Skip to Content

What is a Precious Opal?

A crucial characteristic of a precious opal stone is its play-of-color. This prismatic display of the different colors of the visible light spectrum results from the interaction of the opal stone with white light. Since the human eyeball is a receptor of electromagnetic radiation, the human eye can distinguish different colors from the varied wavelengths of white light that reflect from different objects. The play-of-color effect of an opal stone is visible only to humans.


The term “precious opal” is used for a variety of opals. Mexican fire opal is the most prized, and is often cut into stunning cabochons. The stone is cut in a cantera style, which yields cabochons with pockets of fire opal and vibrant background colours. Fire opal is known to help overcome shyness and fear of action. It is said to increase a person’s optimism and confidence.

This stone has a long and colorful history. The word opal comes from the Sanskrit word upala, and the Greeks adopted the name Opallios, which means “change of color.” Opal cabochons are small oval gemstones that exhibit bright changing colors. Their shape and transparency make the cabochon cut the most suitable for a precious opal.

Opal cabochons can be cut into several shapes, ranging from a square to a circle. The most popular is the round brilliant cut, which produces the most sparkle. There are also opals that have not been cut at all and are opaque, such as opals. Opal cabochons can vary in size, from six to seven millimeters across.

Opal cabochons can be cut into a variety of shapes, and are frequently used to make fine jewelry. Opals are also commonly used in jewelry making, but the precious variety is far rarer and more valuable. Fortunately, there are many ways to purchase the precious stones that you want. The best way to learn about opal cabochons is to visit a store that offers workshops, or even visit a gallery.

Ethiopian opal

The country of Ethiopia is well-known for its opals. The first one was discovered in 1994 and has subsequently been the focus of attention from international jewelers. The country is also a source of fire, black and play-of-color opal. A variety of opals are produced in the country, including the rare, elusive and incredibly rare Ethiopian precious opal. This article explains more about this gemstone and provides an overview of the various types.

When purchasing an Ethiopian opal, remember to keep it clean and dry to preserve its natural beauty. The body color of an Ethiopian opal is similar to that of clear transparent crystal. The best way to care for an opal is to keep it from extreme temperature changes, since these will cause it to crack. Ethiopian opal is also sensitive to moisture, so keep it away from extremes of heat and acid.

Because the opal is hydrophane, the water it absorbs will change its color and transparency. When submerged in water for a prolonged period of time, the opal will eventually dehydrate and regain its original state. However, while water immersion may alter the opal’s natural state, it is recommended that Ethiopian opals be air dried. During this time, it is important to avoid strong chemicals or harsh cleaners that will damage the stone.

Honduran opal

In the volcanic gray rock of the Honduran highlands, precious opals originate from silicic acid solutions. Though it is not a mineral, this gemstone lacks crystalline structure and is therefore called a mineraloid. It is composed of tiny spheres of color that float inside a matrix. This process reveals its intense play of colors. In addition to its rarity, Honduran opal is also known as Veta opal.

The most desirable opals are the black or blue-green, water-clear stones. These stones are found in the western region of Honduras, in Gracios a Dias, Intibucata, and Las Piedras. The opal deposits in these locations are mostly composed of weathered rhyolite rocks. The best pieces of this stone are cut with long veins of chalcedony.

While mining of Honduran opal is not a systematic process, the most notable deposits are found near the Lempira region. These deposits are often near secret mines, and information about them is handed down orally by local families. However, recent studies conducted by geologists in the Lempira mining district have shown that Opal is more abundant than previously believed. Hence, opal from this country is sold by OpaleMio.

Despite the fact that the majority of opal deposits in Honduras are sediment-hosted, the largest deposit in Honduras is volcanic-hosted. This deposit is the result of the weathering of silica-bearing meteoric waters. The depth and intensity of weathering in these sediments determines the amount of silica found. The silica in these meteoric waters was concentrated, forming colloidal silica gel.

Fire opal

The price of fire opal varies widely depending on its transparency and play of colour. Generally speaking, the redder the stone, the higher its price. This is because Mexico fire opals have a particularly strong play of colour. However, the gemstone’s durability can vary depending on how it was found. Experts recommend that you keep fire opals away from extreme temperatures and alkaline solutions. The gemstone also needs to be protected from sharp objects, as it may lose moisture.

A fire opal is a transparent opal that displays a distinctive red, orange, and yellow hue. Fire opal lacks internal crystalline structures and is thus referred to as an amorphous mineraloid. This characteristic gives it its distinct color, which is primarily attributed to the presence of iron oxide. It also shows an opal’s internal light show in prismatic forms.

To prevent cracking and discoloration, fire opals should be handled with extreme care. They should be stored in a felt-lined box to avoid contact with hard surfaces. They should also be kept away from rapid temperature changes and vibrations. Cutting fire opals is best left to professionals, as they can cause internal hairline fracturing and surface pits. To avoid further damage, fire opals should be cleaned using a microfiber cloth and a solution of water and dish soap.

Leopard opal

The name opal is derived from the Sanskrit word “upala,” which means “bright,” and the Greek and Latin words “opallios” and opalus, respectively. Depending on the region, this gemstone can be translucent or milky white, with occasional flashes of color. Its main source is Southern Australia, though it can be found in Brazil and Mexico as well. The play of colors in the precious variety are unique, and no other gemstone can produce such a wide array of colors.

This rare gem was first discovered in the ruins of ancient Aztec civilizations in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. It has spectral zoning, which produces the dazzling play of colour. It is a stable and durable gem, with its color patterns resembling a leopard’s fur. Its size is approximately 16.7 mm in diameter, and is 10.2 mm deep.

Before the 19th century, opals were considered lucky and good luck. The Romans considered opals the most precious gemstones, and included all gem colours. This fact led to a decline in the price and quality of the gemstone. It was not until the late twentieth century that opals became popular again. It is now the birthstone of October and the anniversary stone of 14th weddings.

Eldorado opal

There are several types of opal, but only a small percentage are considered precious. Eldorado opal is a high-grade specimen that displays the characteristics of a precious gemstone. This gemstone is a rare and beautiful material with flashes of color. This type of opal is also known as a play-of-colour opal, and it displays rainbow-like patterns in its surface. Its most sought-after spectral colours include red, orange, yellow, and green.

The Eldorado opal is sourced from the Spencer, Idaho, area. The opal is found in thin layers and is topped by a transparent colourless domed cabochon. The cabochon protects the opal while enhancing its play of colour. It is also highly visible, which makes it a desirable choice for jewelry. There are many types of opal, including precious and semi-precious, which is why this gemstone is so valuable.

The opal is also valuable because of its rarity. The Eldorado opal is the largest specimen of opal in the world. It is valued at more than a billion dollars per carat. However, there are fake opals in the market. If you’re interested in purchasing an opal, you must visit Magdalena in order to get a better understanding of its characteristics. It is important to note that Lake Chapala Real Estate has no affiliation with the opal miner Inaki Oyarvide Ibarrola.