According to the Strunz classification, Opal considers a mineral belonging to the group of silicates, tectosilicates. Its composition is similar to that of quartz, with the difference that the Opal has water internally. Opal often finds filling cavities with sedimented rocks or rhyolites. There are many varieties of existing opals, which have various and colors. The chemical formula of this mineral is SiO2nH2O. There are different Fire Opal healing properties.
The fire opal is an unusual variety, also called Opal Mexico, where two main types. One of them is yellow, orange, or transparent red without any color play, and the other is brown and has a color play or stripe.
Physical properties of fire opal.
- Color: colorless, white, yellow, brown, red, orange, green, blue, and black.
- Raya: Blanca.
- Luster: subvitroso to waxy.
- Transparencia: opaque – transparent – translucent.
- Crystal system: amorphous.
- Crystalline habit: masses or nodules, irregular veins.
- Exfoliation: does not have.
- Fracture: conchoidal to uneven.
- Hardness: 5 – 6.5 (Mohs).
- Density: 1.9-2.3 g / cm³
- Refractive index: 1,450 (+.020, -.080)
- Birefringence: does not have.
- Pleochroism: does not possess.
History of fire opal.
Opal derives from the Sanskrit word Upala which means precious stone. Then came the Greek words Ppallion and the Latin word opus. Opal is popular in all its colors in ancient times, which is why they appear in many myths and legends of the world’s peoples.
The Greco-Romans believed that the fire opal was a stone of prophecy and divination, wherewith it the will of the gods could be understood and interpreted. In the Middle Ages and until the end of the Renaissance in Europe, Opal was considered a very powerful amulet, which brought good luck, which highly appreciates monarchs and people of great power.
The Aztecs used fire opal to make ceremonial and ornamental objects called vitzitziltecpal or hummingbird due to the great similarity that this Opal had with the plumage of this bird. The Aztecs believed that it had properties and considered it the stone of wisdom.
In the 16th century, a fire opal was found in a temple called “Aztec Sun God.” In 1881 this specimen was sold to the Chicago Museum of Natural History, but today it is part of the Tiffany & Co. company gem collection.
Main deposits of fire opal.
Specifically in Mexico is where the best specimens of fire opals find, but in countries such as Guatemala, Brazil, Australia, and the United States, there are also deposits.
The main variety of this Opal can find in deposits in the state of Querétaro (Iris and Guacamaya mines) of that entity. But according to the Ministry of Economy of Mexico, the main producing state of this mineral is Guanajuato.
How is fire opal obtained?
Finding this mineral is not an easy task. One must very lucky when searching within the quarry since sometimes the bubbles find are very small, and this exploitation is not very viable. In the Mexican market, the small pieces of the polished quarry that find see in small quantities.
It is also important to know that there are no two pieces of fire opals alike, neither in characteristics nor in shape. It motivates that each mine is different, and only an expert in this mineral can recognize in 70% of which mine the stone extract.
How to identify a fire opal
It is important to know how to distinguish a supreme opal from a low-quality one. Its characteristics, shape, color, transparency, size, the light it radiates, and especially that it is not fractured must consider.
Market prices can vary since there is a great difference between those that buy as souvenirs and those that destiny for fine jewelry.
Their actual size is known when the excess quarry remove, although they generally preserve in their natural form. This stone can be faceted but at the risk of splintering and damage. Therefore it is mounted or covered with some precious metal to prevent it from being struck or damaged.
Unlike the European public, this variety of Opal is not as popular in Mexico, so people do not know its value, and in that country, there is no market for fire opal.
Energetic properties of fire opal.
- This Opal brings spontaneity to your life, in addition to change and progress.
- It allows you to look inside yourself to draw strength and go deeper on a spiritual level.
- The fire opal gives you shine and clarity in the reflective and intuitive process, managing to inspire your emotions.
- This mineral keeps you strong in stressful situations and gives you extra energy when you’re exhausted.
- It gives you hope for the future and stimulates faith in yourself.
- It stimulates your energy, your circulation, improves your vision, and treats problems of the central nervous system.
- Combat anxiety.
- Relax the nervous system.
- Reduces insomnia problems
- Relieves pain caused during and after delivery
- It helps to find the emotional balance of a person, removing feelings of worry and anxiety.
- It helps the person to maintain a positive dynamic in their thoughts.
- Help whoever wears it to find true love.
- Protects the person from their feelings, raising their self-esteem, providing emotional security and self-confidence.
Benefits of fire opal.
Various uses of fire opal.
In addition to the benefits noted above, fire opal also uses to achieve harmony in a couple, where the pacts of loyalty and love are sealed in both, helping them base their relationship on tolerance and respect.
Artists also use this mineral to increase their creativity and obtain a better imagination and inspiration when preparing these artistic works.
Another use and one of the most important of this gem is jewelry. This gem uses to make any type of garment or jewelry, such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, charms, pendants, among others. And even to be embedded in ornamental pieces that are highly sought after by collectors. It should note that since it is a difficult stone to find, jewelry made with this Opal has a very high market value.
Some people use this stone as protection, and one way to use it is to carry a piece or piece of the stone in their purse or bag as an amulet & even placing it in any corner of their home. Other people choose to buy jewel (earrings, bracelets, pendants) to obtain the benefits of Opal, taking them anywhere.
Cleaning and care of fire opal
They are very delicate stones since they have high water content. If the fire opal will allow to dry, it will crack and therefore become damage.
Suppose you have a piece of Opal and live in a very dry climate, or this stone keep in a dehumidified room. In that case, you need to take some precautions. For example: keep them in a tightly closed plastic bag with a piece of cotton or moistened tissue. It would prevent dehydration of the stone. The fire opal is also very sensitive to temperature changes due to its water content.
Because they are very soft, these stones are easily scratched, causing any large dust component to gradually reduce its shine when trying to be removed from the Opal. Therefore, it is our recommendation to clean these opals with a very soft cloth.
It is also important not to put this stone in contact with any type of chemical, not even with cosmetic or beauty products, as they could damage the stone.
Curiosities of the fire opal.
Fire opals can sometimes facet, although other varieties of Opal can be cut in cabochons.
The empress Josefina received a gift from her husband Napoleon I. It was an opal called “Fire of Troy” since it showed a pronounced play of red fire colors. This Opal is said to have disappeared under strange circumstances.
In Mexico, specifically in Chihuahua, an opal specimen was recently found, considered today the largest Opal in the world, which weighed more than 4 kg or more than 20 carats. It was baptized with the name of “Lion’s Head” since it has the shape of a mane similar to that of a lion.