dcsimg

Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Opal

Photograph of opal (NMNH G9266) from the National Gem Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G9266-00
Locality South Australia, Australia
Weight 174.86 ct

From the exhibit

World-famous Australian opal (below) formed when silica-rich groundwater trickled down through sediments until stopped by a layer of clay. As water evaporated from the trapped solution, the silica formed microscopic spheres that settled into an orderly arrangement.

Sorry!

Landscape mode is not currently supported for this website