search
  • Se connecter
    S'inscrire
  • Support à la clientèle en parlant d'anglaise seulement

    Sans frais - USA et Canada seulement:
    1-800-464-1640

    International:
    +66-39303404

  • Changer de langue
  • USD

The Fire Opal of Mexico

In the world of colored gemstones it is color that matters most and a number of gemstones with outstanding color are highly regarded despite having some fairly obvious shortcomings. Opal is an example of this.

Natural Mexican Fire Opal from GemSelect
Natural Mexican Fire Opal from GemSelect

All of the opals have a variety of gemstone characteristics which are, let us say, less than ideal. These include softness, a tendency to dehydrate and crack, physical weakness and sensitivity to heat and chemicals. They are the most delicate gemstones that are commonly worn. But despite these shortcomings, they continue to be very popular because of their unique color.

The traditional precious opal, with its unique play of color, has been valued since ancient Roman times. During the Middle Ages, precious opal was regarded as especially lucky because it displayed the colors of many different gemstones. Not every culture has had the same view, however. A well-known Russian superstition associates precious opal with the evil eye.

Buy Orange Fire Opal from GemSelectRecently there has been a growing interest in one of the lesser known opals, the so-called fire opal. This is an opal known not for its play of color, but for its vivid body color, which can be white to yellow, orange or red.

Yellow Fire Opal from MexicoLike all opals, the fire opal is amorphous hydrous silicon dioxide. "Amorphous" indicates that opal has no definite crystal structure; "hydrous" means that it contains water; typically between 3 and 10 percent. Therefore, opal is considered to be a kind of hardened jelly. Fire opal has some unusual characteristics that are not shared by other opal varieties.

Opal is typically opaque and is usually cut en cabochon. Fire opal is the only kind of opal that can be transparent to translucent, and higher-grade material is often faceted. People seeing these gems for the first time are often surprised to find out that they are opals.

Buy yellow Fire Opal at GemSelectThe color range of fire opal can be quite wide, and some pieces display various colors in a single stone. Brilliant sunny yellow is highly regarded, but more saturated orange and orange-red colors are especially valuable.

Fire opal is associated particularly with Mexico and is mined in the Mexican states of Queretaro, Hidalgo, Guerrero, Michoacan, Julisio, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi. The most important mines in Queretaro were discovered in 1835 and are still producing today. Small quantities of fire opal can also be found in Oregon, USA and British Columbia, Canada.

Natural Orange Fire OpalA new deposit of fire opal has recently been found in the northeastern area of Brazil. This area produces a golden variety of fire opal that can resemble hessonite garnet or hyacinth zircon. It also produces the more traditional colors of red, orange and yellow.

Since fire opal has a high water content, it should be protected from heat and prolonged exposure to direct light, which could dry it out. Lapidaries cure fire opal by drying it before cutting to reduce instability, so that it is not overly delicate. However, due to its relative softness (5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale), it is best suited for pendants, earrings and brooches, rather than rings.

