The colors that the opals will have depend on the trace elements in the spot where they are found. The opals at Coober Pedy, Australia have a white body color. A thousand kilometers away from there, at Lightning Ridge, the opals have a rich, deep, black body color in which you find this play of fire. The first major discovery was made in This particular opal was found 20 to 30 years ago.
How did this Australian fireworks opal become so wildly colorful? What makes the color so vivid is really the beauty of nature and the way the spherules [tiny spheres] of silica manage to create a pattern. Did the Australian fireworks opal come out of the ground looking like this, or did a stone-cutter bring out its beauty? Its beauty would have to be revealed by the stone-cutter. Miners can agonize over keeping an opal in its rough state or cutting it away.
The cutter kept it as large as possible with a gem-quality pattern. Those are decisions you have to make when going through the gem-cutting process. Do winning bidders tend to keep an opal as-is, or do they have it set in a custom piece of jewelry?
Opal: A Precious Stone with a World of Colors
I have male and female customers. Men like to invest in opals and see them as an asset class, as a segment of their portfolio. Women tend to buy smaller stones that they can mount into a ring or a pendant. They tend not to go for specimen-size opals. Why is the word phenomenon in quotes in the title of the auction? I set myself a challenge—how could I package it in a way that looks different and fresh, and try to educate people?
Gems, Gemmology, Opals, Lapidary & Associated Crafts
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Australian Gem Industry Association, Ltd. - Australian Opals & Gemstones-Natures Own Fireworks
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