A Bit About The Piece:
A hand-cut, drilled Australian boulder opal bead.
The Stone: Pipe Boulder Opal, solid
Stone Origin: Queensland, Australia
Stone Measurements: 23.68mm x 19.01mm x 7.64mm
Stone Shape: Freeform Kite Shape Cabochon
Brightness of Color: 2 of 5
Approximate Surface Opal Content: 20%
Predominant Colors: Blue and Purple
Bead Weight: 2.76 grams
Drill Hole Size: 2.1mm
*All photos are of the front of the stone.
While many believe opal to come only in a traditional white hue, this common misconception cannot be more inaccurate. With over 200 varieties of natural opal discovered so far, the historically referred "Queen of Gems" can come in a wide variety of colors- before the stone's famous "play of color" rainbow effect is even taken into consideration. Over 90% of the world's opal is produced in Australia with other well-known deposits located in Mexico, Ethiopia, Brazil, and the United States.
Chemically, opal is an integrated combination of water and silica. Water content in opal can range from 3% to 21% by weight, with average jewelry material ranging between 6% and 10%. Because of this, it is advised to store your opal jewelry with care; safes and bank vaults can be notoriously dry. We suggest storing opal in an airtight container along with a piece of water-moistened cotton when dry storage conditions are anticipated. Some varieties are more resilient to harsh conditions than others. It is safe to clean solid opal jewelry with warm water, mild soap, and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid chemicals, harsh abrasives, and ultrasonic cleaners.