Fire Opal Mineral Specimen
The word “opal,” comes for the Latin opalus, which, in turn, stems from the Sansskrit upala, meaning “stone” or “jewel”. Fire opal is a yellow-orange-red sub-variety of common opal. In the term “fire opal, ” the word “fire” refers not to opalescence, but to its fire-like body colors.
Opal form from the solidification of silica gel. Relatively abundant and widely distributed, opal occurs in both volcanic and sedimentary environments. Fire opal’s diagnostic yellow-orange-red base colors are caused by light reflecting from inclusions of microscopic or submicroscopic particles of hematite and basic iron oxides.
Today, Mexico is the leading source of fire opal in both quantity and quality.
When back lighting fire opal it may reveal crazing, which appears as a network of fine cracks caused by natural dehydration after mining. Some specimens may also show remnants of the tan-colored, rhyolite host rock.
Metaphysical practitioners believe that fire opal specifically bestows courage, stamina, determination and energy upon those who wear it. For many wearers, its yellow-orange-red colors impart an inner sense of warmth, peace, and harmony.