the Opals found there occurs in the layers. As a result, most of the production goes into making of doubles and triplets.

BLACK OPAL  is th state of Nevada official gemstone. This precious black Opal which is named for the true black Opal  found in Virgin Valley, Humboldt County, Nevada. It can also represent the Zodiac sign of Gemini.

PRECIOUS OPAL shows a variety interplay of internal colors and does have an internal structure. The veins of Opal displaying the play of colors are often quite thin, and this has given rise to the usual methods of preparing the stone as a as a gem. An Opal doublet is a thin layer of colorful material, backed by a black material, such as ironstone, basalt, or obsidian. The darker backing emphasizes the play of color, and results in a more attractive display than a lighter potch. Given the texture of Opals, they can be quite difficult to polish to a reasonable luster. The triplet cut backs the colored material with a dark backing and then has a cap of clear Quartz (rock crystal) on top, which takes a high polish, and acts as a protective layer for the comparatively delicate Opal.

COMMON OPAL - Besides the Gemstone varieties that show a play of color, there are other kinds of common Opals as the MILK OPAL, milky bluish to greenish; RESIN OPAL, honey yellow with a resinous luster, WOOD OPAL, caused by the replacement of the organic material in wood with opal, menilite brown or grey; HYALITE, a colorless glass-clear opal sometimes called Muller's Glass; GEYSERITE, (siliceous sinter) deposited around hot springs or geyzers; and the DIATOMITE or DIATOMACEOUS EARTH, the accumulations of diatom shells or tests.

OPAL is a mineraloid gel which is deposited at relatively low temperatures and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, and basalt. Opal is one of the mineraloids that can form or replace fossils. The resulting fossils, though not of any scientific interest, appeal to collectors.