Locality - Madagascar Size – 50 x 36 x 23mm Weight – 50g
This rare green opal freeform features excellent, vibrant apple green, jet black and chalky white colouration throughout and is heavily included with dark, metallic 'poppy seed' flecks. It has been expertly shaped, polished and smoothed by a Madagascan lapidary artist, though has a naturally-occurring area of rough, chalky white material. Green opal is a scarce material and is only found rarely in very limited quantities.
About Green Opal
Opal is a gem consisting of amorphous silica and 3-13% water, found lining and filling cavities in igneous and sedimentary rocks where it has been deposited from circulating waters. It is not actually considered a true mineral due to it's lack of fixed chemical makeup or crystallince form, and so is instead classed as a 'mineraloid'. Opals are divided into three subgroups; precious opal, yellow-red fire opal and common opal. Precious opal is the most highly regarded, displaying a stunning play of colours on it's surface – known as 'opalescence' – produced by the refraction and reflection of light within it.
Opal in History
Many experts believe that the name 'opal' derives from the Indian Sanskrit word 'upala' meaning 'stone' or 'precious stone', and the ancient Latin name for it was 'opalus', meaning 'see a colour change'. This gemstone has been treasured for centuries and is used extensively in jewellery to this day. The oldest opal artefacts ever found were uncovered in a cave in Kenya and date back to 4000BC, and they were likely of Ethiopian origin.