Gem Fossicking Australia
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Opal Information
Opal is Australia’s National Gemstone; it is highly prized by many and is extremely valuable in monitory terms. Opal is best described as amorphous silica, a solidified jelly that has no crystal structure.Yowah Nut Crystal It generally contains up to 13% water. Precious opal reflects light with a play of brilliant colours across the visible spectrum red being the most valued. These colours flash and change as the stone is viewed from different directions. This is caused by minute voids and other internal impurities. Opal is used extensively in Jewellery and is now commonly sold in places like Ebay and other online jewellery websites.
Where to Find Opal
South Australia
New South Wales
Queensland
Opal Properties
Chemistry
Silicate Group
Crystal System
Amorphous
Hardness
5.5 - 6.5
Refractive Index
1.4 - 1.46
Specific Gravity
1.98 - 2.2
Lustre
Vitreous to Subvitreous
Types of Opal
Varying types of Opal are found at many locations throughout Australia. Generally grouped around the great Artesian Basin or what is commonly referred to in earlier times as the inland sea. Popular locations are in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. There is opportunity in each state for the avid or casual fossicker; or in opal circles the term "Noodling" is used instead of fossicking.
Queensland Boulder Opal
Opal Fields in Queensland stretch in a north-westerly direction from the New South Wales border at Hungerford through Yowah, west of Cunnamulla, Longreach and Winton to Kynuna a distance of approximately 1000 kilometres. Two main fields are attractive to fossickers, these are Yowah and Opalton.
Black Opal Country - Lightning Ridge NSW
Lightning Ridge is an outback Town that has its origins in the Opal mining activities in and around the district. It is renowned for its precious Black Opal and is sought after throughout the world. Other popular fossicking fields are Grawin and White Cliffs located in New South Wales.
Opal Care
Looking after Opal
Opals are brittle gemstones due to the amount of water within their structure and are subject to cracking if exposed Black Opalto sudden or extreme changes in temperature or humidity. Loss of water causes loss of iridescence; therefore, oiling the stone will reduce water loss. You should also avoid contact with detergents which tend to dry out the water within the opal.
Opal Charm
Mystical Power - Opal
It is believed that Black Opal is an extremely lucky stone. Black Opals set in a gold necklace and worn near the heart will protect one from the evil eye and protect Travellers on long journeys.
In medieval times it was believed that Opal had healing properties. Fire Opal was said to heal eye disease. Black Opal was believed to heal reproductive organs, spleen and pancreas disease, it also was said to filter red corpuscles' and aids white corpuscles'. White Opal was believed to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain for neuro disorders.


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