Location: Ethiopia, Africa
Weight: 4.6 grams/23 carats
Opal is a hydrated silica with a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5. It comes in a variety of forms, one of the most popular today being “boulder opal,” which forms in an ironstone matrix. Mexican fire opal is known for it’s bright orange and warm red color due to the presence of iron oxide. Opal forms when silica-rich water fills the cracks and voids of rocks, clay, and fossils. The internal structure of opal makes it diffract light; depending on the conditions in which it formed, it can take on many colors. Of all the hues it can show, reds against black are the most rare, whereas white and greens are the most common. Opal is said to encourage optimism, confidence, playfulness, and curiosity. While it can be found in many different locations such as the US, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Brazil, it is primarily found in Australia.