Opals are beautiful gems, with the finest Family Opal specimens containing every colour of the rainbow. The name means ‘precious stone’, and is thought to have come from the Latin “Opalus” and the Greek “Opallios”.
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Their unique internal colours are one of the most fascinating visual effects created by nature and known as “play of colour”. They also display a beautiful iridescence known as ‘opalescence’.
Opals were created from hydrated silicon dioxide, and were formed when water-based solutions containing silica, deposited a gel- like substance in gaps and crevices in rocks often in areas with hot springs or geysers.