Gemstones and Crystals

Gemstones and Crystals

Planet Earth

Before we begin our research into the World of gemstones and crystals let’s take a look at planet Earth and her structure. Mother Earth is a massive ball of rock 7,927 miles in diameter and weighs about 6.6 sextillion tons. A sextillion, for those who don’t know, is the unit number 1 followed by 21 zeros. So, if we were to write down the weight of the Earth on paper it would appear like this – 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

The Earth is composed of a dense inner core which is primarily a solid ball of iron and nickel. Its outer core is made up of iron, nickel, and a convection of liquid metals such as gold, platinum, and uranium. These metals can also be found on the surface of the Earth in solid form.

The Earth’s continents are islands of granite rock floating on dense, dark rocks underlying ocean basins that may go down as deep as 600 miles. Minerals of economic value are derived from the lighter granite rocks and rocks sourced from the lighter layer of granite. Mountains form when some darker rocks come to the surface of the Earth and are visible.

Minerals

Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds or elements that occur naturally in the Earth’s crust. Some minerals have a fixed chemical structure and some are a string of related compounds where one metallic element may partly or wholly replace another. For example, jadeite and spodumene are two minerals that are very similar in chemical characteristics and much alike in some of their physical properties. However, both minerals do vary greatly in colour and some other physical properties.

Elements

Elements are a class of substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical processes. They are the building blocks of all materials, including rocks and minerals, and created by only one type of atom. All atoms of an element have the same number of protons, however, can differ in the number of electrons and neutrons they possess. Elements are defined by the number of protons they contain in the nuclei of their atoms. There are 94 naturally occurring elements on Planet Earth and 24 synthetics, a total of 118 elements.

periodic table of elements

Source: E. Generalic, https://www.periodni.com/images.html

Geology 

Geology is the scientific study of the Earth’s structures and materials. Its history and the processes that have caused it to change over time. Divisions within the science of Geology include, Mineralogy which is the study of minerals, Petrology the study of rocks, and Crystallography the experimental science and analysis of the seven crystal structures. 

Crystals

Crystals are stunning both in natural beauty and proportion. And there appears to be some sort of mathematical formula to how they form in such amazing symmetry. Perfect crystals however are very rare and extremely valuable and the majority of the crystals on our planet are characterised with inclusions, blemishes, distortions or some kind of interruption during their development. And some crystals form in clusters or as twins.

 7 Crystal Structures

There are seven crystal systems in mineral identification:

Cubic (Isometric) System – Crystals comprising three axes of equal length at right angles to one another, as in a cube. Examples are Diamond, Garnet, Halite, and Pyrite.

  1. Hexagonal System – Crystals have two axes of equal length and one axes different in length. All three axes are at right angles to one another. Examples are Cassiterite, Rutile, and Zircon.

Lightning Ridge Opal Mining

Wallangulla - Lightning Ridge Opal Mining History

Black Opal was first discovered at Wallangulla (Lightning Ridge) in the late 1880’s, possibly 1887, by a boundary rider named Jack Murray. The first shaft was sunk around 1901 to 1902 by Jack Murray, who lived on a nearby property. Shortly after the shaft was put down he was joined by six members of a shearing team on their way to a large property (Angledool) to the northwest. And this was the beginning of Lightning Ridge Opal Mining.
A little time after Murray sank the first shaft, Charles Nettleton , a miner from Bathurst arrived and commenced sinking shafts. And it was Nettleton who sold the first parcel of gems in 1903 for $30 which was less than a fiftieth of what he could have got five years later.

Lightning Ridge Opal Fields

lightning ridge black opal
Numerous shafts are scattered around Lightning Ridge along an L shaped ridge, and the outlying opal fields of Grawin, Sheepyard, Glengarry, New Coorcoran, Carters Rush, and Angledool

The Three Mile  —  The most extensively worked and the most productive area in the region. And at one point in time there were 1,000 opal miners working this area. In recent years larger scale open cut mining is performed to extract opal.

Thurleys Six Mile  —   It is reported that the first shaft on this field was sunk in 1902.  Sinking ranging from 6 m – 12 m. In some claims the Finch claystone was extremely rich in opal and included a lot of clear potch. The field was then abandoned for a long period of time until May 1970 when miners flooded in to the area and recovered many good quality black opals. And these quality opals were extracted in close proximity to where the first shaft on the field was sunk.

