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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Catalog Number NMNH G10651-00
Locality Brazil
Weight 20.9 ct

Purchased with funds from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation in 2010.

Opals are described according to their transparency and body color. White opals, translucent stones with a play-of-color against a white body color, are the most common. Opals with a vivid play-of-color and a black or dark body color are called black opals. Transparent to semitransparent opals, resembling gelatin, with red, orange or yellow body color with or without play-of-color are called fire opals. This opal from Brazil is a light blue transparent gem without play-of-color, unique in color and transparency. Most opal gems are cut as cabochons (domed top, flat bottom), but due to its transparency, this opal was faceted.


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