How to buy a firestone opal gemstone. How to identify fake opal?
Fire opal is a kind of opal that includes red, orange, and yellow colors. Since a lot of fire opals are found in Mexico, they are sometimes called Mexican. How to buy a firestone opal gem
In general, opal is a very soft gem (5.5-6.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness), and fire opal is no exception. This, of course, is not the most durable gem you can find, but definitely quite beautiful.
Bright color variations and iridescence, unique to opals, make these beautiful stones one of the most exciting gems.
There are, however, many different options and qualitative factors that need to be considered when purchasing them.
Opals are classified and assessed according to the base color of the body, the unique color play, transparency and clarity that each gemstone shows.
This is a basic or common opal color background.
The colors range from colorless to milky white, from gray and received to black, and the richness of bright colors includes red, orange, yellow and blue.
Depth and color saturation affect value.
The rarer the color, the more valuable and expensive it is. When it comes to fire opals, the most valuable color is red.
How to determine the value of fire opal? Orange and yellow are a bit more common and cheaper, but these shades are still one of the most expensive compared to other colors.
Whatever the color, the more intense its color is, the more valuable it is.
For example, opals with a rich red color are more expensive than with pale reddish hues.
In addition, fire opals, which have a strong luster, i.e. stones with bright colors are more valuable than stones with muffled and dull shades.
A phenomenon unique to opals consists of several color flashes, which vary depending on the angle at which the stone is viewed.
The density, intensity and distribution of these color flashes are the determining factors of value.
Opal is considered transparent when another object can be viewed through it; translucent, allowing diffused light to pass through the gem; or opaque when light does not penetrate through it.
Transparency has a higher value than opacity. Opal Types
Opals that have fewer internal defects (inclusions) and look cleaner are more expensive.
Although completely clean fire opals are rare, and it is natural for a stone to have some inclusions, you should avoid gems that have cracks.
These flaws tend to pass through the inside of the stone to its surface and may jeopardize its integrity.
Look for fire opals that look fairly clean with the naked eye with a more even tone. Stones that have large and noticeable flaws, especially when they are in a prominent place, should be discounted.
Types of opals.
Also called a “potch,” it is usually an opaque opal, solid, milky, shiny, but without flares.
Bright iridescent color flashes are clearly visible in such a stone. Noble opals usually have a white or cream basic background.
Transparent to translucent with deeply saturated body color from red to orange and bright yellow.
Fire opals usually do not show a play of color, but if it does, they are called noble fire opals.
White: the most common noble opal in the jewelry market. It shows the play of colors on white or light body color. The value is determined by the intensity of the overflow.
Black: Opal, the commander of high prices with a color from gray to black and from blue to green. This dark background makes the flaming game of color more visible. Popular opals.
Lightning Ridge: High quality black opal mined in Lightning Ridge, Australia, the “capital of black opal”.
Crystal: transparent and translucent opal, showing the play of color.
Harlequin: opal with bright areas of iridescence, having the shape of diamonds or rectangles; one of the rarest and most valuable species.
Sparkling: opal containing many points of overflow around the stone.
Cat’s eye: a very rare opal containing a thin line of overflow, which is visible from different sides and is capable of tracing through the stone.
Mexican fire: from bright orange to red transparent opal, mined in Mexico.