  • Première publication: 04 Mars 2008
  • Dernière mise à jour: 14 Novembre 2019
  • © 2005-2021 GemSelect.com tous droits réservés.
    Reproduction (texte ou graphique), sans le consentement écrit de GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd) est strictement interdite.
Plus de formes
Pierres précieuses populaires
  • Saphir
  • Émeraude
  • Rubis
  • Aigue marine
  • Zircon
  • Opale
  • Topaze
  • Tourmaline
  • Grenat
  • Améthyste
  • Citrine
  • Tanzanite
Toutes les pierres précieuses (139)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T V Z
  • Actinolite Œil de chat
  • Agate
  • Agate Géode
  • Agate de Feu
  • Aigue marine
  • Amazonite
  • Ammolite
  • Améthyste
  • Amétrine
  • Andalousite
  • Andésine Labradorite
  • Apatite
  • Aventurine
  • Béryl
  • Béryl doré
  • Calcédoine
  • Charoïte
  • Chrysobéryl
  • Chrysocolle
  • Chrysoprase
  • Citrine
  • Corail
  • Corail de Fossile
  • Cornaline
  • Dendritique Agate
  • Diamant
  • Diaspore Couleur Changeant
  • Diopside Chrome
  • Diopside Étoilé
  • Disthène
  • Druse d'améthyste
  • Druzy Azurite
  • Enstatite
  • Flocon de Neige Obsidienne
  • Fluorine
  • Fluorite avec changement de couleur
  • Grandidierite
  • Grenat
  • Grenat Almandin
  • Grenat Couleur Changeant
  • Grenat Démantoïde
  • Grenat Grossulaire
  • Grenat Hessonite
  • Grenat Malaya
  • Grenat Mali
  • Grenat Pyrope
  • Grenat Rhodolite
  • Grenat Spessartite
  • Grenat Tsavorite
  • Grenat Étoilé
  • Howlite
  • Hématite
  • Hémimorphite Druse
  • Idocrase
  • Iolite
  • Jadéite
  • Jaspe
  • Jaspe Sanguin
  • Kornerupine
  • Kunzite
  • Labradorite
  • Lapis-lazuli
  • Larimar
  • Malachite
  • Maw-Sit-Sit
  • Morganite
  • Nacre
  • Nuummite
  • Obsidienne
  • Oeil de Chat Aigue-Marine
  • Oeil de Chat Quartz
  • Oeil de Tigre
  • Oeil de Tigre Matrice
  • Oeil de chat Apatite
  • Oeil de chat Scapolite
  • Oeil de chat Sillimanite
  • Oeil de chat de la Pierre de Lune
  • Onyx
  • Opale
  • Opale Boulder
  • Opale Chocolat
  • Opale Doublet
  • Opale Noir
  • Opale de Feu
  • Opale en Matrice
  • Opale hyalite
  • Opale œil de chat
  • Perle
  • Pierre de Lune
  • Pierre de Lune Arc en Ciel
  • Pierre de Lune Étoilé
  • Pierre de Soleil Étoilé
  • Pierre de Soleil 
  • Pierre précieuse étoiles
  • Pierres précieuses Jade
  • Pierres précieuses de couleur changeante
  • Pierres précieuses oeil de chat
  • Pietersite
  • Prehnite
  • Pyrite
  • Pyrite Arc en Ciel
  • Péridot
  • Quartz
  • Quartz Citron étoilé
  • Quartz Fraise
  • Quartz Rose
  • Quartz Rose Étoilé
  • Quartz Rutile
  • Quartz avec marcassite
  • Rhodochrosite
  • Rubellite Tourmaline
  • Rubis
  • Rubis en Fuchsite
  • Rubis Étoilé
  • Rubis-Zoisite
  • Saphir
  • Saphir couleur-Changeant
  • Saphir Étoilé
  • Scapolite
  • Scolécite
  • Seraphinite
  • Serpentine
  • Sillimanite
  • Smithsonite
  • Sodalite
  • Spectrolite
  • Sphalérite 
  • Sphène
  • Spinelle
  • Tanzanite
  • Topaze
  • Topaze Imperiale
  • Topaze Mystique
  • Tourmaline
  • Turquoise
  • Variscite
  • Zircon
  • Émeraude
  • Œil de faucon
Catégories principales
  • Nouveautés
  • Lots de pierres précieuses
  • Pierres précieuses calibrées
  • Pierres gemmes à la pièce
  • Des pierres précieuses d'excellentes qualités
  • Paires correspondant
  • Pierres précieuses cabochon
  • Gemmes, briolettes et perles percées
  • Pierre de naissance
  • Sculptures en pierres précieuses
  • Pierres précieuses fantaisie
  • Pierre précieuse étoiles
  • Saphir non chauffé
Support à la clientèle en parlant d'anglaise seulement

Sans frais - USA et Canada seulement:
1-800-464-1640

International:
+66-39303404

Économisez de l'argent
Pas de frais d'expédition pour les articles supplémentaires!
$ 8,90 Livraison dans le monde

Update Translation
 
Current Value
New Value
GemSelect Gemstones
X Fermer la fenêtre
Colored Gemstones
X Fermer la fenêtre
Colored Gemstones
X Fermer la fenêtre
Colored Gemstones
Taille et poids

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart