Opal characteristics Opal classification Types of opal Varieties of opal Body tone Transparency Play-of-colour Brightness Pattern Shape and face Origin


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Opal Lexicon

Opal Pattern

The various patterns of the play-of-colour have their cause in stacking faults in the silica sphere structure of opal which may produce many distinct colour patches.

There are no limits to the fantasy of patterns mother nature has produced as little as to the different terms that have been and are being created by people with a vivid imagination...
Therefore it's no surprise, that these terms are sometimes misapplied or that some people use the same or similar terms but with different ideas.
Fortunately there are also some patterns that are more or less consistently used or clearly defined. We will limit our examples to such patterns and include some of the most important patterns as we do name them.

Mix of various patterns
e.g. Broad flash and Pinfire
Pattern resembling the
structure of moss
Similar to Broad flash but
with diffuse, textured flashes
Separated, randomly sized
and distributed patches
Opal Mixed Pattern Opal Moss Pattern Opal Sheen Pattern Opal Flashfire Pattern

Mixed

Moss

Sheen

Flashfire

 

Many closely packed pinpoints
of fire with columnar structure
Colour patches form more or
less parallel running ribbons
Single large flash that covers
a substantial part of the face
Long flash that rolls across
the face when stone is moved
Opal Pinfire Pattern Opal Ribbon Pattern Opal Broad Flash Pattern Opal Rolling Flash Pattern

Pinfire

Ribbon

Broad Flash

Rolling Flash

 

Randomly oriented patches,
broken by fine parallel lines
Pattern resembling the design
of Chinese ideographs
Variously shaped patches,
fitting mosaic-like together
Mosaic-like pattern,
resembling a fish scale design
Opal Chaff Pattern Opal Chinese Writing Pattern Opal Flagstone Harlequin Pattern Opal Fishscale Harlequin Pattern

Chaff

Chinese Writing

Flagstone Harlequin

Fishscale Harlequin

 


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