Gemstone Library

 

Fire Opal

Born in the fire of Mexico's volcanoes, fire opal's natural bright orange is unmatched in the gem kingdom. Fire opal glows with the fire of the sun: hot yellows, oranges, and reds so bright they look as though they might glow in the dark too.

Unlike most opal, fire opal is often faceted, so you can choose sparkle as well as color. It has a hazy velvety look that intensifies its color. Because it is light as well as bright, fire opal is especially good for earrings. Its juicy color is just the right accent to earth tones or black and also looks great paired with other bright tones.

Fire opal forms when water seeps into silica-rich lava, filling seams and hollows. Under heat and pressure, the silica forms a solid gel, trapping the remaining water within its structure. Small pebbles of fire opal are found embedded in lava flows>

Fire opal, like all opal, has high water content. As a result, it should be protected from heat and prolonged exposure to strong light, which could dry it out. Gemvaras fire opal has been cured by drying it in the sun before cutting to make sure that any instability has been eliminated.

Although fire opal is durable, it should be protected from scratches when not being worn and rings should be removed during heavy activity. Clean with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the gem where dust can collect.

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