Opal is prized for its dazzling play-of-color which exhibits the blues of Sapphire, the reds of Ruby and the greens of Emeralds in just one gemstone. Australian Opal was formed hundreds of millions of years ago in an ancient seabed and is the result of water seeping into silica rich soil. Opal's kaleidoscope of color makes it one of nature's most vibrant treasures.
The Ancient Romans regarded opal as The Queen of Gemstones because it encompasses all the colors of the rainbow. The most valuable variety of Opal, Black Opal, has dark body color which beautifully accentuates the play-of-color within the gemstone. The silica spheres in Opal form a stunning variety of patterns with names like Peacock Feather, Chinese Script, and Pin-Fire making every Opal truly unique.
Mined primarily in Queensland, Australia, Boulder Opal exhibits bright displays of color when presented against a darker matrix background. Boulder Opal remains attached to the host rock, a very hard Iron Stone, which is not removed but is rather incorporated into the shape of the gemstone. Boulder Opal is highly sought after by designers and collectors for its brilliant colors and beautiful luster.
As one of Mother Nature's most treasured gifts, Opals have been fascinating mankind for centuries. Opal Doublet is a thin layer of Opal that is affixed to an Iron Stone backing, turning a once unusable piece of Opal into a beautiful gemstone. Each Opal Doublet offers a variety of hues that span the spectrum. As doublets are an assembled gemstone, care should be taken to avoid ultrasonic cleaners and soaking in water or steam.
Created by ancient lava flows formed in Mexico millions of years ago, Fire Opal's reds and oranges are a reminder of its fiery past. Fire Opal rarely exhibits play-of-color and the bright body color of the opals is due to trace amounts of iron. Fire Opal often forms in soft sandstone nodules. The standstone is easily removed allowing for amazing freeform shapes.
Unearthed in the Mahenge region of Tanzania, Lotus Garnet was only recently discoverd in late 2015. Found in alluvial deposits, the amount of rough is unknown and each production is small. The unique pinkish orange to orangey pink color of Lotus Garnet is a result of the combination of Pyrope, Almandine and Spessartine Garnet. It is best viewed in sunlight and has a slight red fluorescence which can give the apperance of color change.
Yogo Sapphire is found near Yogo Gulch, Montana, not far from the city of Utica. This variety of Sapphire occurs as small crystals mined from ore very similar to how diamonds are mined in Africa. This variety of corundum is famous for its distinctive cornflower blue color.
Merelani Mint Garnet is named for the region of Tanzania where it was discovered. A member of the Grossular Garnet Family, it is close cousins with Tsavorite Garnet. The nature of Garnet allows for excellent light return and luster. Mint Garner has a slight color shift depending on viewing light and fluoresces orange under UV light. The cool bluish-green color of Mint Garnet makes it a desirable and rare addition ot the Garnet world.
Sapphire in Montana was first unearthed by gold prospectors in 1865 and was mined in conjunction with gold during the Montana gold rush of the 1870's. The discovery of gold and sapphire in Montana lead to its nickname "The Treasure State". Found in alluvial deposits, most of the sapphire rough is rounded and watern worn. Typically pale, Montana Sapphire can be heat treated to vibrant shades that span the spectrum of the rainbow with the most common color being an intense blue green.