Natural Australian Crystal Opals that have been hand cut from rough Opal in the Australian Opal Cutters Sydney workshop. This is the perfect gift as it an Opal an investment and the only gemstone where you can "hold a rainbow in your hand" literally!
"Loose" Opals or "un-set" Opals are Opals that have not yet been set into a piece of Jewellery. These Opals are hand-cut from the "rough" material by industry experts who know how to find the colour and carefully remove the Opal "potch" (Opal without colour). This is an age-old tradition and is a cutting process that has not changed in 100 years.
Each Opal you will see on this site is completely natural and had not been treated or enhanced in any way, shape or form (unless specifically noted in the description).
Opal is Australia's National Gemstone and is the only gem in the world where you can hold a rainbow in your hand (literally)
Rainbow colour appear in may places and materials. Through faceting a diamond we are able to split light into the colours of the spectrum. Through different checmicals, or treatments we can make certain gems show rainbow colours...but did you know that there is only one place on earth where rainbows actually form and can be held? This is in Opal.
Crystal Opal is absolutely unique as tiny microscopic water molecules actually bond and merge with silica to form a gemstone (Opal) this process is so mysterious that scientists still cannot tell us why it happens. The result is that microscopic rainbows actually form inside the gem. They are "trapped" or held there in suspension, and will not evaporate (like a rainbow in the sky does).
This is a "miracle from the ground" so now you can "Hold a Rainbow"!
Genuine Natural Australian Crystal Opal occurs in limited quantity in all of the Australian Opal fields (Andamooka, Lightning Ridge in NSW, Coober Pedy in South Australia and the Queensland Boulder Opal Fields). A hydrated amorphous form of silica SiO2·nH2O consisting of spheres of silicon dioxide molecules arranged in regular, closely packed planes. The Opal is pure hydrated silica SiO2·nH2O “free” from oxides (Magnezium) so it has a clear translucency. Precious Crystal Opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors, and though it is a mineraloid, it has an internal structure. At microscopic scales, precious opal is composed of silica spheres some 150 to 300 nm in diameter in a hexagonal or cubic close-packed lattice. It was shown by J. V. Sanders in the mid-1960s that these ordered silica spheres produce the internal colors by causing the interference and diffraction of light passing through the microstructure of the opal. The regularity of the sizes and the packing of these spheres determines the quality of precious Opal. Where the distance between the regularly packed planes of spheres is around half the wavelength of a component of visible light, the light of that wavelength may be subject to diffraction from the grating created by the stacked planes. As one time central Australia was filled with a great inland sea (known as the Artesian Basin) Plant matter, marine life was trapped and deposited in the sediment as this sea receeded. As a result of this Crystal Opal material has formed from fossilised shell gastropods, Belemnites and other dinosaur vertebra.
Guaranteed free of dyes and artificial colour.
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