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Mexican Fire Opal

Opal is a noncrystalline hydrated form of silica, forming when silica slowly settles out of a dilute water solution. Fire opals are transparent to semi-transparent, resembling gelatin, with red, orange, or yellow body color, with or without play-of-color. Fire opal gets its name from its reddish orange body color, which is caused by inclusions of iron oxides. They are also sometimes called Mexican opals because most of the best fire opals are found in Mexico. Because of their transparency, fire opals are commonly faceted, as seen here.

Image Number: 96-30167
Catalog Number: G5393
Weight: 29.86 carats
Locality: Jalisco , Mexico


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits