My Blog

Washington state precious opal in matrix.

   Sun, March 30, 2008 - 6:12 PM
This piece of rough is blue base seam opal in a rhyolite and agate matrix. This is a new find, however, the individual who found it has no idea where it was because he thought it was agatized petrified wood. It was tested and found to be a bit harder than Australian opal at a number 7+ on the Mohs scale, with %0.6 water content. which is very low and makes very stable opal. The quallity is as good as any Australian top gem opal.
The seams are thick and clear, with broad-flash in every color and a dark blue to blue black base. I will post what this material looks like cabbed and polished, but I can tell that it will be not only unusual, but very bright and beautiful, and I have several pounds to work with now.

There has not been a claim for this opal. It was found and carried by two individuals who thought it might be agate.They went back and could not find the area, but did find some smaller common blue opal, so I know where to start. I know the area and the geology, and it is a huge area to search, but this was one boulder out of a whole rock-slide of the same, so I will be looking for this deposit with hopes of finding it and placing a claim.

1 Comment

add a comment
Mon, March 31, 2008 - 12:39 PM
If this opal deposit is not found again, then this is all there is.
The last precious opal found in Washington state was in 1890-1893 near Moscow Idaho. The Moscow opal mines were the first commercial opal mines in the U.S. and the opal bearing area extended along a narrow band on either side of the ID/WA boarder, but they were depleted in just a few years.