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Fire Opal

Opals are one of the most beautiful and exhilarating gemstones that can be found on earth. The fascinating play-of-color phenomenon in which the full spectrum of hues dances before your eyes is one of the true wonders of nature.

One of the least known of this diverse gem type is the Fire Opal which although it very rarely shows any play-of-color can still dazzle with its intense colors.

Fire Opal Colors

Fire Opals live up to their name with vivid yellow, orange and red colors that seem to almost blaze in front of you. Unlike most opal varieties, Fire Opals can also be found with translucent and even transparent clarity which only enhances the fiery tones.

The colors of opals are created by light bouncing back and forth off and between the millions of tiny spheres which make up the gemstones. In the case of Fire Opals, the balls tend to be quite large (relatively speaking as they are still microscopically small) which refracts and reflects colors from the orange and red end of the spectrum.

Any Fire Opal with a mixture of small and large spheres may display the famous play-of-color but this is very rare.

Read more about gemstones colors here

Fire Opal Species

Even though it looks quite different to its sister stones, Fire Opal is still an amorphous silicon dioxide which has no regular crystalline structure and is made up of millions of tiny spheres of various sizes.

As Fire Opals lack an organized crystal structure, they are not really minerals and they not rocks either, but should be referred to as mineraloids. I prefer just saying opals!

Just some of the more well-known other varieties of opals include:

  • White Opals
  • Boulder Opals
  • Black Opals
  • Hyalite Opals
  • Cat's Eye Opals
  • Opal Doublets and Triplets

What are the spiritual benefits of Fire Opal?

Fire Opals share very similar spiritual strengths with all other opal types such as passion and creativity.

Other virtues of this gemstone include:

  • Love and Desire
  • Spontaneity and Optimism
  • Wealth and Good Fortune
  • Increases Vitality

See our detailed article on Opal meaning and uses

Fire Opal and the Chakras

Fire Opals, with their vibrant yellow and orange colors, are an ideal gemstone to unblock and realign the Sacral Chakra which can boost sexuality and fertility.

Find more details on Chakra gemstones here

Fire Opal Price

Fire Opals are a little bit easier to value than many other opal types because they tend to be found in single colors.

Various factors are involved in pricing Fire Opal gemstones. Color is always important of course and the gemstones will increase in value as they go from lighter yellow colors through orange to the most valuable red colors. An intense and even color is preferred.

Any Fire Opals which also feature the play-of-color phenomenon will command an even higher price.

Clarity must also be considered with Fire Opals found with transparent to translucent bodies which is very unusual for opals. This means that many of the top quality Fire Opals can be faceted which helps show off their fire even more.

Fire Opals reach $15 - $100 per carat although this can leap significantly for gemstones of the finest quality over 5 carats in weight.

Fire Opal Treatments

Fire Opals are not commonly enhanced by treatments such as heat or dyeing as far as we are aware. Some opal types can be treated with smoke or sugar baths but Fire Opals seem to be all-natural.

All treatments received by any of our gemstones are clearly disclosed.

Fire Opal History

Opals of all types have been admired by humankind since civilization began across all cultures.

Fire Opals were used by Mayan and Aztec civilizations in both art and religious rituals but these customs were lost until 1835 when the gemstones were rediscovered in the volcanic hills of Mexico. They supposedly got their name because the color resembled the burning embers of the miners' campfires at night.

Where are Fire Opals found?

Fire Opals are still mined in Queretaro, a state just north of Mexico City where they were discovered nearly two centuries ago. Other parts of Mexico provide the bulk of the world's Fire Opal resources although some examples have been found in Canada, Australia and Brazil.

What jewelry is Fire Opal suitable for?

Fire Opals have a rating of 5.5 to 6.5 on Mohs hardness scale which is quite soft for a gemstone but earrings, pendants and brooches will be fine as they are not subject to many knocks and bumps. Fire Opals are still very popular for rings despite their softness but we would recommend a protective setting.

Birthstones and Anniversaries

Fire Opals can be a birthstone for October and would make an ideal gift for anyone who has a birthday in that month.

A Fire Opal is a traditional gemstone gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.

Certified Customer Reviews
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Great selection, the user interface was somewhat irksome. If there was a way to filter out specific items (I.e. particular treatments to the gemstones), or would greatly improve the site. Otherwise, great!
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It was good...... But I'm looking for Sardonyx.. Is it still out there?
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best gemstone sales site for loose gemstones on internet. Period.
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Very impressed with how easy to use and how organized the site was! Great stones and awsome customer service
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buy a few items every year. Site is easy to use and selection is virtually unlimited. Easy to use and, tho I have no real basis for comparison, prices seem reasonable.
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