Crystal or Water Opal
White or Light Opal
Translucent to opaque, with multiple colors against a black to other dark background.
An opal’s intensity, play-of-color and pattern are all important value factors. Fine opals are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-color as possible. Because this gemstone has a relatively low density, even larger sizes can be comfortable to wear.
Australian boulder opal is most celebrated for its spectacle of rainbow-like hues, which vary with
lighting and angle of observation. Not every opal has this rare color feature. It exhibits a dark body tone, which makes its vibrant colors stand out even more.
This solid opal can be found in cracks and cavities of ironstone. The stone occurs either as a strong color on top of the ironstone or as flecks of hues dispersed within the entire stone. With high density due to ironstone content, boulder opal is more resilient than other opals.
The Ethiopian Welo opal is stunning due to its lively play-of-color and fire. Often this vivid
display is featured throughout an entire piece. This particular opal is a hydrophane, meaning that it can soak up water like a sponge. When hydrated, the stone becomes more translucent, which makes the play of colors more defined. It reverts back to opaque once it releases water.
Jalisco fire opal is unique because it captures the glow of the volcanic lava streams within which it formed. Valued for its vibrant and passionate orange sparkle, this fiery gem is a favorite for collectors.
As its name suggests, this gem sprang from fire, specifically from the ancient volcanoes of the Jalisco region of Mexico. Nuggets of fire opal can be seen fixed in lava streams.
Jalisco fire opal formed when water seeped into molten rock, filling its crevices. With high temperature and tension, silica created a compact gel that trapped the water inside the stone. The ancient Maya, Aztec and Inca tribes called this treasure, the “stone of the bird of paradise.”