shop what's new gem journeys
wishlists my shopping bag

boulder opal - freeform & fabulous

boulder opal

boulder opal, iolite & apatite necklace in 18K

compositionhydrated silica gel
name sourcefrom the boulder matrix mixed with the opal
other accepted namesmatrix opal, Queensland opal
historical aliases"earth-bound rainbow," "river of illusion," "gem of the Never Never," "A Gem of Water, Born in the Desert" (ICGA)
color every color of the rainbow
color sourcefrom the way its tiny silica spheres diffract light -- the larger the spheres, the greater the range of colors
significant sourcesQueensland, Australia
MOH scale6
care and treatmentWith a hardness about equal to glass, boulder opal is not nearly as fragile as solid opal, but it should still be treated with great care. Store opal items where they will not be subject to banging or scratching by harder materials or sharp edges. Avoid heat, chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners and detergents as well as extreme heat and cold.