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Opals As Gemstones - Australia's Finest Export

Opals As Gemstones - Australia's Finest Export

Opals As Gemstones - Australia's Finest Export


All of nature's colors and splendor is found in the opal. The opal is the most colorful of all gems. All the colors of the rainbow may be found in it, along with the intense and mystical fire inside, that has made it so popular. The splendid play of colors is simply unsurpassed in other gemstones and for that reason, a particularly fine example of an opal may be worth even more than a diamond.

The opal is a thing of beauty to behold, its play of colors changing with the angle from which it is viewed. These different flashes of color are known as opalescence. These colorings may be large in one color or tiny and numerous. The distribution and intensity of these colorful flashes are what determines the value of the opal.

The stone is mainly found in Australia, where the mines supply up to almost 95 percent of all opals. The remainders of the opals on the market are mined in Mexico, Brazil and in a few US states, such as Idaho and Nevada. Recently, there have been finds of opals in Africa in Ethiopia and Mali.

Opals are divided into two classes. Those displaying the play of color are known as precious opals and those lacking this are known as common opals. Gems for use in jewelry are cut from both the common and the precious opal. There are many different varieties of both common and precious opals. Among them all, none is more sought after than the so called black opal, with a characteristic play of color on a dark blue, dark green or black background. The second highest valued variant is the white, either white, yellow or cream, with a strong play of color. The so called Mexican fire opal is also sought after, an almost transparent, orange red form of the common opal. If the Mexican fire opal displays play of color, it is known as the Precious Fire Opal and of high value.

In jewelry, doublets, are thin pieces or slices of precious opals that are glued onto a matrix material. These kind of gems are considerably cheaper than solid precious opals, while still displaying the same play of color and intensity. The opal is a relatively soft gem, so a layer or coating of clear quartz is sometimes added to make it more resistant.
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Opals As Gemstones - Australia's Finest Export Sialkot