Opal is one of the few gemstones that is found in a variety of different shapes, colors, and sizes. If you felt that opal is a mineral when you saw it, let us correct you; it is not a mineral, rather, it is a mineraloid. Opal gemstone is composed of hydrated (wet) amorphous silica, and this is the main reason why it ranks between 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. Opal is formed as a result of the silica deposits. When silicon dioxide and rain seep deep into the ground, these silica deposits are formed, which build over millions of years, and eventually form large opal concretions and boulders. Even within opals, there are the precious opals and there are the common opals. The common opals never display any type of play of colors, but the precious opals do show play of colors. What is the play of colors? Play of colors refers to the fire-like rainbow appearance which is found in all precious opals, which diffracts light in different directions, based on the internal structure of the stone and the angles you view the opal from.

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