Due to its charming iridescent play of colours, opal is one of the most interesting gemstones. The stone material itself is mostly colourless. The beautiful colours, which cover almost the entire spectrum, are created by the so-called interference, which occurs when light waves meet or overlap. Opal is very sensitive to heat, as there is a danger of it drying out due to its high water content. Cracking may occur. If you keep the opal in moist cotton wool, you prevent it from drying out and thus also increase its iridescent play of colour. Cosmetics, soaps and cleaning agents should also be kept away from it. The black opals with the iridescent layer on dark mother rock are particularly valuable. White opals have a light base colour, but also a colourful play of colours. The harlequin opal is very sought after, it has effective, segment-like colour patterns, it is a transparent to translucent stone. Whereas Hungary and Solvakia used to be the classic countries for opals, today it is mainly Mexico and Coober Pedy, the best-known locality, in Australia that supply the most opals. Apart from the well-known iridescent opals, there is another opal, the fire opal. The fire opal from Mexico, which has no colour play and is transparent, owes its colour, which ranges from orange to fire red, to its iron content. Mostly it is milky cloudy, the best stones are clear and are then cut faceted.

Tags: Edelstein, Opal

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