Fire opals from Australia are a particular type of opal and very popular, but you don’t have to know all about opals to appreciate the fine quality of fire opals available.
95 percent of the worlds opals come from Australia. Most of these from a town called Cooper Pedy in South Australia. Lightning Ridge, a town in New South Wales, a state further north of Australia, is predominately know for its black opals. Opals are also found in the US, Mexico (famous for its own fire opals).
White most opals are either white or “pearl” color and rarer the black as mentioned above, there is also the Australian fire opals. The Australia fire opal is a translucent to semi-opaque stone that is generally yellow to bright orange and sometimes nearly red and displays pleochroism at certain angles.
Pleochroism is an optical phenomenon where due to double refraction of light by a colored gem or crystal, the light is divided into two paths which are polarized at a 90° angle to each other. As the divided light follows different paths within the stone and are traveling at different speeds, they may have the result of differential selective absorption, thus when they leave the crystal they have different colors, making the stone seem to be of different colors. Pleochroism is an extremely useful tool for mineral identification.
Australian fire opals are relatively rare and so command a higher price.
When buying opals ensure you get a certificate that describes the type of opal you are getting. This is important not just for insurance purposes but also for possible resale at a later date.
With a bit of due diligence and plenty of browsing it is possible to find a very nice fire opal from Australia that will look absolutely splendid