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Brazilian Opals


#1

Some while back, someone on Orchid, with apparently not too much
experience with Brazilian opals, made a comment that they were soft,
and full of pock marks etc.

At the time, I was busy with other things and planned to make a
comment but forgot to do it.

The above two recent comments on Orchid seem to put the subject in
better focus.

A while back, Mark Liccini had commented that the Australians were the
first to mine opals in Brazil and that what they mined went back to
Australia to be sold as material coming from “down under.”

Randy Smith has some good pictures of nice quality Brazilian opals on
his web page at: http://www.rocksmyth.com/Jewels/ametrine.htm

He’ll probably have more pictures on there next week as he is just
getting back from his recent trip to Brazil where he bought more opals
as well as other stones.

Best regards, Robert Lowe - Lowe Associates - Brasil Gemstones, Rough,
Specimens e-mail: @Robert


#2

Robert Lowe, I am very interested in Brazilian opals. I have cut a
few gray based jelly opals and some clear crystals from Brazil, but
nothing that resembled an Australian opal. I have never heard of
anything else being mined. What other kinds of opals are found in
Brazil? White based, black crystals, iron matrix, etc. When did
the Australians do the mining in Brazil? Are the Australians still
mining opal in Brazil and selling it as Australian?
Gerry Galarneau -


#3
   I am very interested in Brazilian opals...What other kinds of
opals are found in Brazil? White based, black crystals,...etc 

I have seen and sold White opals, Black Opals, Boulder Opals, Matrix
Opals, Fire Opals (red, orange), Jelley Opals (lt. orange, yellow).
Also some doublets (few).

   When did the Australians do the mining in Brazil?  Are the
Australians still mining opal in Brazil and selling it as
Australian? 

That statement was made by Mark Liccini, so I will let him answer it,
if he is still on the list. A similar statement was made by Ron at
Mills Gem Co.Los Osos, CA. (quoted below)

I do not go up to the state of Piaui to buy the Opals at the Mines.
They come down to the south, usually already cabbed or faceted. Thus
I am not interacting directly with the miners. Though I would suspect
that if the Australians are still up there mining, the material leaves
the country directly, by alternative transportation methods.

Also there were two other references to Brazilian opals recently on
the Orchid Digest and I had quoted both in my original post. They
were edited out, after I sent it in. Here they are again. Maybe they
will make it this time.

[Source] Fire Opals in Mexico >From: kpkelly kpkelly@swcp.com

You’ve made a rash judgement about Brazilian opals. There’s an
enormous variety of opals from Brazil. In my experience of cutting
stone (25 years), Brazilian stones are tougher than Australian and
are at least as beautiful.

[Source] Fire Opals in Mexico From: MillsGem@aol.com >Brazil has been
producing gorgeous opals for a couple of decades and, >in general,
they have been amongst the toughest and most durable of >all opals.
The curious thing about all this is that much of the >Brazilian
output has been purchased by Australian and Oriental >buyers and yet
I have never seen any reference to Brazilian Opal >in any offerings
by the aforementioned purchasers…

In the March/April issue of “Colored Stone Magazine” there is a note
about a new find of Fire Opal on the site of a former gold mine in the
state of Rondonia, Brasil in a very hard to get to area in the jungle.
The person they quoted definitely did not have a Brazilian sounding
name.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
e-mail: @Robert