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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Opal

Triangular cabochon-cut white opal (83 ct) with play-of-color.
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Catalog Number NMNH G3300-00
Locality South Australia, Australia
Weight 83 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.

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