This strong reddish-orange fire opal originated in Brazil and is of excellent clarity. Care should be taken with fire opal as with a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale it can be scratched by many common materials.
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Opal is formed from rain and usually contains 10% water. As water runs down through the earth, it collects silicon deposits and then seeps down into cracks in the rock. After most of the water evaporates, it forms a silica deposit that eventually turns into opal.
The discovery of opals on Mars led scientists to believe that water may have been found on the planet for billions of years than previously thought.
Because opal has the colors of other gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all. The Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms.
The rarest and most valuable opal is the black opal.
Opal is the national gemstone for Australia. In fact, an estimated 95% of the world’s opals come from the “down under” continent.