Opal In Matrix | Gemopedia

Opal in matrix gems consist of precious opal, often cut en cabochon, with an outer layer of its host rock still attached. This stark contrast of glittering translucent opal with earthy rock makes for beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Alternate
Names
Precious Opal, Matrix Opal, Natural Opal Type 3
Colors
Brown With Seams Of Play-Of-Color

Opal In Matrix Classification

Common Name

Opal In Matrix

Species

Opal

Variety

Matrix Opal

Colors

brown with seams of play-of-color

Alternate Names

precious opal, matrix opal, natural opal type 3

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance, RI and fluorescence

Comments

Yowah opal is a boulder matrix opal that is cut to display the small seams mixed through out the ironstone.Mainside: boulder matrix opal from Queensland, AustraliaHonduras opal: comes from Honduras and has a basalt matrix. Louisiana opal: has a quartzite matrixIndonesian opal: has dark brown basalt matrix that appears black.

Opal In Matrix Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent To Opaque

Refractive Index

1.45 Tolerance: (+0.020/-0.080)

Birefringence

Optic Character

Optic Sign

Polariscope Reaction

singly refractive, commonly with ADR (SR-ADR) to AGG

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert to white to moderate light blue, green or yellowStones might phosphoresce
LWUV: Inert to white to moderate light blue, green or yellowStones might phosphoresce

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Dispersion

Strength: none

Comments

Opal In Matrix Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

hydrated silicon dioxide

Chemical Formula

SiO2.nH2O

Synthesis

Crystal System

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Amorphous

Comments

Opal In Matrix Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

5-6.5

Streak

white

Specific Gravity

1.98-2.25

Toughness

Poor To Fair

Inclusions

Opal in matrix is precious opal mixed throughout a brown ironstone, quartzite, rhyolite or basalt host rock. Stones will have a pock marked appearance with little holes when viewed with a 10X loupe.Andamooka matrix opal will have sheets of color broken up by non-opal material and the edges of color will appear serrated. Andamooka matrix opal is often dyed black and will have black color concentrations that can be seen under magnification. Chips on the stones surface might expose the white inner core. Honduras opal has small flecks of opal in matix that give it a pinfire appearance and it is lighter than other opal.

Luster

Vitreous To Resinous

Stability

Fracture

Conchoidal To Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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