I've been avidly reading these recent posts about opals on Orchid. Please, if you have the time, can you direct me to any online sites or books that may help me understand a little bit more about Mexican fire opals.
First of all, as you see I’ve redirected this to Orchid. I hope you
don’t mind. I did delete some things that might identify you, just in
case. This forum is for sharing your question may have a
more general interest than you think.
I wish I could have been there (Queretaro). I have less experience
with fire opal than other opal; but I love it. As with other opal
there’s an enormous range of quality. I have a fire opal cab with
play of color; I’ve never seen another like it. That doesn’t exclude
the possibility of there being another. Last year I saw some work by
Patty Bole, who is a wonderful jeweler from Maine, I think. She used
some fire opal in ERs that were so special in their color I had to
ask what the stone was.
I 've also seen and have some Mexican opal in rhyolite that doesn’t
’do ’ it for me. Much, probably all, of the value is in the eye of
the beholder.The “opaque orange with multicolored, flashy flakes” you
mention could be something special.
But, in spite of what frequently pops up on Orchid one has to be
there, to have the stone in question in ones hands to even attempt a
valuation or an ID.
As for specifics get a copy of “Gem Cutting” by John Sinkankas. It
covers all the basics of gems and is the most accurate source that I
know of. I don’t know of any book specifically covering ‘fire opal’.
But you could go to the card catalog of your local library if it has
inter -library loans and check out the on-line catalog, a great
resource … Value is also in the eye of the beholder. It’s auction
value; meaning it’s worth whatever one is willing to pay. There’s a
more standard system for diamonds because there’s a rigorous grading
system and there are a gazillion diamonds sold annually. Makes it
easier to determine value 'cause there are lots of ‘comps’. The
and value of opal is there are so many variables. It’s also the
reason it’s difficult to price.
The biggest stone market in the world is probably Tucson and there
are many fire opal dealers there. It’s an opportunity to see a great
many fire opals and get some idea of prices. It’s the best experience
there is if you can go. Knowledge of gem material is cumulative; the
more you see the more discriminating you become. I took your question
to be specifically about ‘fire opal’ so I haven’t gone beyond that