Nobbys (Old Nobby)  —  This is one of the first shafts to be put down on the Lightning Ridge opal field. At the foot of the ridge, Opal was initially found in gravel. A large amount of opal has been recovered from this area, however, the rocks are dusty, extremely hard, and difficult to work. Even the Finch claystone in this locality is a lot harder than on the rest of the field and the shafts here range from < 1 m to approximately 12 m in depth.

New Nobby (New Rush)  —  Intensive work commenced here in 1960 when a 12 m deep prospecting shaft returned precious opal. When word got out a rush to the area began, resulting in the sinking of around 100 shafts. Lenses of Finch claystone were found at depths between 5 m and 6 m and 10.5 m and 11 m.

Deep Four Mile  —   An area with an average sinking of about 18 m with no shallow ground. Good quality opal was extracted here back in the 1930’s from five claims. There are different levels of opal dirt present in the area and the deepest shaft is 28.5 m.

McDonalds Six Mile (The Six Mile)  —  Here the Finch claystone depth ranges between 9 m and 12 m on the crest of the hill and 1.8 m at the base. The best quality opals were found in the deeper ground.

Rouses Six Mile (The Six Mile)  —  This area is known to be near McDonalds Six Mile, however its location is uncertain. Rouses Six Mile was a rush on shallow ground and the sinking depths varied from 1.8 m to approximately 4.5 m. There was only two claims that produced any quantity of opal and much of that was in the form of large black “nobbies”.

Nine Mile  —  Shaft depths of around 12 m on the crest of the hill becoming shallower towards the base. The Finch claystone is red, caused by ironstaining, and the depth to the major Finch claystone lens is between 6 m and 8 .4 m below the crest of the hill. Potch was found scattered with the opal. 

Shallow Belars  —  Workings range from 0.3 m to 3.6 m in depth. Some good quality opalized bivalves were recovered here along the contact between the overlying Wallangulla sandstone and the Finch claystone.

Hawks Nest  —  Sinking range between 1.2 m and 12 m. Lenses up to 2.7 m thick and in some shafts three opal bearing lenses intersected at 3.6 m, 6.9 m, and 12 m. Some good quality opal has been extracted from this area.

Bald Hill  —  The primary lens of Finch claystone occurs at depths of around 13 m with some areas producing five lenses. One 30 m deep shaft was reported to intersect eleven lenses AND each lens contained opal. Opal nodules frequently develop deep in the Finch claystone lenses which are usually over 4 m thick and contain beds of kaolinitic sandstone. Most of the precious opal that was recovered from this region was worked in an area only 120 m by 30 m.

New Chum and Old Chum  —  Opal lenses as shallow as 1.5 m were encountered in this area with most shafts ranging between 3 m and 10 m in depth. Some shafts had no intersections with the French claystone even though they were sunk to 15 m. On the side of the hill in the Old Chum location opal float was found in gravels and the diggings here were up to 3 m deep. Another point to note is a 100 carats stone was recovered from the New Chum area.

Grawin  —  42 km southwest of Lightning Ridge is the opal field of Grawin. A large amount of opal has been won in this region particularly at Richards Hill and Hammonds Hill. Most opal in this location occur in seams with very few nobbies unearthed. Most gems won here are light in colour, predominantly green in colour, and are have a greasy lustre. Glengarry is similar to Grawin in many aspects. The opal here is always found in seams and there have been no recordings of nodules ever being won in this area. The opal-bearing claystone here forms at depths ranging between 2.7 m and 4.5 m and 7.5 m shafts were sunk over a distance of approximately 400 m.

New Coorcoran —  A field first worked in late 1972 to early 1973. Varying depths from near surface to 15 m, depending on the position of the ridge. The most common precious opal colours won in this field are green or blue together with red.

Lightning Ridge Opal Mining Methods

Opal prospecting is done by working underground shafts, or by treating old piles surrounding shafts. Miners use their own initiatives and combinations of equipment to extract opal and their methods vary. 

The traditional method to sink a shaft was to use a pick and shovel, with waste dirt being hauled up in buckets by hand windlass. While sinking the shaft the walls are checked for levels of precious opal or potch, then driven along the level usually with a pick . Opal dirt is then gently shaved away with hand tools until there is a visible sign of opal.

