More than any other gem, each opal is distinctly an individual. No other stone has as rich and varied a folklore. Opals are also the most delicate gems commonly worn. They require special care to ensure their health and longevity.
Opal's fire was long thought to be the result of iridescence. However, with the advent of scanning electron microscopes, we now know that it is a result of diffraction.
Opal is relatively soft, with a rating of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale. Despite its frequent use in rings, opal is a poor choice for a ring stone; it is much better suited to earrings, pins, and pendants.
Major suppliers include Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and the US. Values are normally determined by the presence and nature of color flashes.
Shop for Mexican opal gemstones in a variety of calibrated sizes, cuts and colors, including white, yellow, orange and red fire opal gems.
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I frequently check the GemSelect website for a variety of gems. I've been very satisfied with the selection and quality of the top rated gems. All of the purchases I've made have turned out beautiful pieces of jewelry.