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Blue Opal, like all other types of opal, is not a mineral nor crystal. Instead, it is an amorphous mineraloid, which means it is a substance that comprises a specific arrangement of smaller microcrystalline silicas, which result in a blue spectrum reflection of light. Blue opal has an appealing luster and appearance, thus, it has become a popular gemstone in today’s market. And in some cases, an opal gemstone can have a mixing assortment of smaller and large size silica crystals, giving it both, a blueish and fire-opal play. And these types of opals can also be in high demand.
Blue Opal produces a blueish-spectrum of light reflection. The name is just a general representation of “blue” because there’s actually a variety of blueish colorations in opal, ranging from pale sky blue to a deep dark ocean blue. The classic opal may show different hues of blue within the same stone but does not typically display a play of color. For this particular reason, it falls within the “common opal” category. In fact, two of the most well-known regions for producing this type of opaque, solid blue color opal are Peru and Oregon.
Blue Fire Opal in Australia
Opal is also the national gemstone of Australia. This is due largely to the fact that the country now produces 95% of all the precious opal in the world today. Mining operations in Australia began at a single site in 1875, and since have expanded. For instance, Lightning Ridge is famous for its high-quality black opal production. Throughout Australia, many underground and open-cut mines are currently in operation. And after the heavy equipment has run through a section of an opal mine, smaller operations such as hobbyists and gemstone enthusiasts can access the site and try to collect, by hand, any rough opals left behind. In most states in Australia, a fossicking permit is necessary to take part in this pastime known as “noodling.”