Difference Between an Opal Stone and a Fire Opal

Difference Between an Opal Stone and a Fire Opal

Opal is a stone that is made up of hydrated silica. It has been a popular gemstone for thousands of years and can be found in many colors and patterns, but mostly white or blue-grey in color. The name “opal” comes from the Greek word “Opallios” meaning “to see through.”

Opal has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, which means it will scratch glass and other harder materials such as iron. The opal comes in many colors, including white and black. It has an internal structure that looks like a honeycomb with holes in it. 

The main difference between opal and fire opal is that fire opals have a different coloration than those of other types of opal. This can be seen on the inside or outside surface of the stone depending on its location within the matrix where it was formed.

Read on to know more about the differences between these gemstones:

Difference in Transparency

There are several differences between an Opal Stone and a fire opal, but the most important distinction is that fire opals have a higher refractive index than regular opals. This means that they will be more transparent in appearance and have a higher luster.

Fire opal term comes from the fact that they’re usually found with black inclusions in them, which gives them their distinctive color.

Opals are characterized by their silky smoothness and colorless transparency. Fire opals tend to be very colorful and have a black-and-red coloration that gives them their name.

Color Reflections

Fire opals contain more iron than opal stones do. This makes them brighter and more colorful than other types of silica. They also have an iridescent look, which is not seen in other types of silica.

Fire opals have a play of color that is usually described as “play-of-color.” This means that the stone contains tiny crystals that glow when exposed to light. The color can change depending on how much light is shining on it at any given time, making it easy for people to determine what type of fire opal they have by simply looking at it under different conditions. For example, when viewed from different angles or angles with different lighting conditions present (such as sunlight or candlelight).  

Opals have no iridescence; they are smooth and shiny with no sparkle. Instead, they have a feature called “opalescence,” which adds a glorious pastel glow to the stones. They can range in color at times, but the color is always solid.

How Are They Formed?

Fire opals are formed under high pressure and high-temperature conditions in volcanic ash deposits. The process involves a number of different steps that include heating the material at high temperatures for several hours before slowly cooling it down over time.

Opal stones and fire opals are both formed from silica, but they differ in several characteristics. Fire opals are formed in volcanic regions, while opal stones are formed in sedimentary rocks.

Though both of these stones look vibrant and stunning in their natural form, it can be hard to identify the authentic varieties. Stores like GemPundit sell original varieties of opal and fire opal at the right prices. They back each stone with a trusted lab certificate and their iron-clad return policy. 

Differences in Color 

The color of opals is almost always solid, with some variations on what they look like depending on where they were mined. Opals are typically white or light in color, but they can also come in other colors such as blue, pink, or orange.

Fire opals are known for their vivid colors that include shades of orange, red, yellow, and green. They may also have a purple tint to them depending on where they were formed and how they were treated during their formation process (i.e., if they were heated).

Difference in Rarity

Opals are not as rare as fire opals, but they are still considered to be semi-precious gemstones. Fire opals, on the other hand, are quite rare and are only found in a few parts of the world. Most opals come from Australia, while fire opals typically come from Mexico. Fire opals undergo a unique formation process and are available in vivid colors. 

Differences in Value

Opals are typically less valuable than fire opals, but this is because they are more common. Fire opals, on the other hand, are quite rare and can fetch a high price depending on their size, color, and clarity.

Both opals and fire opals are beautiful gemstones that have a lot to offer. It is important to know the difference between the two so that you can choose the right one for your needs. Once you are sure about that, buy them from a trusted place where you’ll get complete assistance and also find a huge range of loose stones and gemstone jewelry. 


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