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Topics: Gemstones, Opal

Q.
Is there such a variety of opals that are translucent and lavender in color? If so, how valuable are these stones?
- Smith
A.
There is a gemstone that may resemble a lavender color or hue. This stone is called Opal Fluorite. The purple color derives from gases trapped in the formation of the stone. The more valuable quality of this stone is not actually an opal but is opaque silica. It is also identified as Utah Lavender and found in Utah mines specifically.

Varieties of true opal, whose hardnesses range from 5.5 to 6.5, may be more or less valuable and that value is determined by such factors as the origin of the stone, its color and fire, size and clarity. Visit the Gem Notes articles for specifics on opals as well as most other gemstones.

- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador

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