Australian opals are well regarded for showing strong and stable fire. Most opal fields stretch over thousands of miles in the inland desert. But there is one field that is not well known for Australian opals. That is Tintenbar Opal.
This is a volcanic opal found in Tintenbar NSW. Unfortunately it is not very stable so specimens are kept in jars of water. The opal is jelly like in appearance and has an amazing flash of color. The body tone can be dark or crystal.
The crystal version of this opal looks transparent when held up to the light but when light is reflected off the surface it really comes to life. The colours look like a hologram bouncing around on a clear jelly like surface. There are not many opals in the world that look quiet like this.
The opal makes incredibly strong fire Doublets. Research has suggested that this opal was formed in volcanic eruption and that other eruptions have re heated the opals therefore causing it to be less stable than normal Australia opals. These eruptions go back to the Lamington Volcanoes of the Miocene Age. Opal collectors should try and have one Tintenbar opal in their collection but they are hard to source.
Unfortunately the mining operations in Tintenbar have now ceased operations so there will be no more of this beautiful opal produced. Most of the land where the opal was found has been reclaimed by farmers so that they can continue their work without having to worry about working around a mine site.
With the increased popularity in volcanic opals (mainly Ethiopian opal) it is unknown weather this source of opals could have been a player on the world stage. Now we will never know.
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