This is a solid polished boulder opal from Australia, with beautiful play of color!
Weight: 4.59 ct.
Size: 13.40 x 10.06 x 3.83 mm
Has bright red, green, and violet fire!
Perfect for setting in jewelry or adding to a collection!
About Boulder Opal:
"Boulder opal is one of the most valuable varieties of opal, second only to Australia's black opal. Fine specimens of boulder opal can exhibit all of the spectral colors through their distinct play of color. Boulder opal may be considered to be less valuable than black opal, but it is actually much rarer. Boulder opal accounts for approximately 2% of all of Australia's opal, however, black opal equates to around 8% of the entire yield. The remaining 90% is common opal, often referred to as 'potch' or 'white opal'. Australia produces over 95% of the world's entire supply of opal gemstones, clearly establishing it as the world's leading opal supplier. Boulder opal was first discovered in Quilpe, Western Australia, around the year 1870. Almost all boulder opal available today is from Western Queensland's opal-rich fields, confined to an area of about 200 to 300 square kilometers.
Boulder opal is found embedded in large boulders of ironstone, which is how it earned its name. Occurring as pebble rock, precious opal develops within thin veins, fissures and hollows. As opal miners attempt to remove the embedded opal from the ironstone, some of the host matrix is preserved during the process. For this reason, boulder opal is sometimes referred to as 'opal in matrix'. The ironstone matrix enhances the stones durability and vibrancy of color, often increasing the desirable effects of 'play of color' and 'opalescence', which are two different optical phenomenona, commonly mistaken for being one and the same. Boulder opal is similar to layered opal doublet, but rather than being assembled, boulder opal's layering is a natural occurrence.
Compared to other varieties of opal, boulder opal has a much higher density because of its ironstone matrix. As a result, boulder opal precious gems are much smaller in size compared to common opals of equivalent weight. Boulder opal is often cut in irregular, free-form shapes, in attempt to maximize the size and value of the finished opal stone. As a testament to boulder opal's significance and popularity in the gem trade, it is one of the official birthstones for the month of October, along with all of the other varieties of opal gems." (gemselect.com)
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