The simple methods of hand mining used to sink and drive shafts are now being replaced with much easier methods like jackhammers. Opal dirt is removed from the face to the shaft in buckets or wheel barrows and raised by windlass, or power and automatic self tipping hoists.

lightning ridge opal mining
{{Information |Description=Aerial photo of Lightning Ridge town and nearby mines. |Source=self |Date=17 April 2006 |Author= M P Goodwin |Permission= |other_versions}}

Hand mining methods are gradually being taken over by mechanical equipment. You can drill a 20 m deep hole with a 1 m diameter in a matter of hours with a Mobile Caldwell bucket drilling rig. A cylindrical bucket (kibble) about 2 m long and slightly less than 1 m in diameter can connect to the drill and be lowered to the bottom of the shaft to collect all the opal dirt dug out by the jackhammer(s). The kibble is then raised and the dirt it brought to the surface and dumped straight onto a truck. These drills are also used to dig air shafts, access shafts for miners and equipment, and hopefully, a never required escape route.

Blowers are used to suck opal dirt from underground and are located on the surface. These act like huge vacuum cleaners that extract opal dirt up through a pipe to load directly onto a truck. Bob Cats with a backhoe attachment break opal dirt and can be used to transport the dirt when a bucket is attached.

The Australian black opal

Open-cut workings using bulldozers are slowly progressing but restricted due to extremely high running costs. 

Puddlers are used to treat opal dirt and operate like a large sieve. Pudders remove opal dirt from harder materials such as nobbies and sandstone. Many of the old dried out puddlers have been replaced by rumblers or trommels (revolving horizontal screens) which remove the smaller sized portions prior to wet puddling. Wet puddling is carried out by large concrete like mixers, called by agitators, that have mesh windows which allow the silt flow out.

Many of the stowed dumps of dirt from underground shafts of previous mining days have been reworked by puddlers to extract small opals. In earlier times small opal did not have much value.

T o see if any colour is visible in opal, pincers are used to snip Nobbies. If colour is showing a polishing machine will then be used to buff the opal to roughly identify its value.

Lightning Ridge Black Opal

LIGHTNING RIDGE BLACK OPAL

In North Western NSW, outback Australia, and approximately nine hours drive from Sydney, lies a little town called Lightning Ridge. About 70 km South of the Queensland border, and an eight and a half hour drive South West of Brisbane, this tiny village has no traffic lights and is home to a very small population of just over 2,000 people. But pound for pound Lightning Ridge packs a HUGE punch in the World arena. Why? Because Lightning Ridge is home to a rare and spectacular opal, the Lightning Ridge Black Opal. And Lightning Ridge is the only place in the World where black opal is commercially produced.

According to an Australian Government 2016 census, Lightning Ridge is residence to 2,284 people which is 12.22{049d3018651de2a7e433ffb13acdc36a21b9ea4fa995a70edf1ffcc6a2970dff} less than the population census conducted in 2006. People continually drift in and out of Lightning Ridge searching for the rare Lightning Ridge Black Opal and some get lucky but some don’t, but hey, that’s mining, and it is the WILD WEST!!!

Lightning Ridge is a popular destination for both local and overseas tourists wishing to explore the Ridge and experience the magic and beauty of the Black Opal. And to those who are passionate about opal, black opal is available online for all to enjoy and experience.

Opals n Jewels

LIGHTNING RIDGE PRECIOUS OPAL

The Lightning Ridge Black Opal is classified precious opal because of it’s background colour and the type of colour patterns it can produce. Precious opal can be colourless, whitish, light to dark grey, brown, or black and develop in both sedimentary and volcanic rock. Sedimentary rock is a more prevalent environment for opal to form however precious opal has been found in volcanic rocks such as basalt.

Black Opal displays spectral colours which are highlighted by a dark body tone colour which is usually black, dark grey to grey. The dark colour body tone is created by the presence of iron oxide and the darker the background the more emphasis there is on the flash of colours. This characteristic is also reflected in the value of black opal with darker body tones attracting higher prices. The background body tone grading for a Lightning Ridge Black Opal is represented by a Neutral body tone scale that ranges from the darkest body tone of N1, to the lightest N9.

Other opals classified precious include Light Opal, Boulder, and Fire Opal.

