Source - Visual News
Opal is a unique gem that is found primarily in Australia. The national gemstone of the country, opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica. The water content of an opal can range from 3% to 21% and is commonly found alongside limonate, sandstone, marl, rhyolite and basalt.
While Australia produces over 97% of the worlds supply of opal today, there was a rare find in the state of Oregon recently. It had been over a century since opal was found in the forested land, yet this stunning specimen was found there, and when combined with light creates what seems to be a magical underwater scene from the ocean. The gem, which is owned by Inna Gem, is named the Opal Butte, which is derived from the name of a mine that existed in 1890s Oregon. Regarding the Opal Butte mine, Nature of the Northwest says:
“It has been more than 100 years since opal was found in Oregon. When the discovery was made public in the 1890s miners flocked to Opal Butte… When it was discovered that the supply of material at Opal Butte was limited, commercial mining operations shut down and the site became the province of rockhounds… The land has changed hands a number of times in the past six years. The new land owners are no longer able to provide a site for digging.”
source - My Modern Met
Opals are known to change color and opacity, depending on whether they are wet or dry. When soaked in water, the base color of an opal can become extremely clear, though this is bound to change in a few weeks' time as it dries out. Thus, the images presented are of the crystal in its dry state for viewers to get an idea of what it will really look like without any future surprises. The seller says, "This material has hydrophane properties and can be greatly enhanced when soaked in water, but I don’t believe that accurately portrays the opal being offered."
This gem has all faceted faces and contains some really neat matrix inclusions. The mix of of facets, color plays, and minerals creates an almost mystical or "underwater" like scene within.
This has been a finished, faceted gem for over a decade now, and none of the cracks that you can see have developed in that time.
Mining at opal butte is slowing down and as of the last year opal of this quality were literally unseen. The forecast for finding any more precious opal there is not looking good. I have acquired several of these pieces and have decided to let this one go.
Measures: 60x45x41 mm
Weight: 740 ct
Color Play: Plays of blue, red, orange, yellow, and green.