VINTAGE Precious Crystal OPAL Cabochon loose gemstone 1.43 cts CAB22

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Vintage cabochon of Australian crystal opal, a well polished stone of 1.43 carats and dimensions 16.3 x 8.2 x 1.8 mm. The stone is transparent and has no cracks or crazing. The weight of the gem is mostly distributed horizontally, making it look as if it weighs more than it actually does.

OPAL is found all over the world. It is made of silica (silicon oxide) like quartz, but has water in its structure as well. Opal can be opaque to nearly transparent (crystal opal), almost any color, including white and black, and sometimes displays rainbow colors ("fire")in myriad patterns (precious opal). Opal that does not contain fire is called common opal. Precious opal has been prized for centuries as a valuable gemstone. Opal is the birthstone for October.

Precious opal comes from several localities worldwide, but Australia is by far the best known and most prolific source. Individual areas produce distinctive opal types, and these have their own locality names (Mintabie, Coober Pedy, etc.) Opal contains water, and sometimes the material spontaneously dehydrates and develops tiny cracks, a process known as "crazing". This can occur as soon as the opal is dug up, or sometimes even years later. The best way to avoid crazing is to purchase opal that has been cut and polished and in storage for a long time. This is not a 100% guarantee, but minimizes the likelihood of an unexpected change.

The opal shown is a lovely "crystal opal" with myriad colors, including shades of green, red and orange, evenly distributed throughout the stone. It is vintage material and has been out of the ground for at least 30 years. The polish is excellent and this gem would make a lovely focal item in a piece of fine jewelry. This type of opal, when filled with myriad tiny dark particles, becomes "black opal" - the most highly prized and expensive opal variety, and for centuries considered a "precious" gemstone.

The price is for the one cabochon, and the shipping cost includes insurance.

Materials Used

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