Light Opals have a body colour that range from milky white to clear with the clear varieties commonly known as crystal or jelly opal. White Cliffs, in outback NSW, produces beautiful light opals and is also renown for the unique pineapple opal. Coober Pedy, in South Australia, is the main producer of white precious opal and is the largest opal field in the world. It is also the largest opal field on earth.

Boulder Opal is now becoming a very popular gemstone for opal enthusiasts according to the statistics on the behavioural patterns of people searching for opals. Boulder is messy to work with but can produce some amazing colours and is found in the cavities and veins in ironstone (iron stained sandstone) and mudstone.

Fire Opal is transparent to translucent and is characterised with a reddish yellowy body tone that highlights a bright play of red and green colours.

Different colour patterns can emerge from precious opal when rotated and viewed at varying angles and also when seen at different times of the day.

LIGHTNING RIDGE BLACK OPAL Colour PATTERNS

Harlequin

Harlequin patterns are made up of a mixture of different sized square-like patches of colour.

black opal stones
Opals n Jewels solid black opal stone
australian black opal pendants
Opals n Jewels 18 kt gold pendant necklace

Pinfire

A Pinfire is a natural colour pattern consisting of closely spaced specks or pinpoints.

Flash

Flashes of colour varying as the stone is rotated and viewed at different angles and light.

Australian black opal pendant
Opals n Jewels 18 kt gold pendant necklace

THE FIRST COMMERCIAL PARCEL of gems

The famous Lightning Ridge Black Opal was first discovered in the late 1880’s by a boundary rider named Jack Murray. And at the time of discovery, the Lightning Ridge black opal was not acknowledged as a gemstone with any commercial value. It was only in 1903 when black opal was recognized to have any financial worth with the first parcel selling for $30. And $30 was not even a fiftieth of the price obtained five years later. Can you imagine, just five years after that first $30 parcel was sold, its value increased to more than $1500. An incredible increase in excess of 4900{049d3018651de2a7e433ffb13acdc36a21b9ea4fa995a70edf1ffcc6a2970dff}.

WALLANGULLA (LR) geology

Black opal forms as irregular nodules, (“nobbies”), or in seams and thin layers within horizontal and vertical joint planes, in a distinct soft, grey to pale yellowish -brown coloured claystone. Generally known as “opal dirt” this claystone whitens and hardens as it dries. Opal dirt can occur in several levels and the geographical formation of these layers is called the Finch Claystone. Now this is important because opal is often found near the junction of the Finch Claystone and the overlying Wallangulla sandstone. The bottom 30 cm of this layer is generally silicified and extremely hard and appropriately called the “steel band”. Above the Wallangulla sandstone lies a fine grained white to creamy coloured claystone which is usually jointed and has a rectangular or box-like shape structure not necessarily characterised with flat sides. When this layer is exposed to the surface it hardens and silicifieds, a process known as “shin cracker”.

These sediments are of Cretaceous Age and may possibly be associated with Tertiary-Miocene lateritization (see laterite). Red residual soil forms from the natural drainage of silica, through the earth, and enriched with iron oxides and aluminium, particularly in humid climates.

The general sequence of Cretaceous strata for the Lightning Ridge region is:

Coocoran claystone               0.0 — 3.6 m         “Shin cracker”

Wallangulla sandstone          3.6 m — 20 m      Basal 0 —  0.3 m  “Steel band” 

Finch claystone                       1.3 m —  6 m       “Opal dirt”

Patches of Tertiary gravels, including laterite and silcrete occur in some areas.

lightning ridge black opal

Most levels of opal dirt form between 6-18 m below the surface but are not necessarily horizontal or continual. Opal and potch are generally found in only
two or three of these layers however, there was a report of one shaft containing eleven levels. Some shafts have been sunk to depths of up to 30 m.
Geology Reference: Department of Mineral Resources, NSW, “The Geological Survey of New South Wales”

Almandine

Almandine

Chemical Formula:  Fe₃Al₂Si₃O₁₂

Chemical Composition:  Aluminum, Iron, Silicon, Oxygen

Crystal System:  Cubic (isometeric)

Class:  Silicates

Mineral Group:  Garnet

Crystal Habit:  Trapezohedral, dodocahedral

Hardness:  7 — 7.5

Density/Specific Gravity:  3.93 — 4.30

Refractive Index:  1.770 — 1.820

Double Refraction:  None

Dispersion:  0.027

Absorption Spectra:  617, 576, 526, 505, 476, 462, 438, 428, 404, 393

Colour:  Brownish red, red, blackish red, red with violet tint

Pleochroism:  None

Transparency:  Transparent to translucent

Lustre:  Vitreous (glass like appearance)

