Spencer Opal Rough

Spencer Opal is precious opal from Spencer, Idaho. The opal forms beautiful full color flash color bands in white opal. The opal was deposited within openings in chert nodules that formed within obsidian and rhyolite ash flows. The silica that formed the opal came from hydrothermal fluids associated with the volcanic ash.

This old stock material has several color bands and a lot of flash. This material was collected over 30 years ago, before the site was largely picked over.

I have reduced the size of the pieces, removing most of the matrix and exposing either the color bands on the side view or rubbing the opal down to the color. In some pieces, I have retained some of the matrix, as the matrix provides interesting patterns.

Opal is a fragile stone. Some of this material is thick enough to cut and polish as it is, but some may need to be backed with a stone such as basanite or stabilized using methods recommended in this article.

For tips on cutting opal, see this article.

It is very hard to catch the flash on these pieces without the opal looking yellowish.  I am going to work on the photographs some more, and I have some video available as well.  I state whether there is flash on them and with some of these the patterns of the flash is unreal.  I wish I could reach through the screen and show you in person.  If you have questions about them, let me know.

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