Plumb Gold Ltd.






 

In the Loupe

Welcome to “In the Loupe”! One of my favorite gemstones, and the birthstone for October, is opal. There are numerous types of opal that come from many parts of the world.

As you may know, the majority of opal comes from Australia. They are famous for black opal, boulder opal, and koroit opal. Most white crystal opal comes from Brazil. Also, there is Mexican Fire Opal, which is very transparent, and comes in shades of red or orange. There are even types of opal mined in parts of the United States. Recently, a new find of exquisite gem quality opal has been discovered in Ethiopia.

Opal was formed millions of years ago when inland oceans filled with sediments. Water trapped in cavities within the new rock mixed with the silica in the soil and the solution crystalized. The pattern and play of color within each opal depends on the conditions in which it formed.

The amount of water, minerals, rate of crystalization, temperature and pressure each play a part.

The reason I love opals so much is that no two are alike; each is one of a kind. Opals are deep, intriguing gemstones with personality and fire. The new Ethiopian opal displays the blues and greens typically found in other varieties. However, the reds, pinks and oranges that seem to flash from within are what make this new gem truly incredible.

For many years, the most desirable opal has been black opal from Australia. While black opals still garner the highest prices, the color and brilliance in the new Ethiopian material rival the beauty of black opal at a much lower price!

Plumb Gold Ltd.

Kathi Villarreal
Manager
GG-GIA, CG-AGS
kathi@plumbgoldltd.com

Kathi Villarreal