Luminescence:  Inert

Cleavage:  None

Fracture:  Irregular/uneven

Assigned Planet:  Pluto

Additional Zodiac Stone:  Leo

Countries:  Deposits found in Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Magagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Notes:  There are more Almandine gemstones faceted and used in jewellery than any other gemstone categorised in the garnet group

 

almandine

Attribution: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The List of Gemstones

The List of Gemstones – Crystallography

Crystallography is a science that studies and examines crystals. A crystal is a homogeneous solid substance that has a natural geometric symmetrical uniformity with an arrangement of plane faces. Crystals are made of a lattice of atoms, ions and/or molecules that link together in a repetitive pattern to form into one of seven crystal systems. The list of gemstones in this article is categorised under their appropriate crystal system. 

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Cubic Crystal System

Also known as the isometric system, the cubic crystal system has three axes of equal length that intersect at right angles. The most common cubic crystal shapes are the cube, pentagonal dodecahedron, rhombic dodecahedron, hexacisochedron, icosi-tetrahedron, and the octahedron.

A
Alamandine

Analcite
Andradite

B
Bixbyite
Boleite

C
Chromite

Cuprite

D
Demantoid

Diamond

F
Fabulite

Fluorite

G
Gahnite
Gahnospinel

Galaxite
Garnet
GGG
Gold
Grossularite

H
Hackmanite
Hauynite

Helvite
Hercynite
Hessonite

K
Katoite

L
Langbeinite
Lapis Lazuli
Lazurite

Leucogranite

M
Magnesiochromite
Magnetite
Melanite

Microlite

P
Pentlandite
Periclase
Picotite
Pleonaste
Pollucite
Pyrite
Pyrope

R
Rhodozite
Rhodolite

S
Schorlomite
Senarmontite
Silver
Sodalite

Spessartine
Sphalerite
Spinel

T
Thorianite
Topazalite
Tsavorite

U
Uvarovite

V
Villiaumite

Y
YAG

Z
Zirconia
Zunyite

Hexagonal Crystal System

The list of gemstones in the hexagonal system has three of four axes on the one plane. These axes are of equal length and intersect each other at 120° angles. The fourth axis is different in length and at right angles to the others. A typical hexagonal crystal shape is a pyramid.

A
Algondite

Apatite
Aquamarine

B
Basnasite
Benotoite
Beryl
Bixbyite
Breithauptite

C
Cacoxenite

Cancrinite
Catapleite
Chlorapatite
Covellite

E
Emerald
Ettringite

F
Flourapatite

G
Gold Beryl
Goshenite
Greenocktite

H
Heliodor
Hydroxylapatite

J
Jeremejevite

L
Lizardite

M
Manganapatite
Milarite
Mimetite Moissanite

Morganite

N
Nepheline
Nickeline

P
Painite
Poudretteite
Precious Beryl

 

S
Simpsonite
Sogdianite
Sturmanite
Sugilite

T
Taaffeite
Thaumasite

V
Vandanite

W
Wurtzite

Z
Zincite

Tetragonal Crystal System

A tetragonal crystal system is a formation that has three axes. Two of these axes are on the same plane and are of equal length. The third and primary axis can be either shorter or longer than the other two however, all three axes intersect at right angles. Typical crystal formations are double pyramids, four-sided prisms and pyramids, eight-sided pyramids, and trapezohedrons.

A
Anatase

Apophyllite

C
Carletonite
Cassiterite
Chalcopyrite
Chiolite

E
Ekanite

F
Fergusonite

 

H
Hyacinth

L
Leucite

M
Marialite
Meionite
Melinophane
Mellite

P
Phosgenite
Powellite
Pyrolusite

R
Rutile

S
Sarcolite
Scapolite
Scheelite

Sellaite
Stolzite

T
Thorite
Tugtupite

V
Vesuvianite

W
Wardite
Wulferite

Z
Zircon

Trigonal Crystal System

The trigonal system (rhombohedral system) is a crystal formation where three of the four axes are on the same plane and are equal in length. They intersect each other at angles of 120°. The fourth axis is is at right angles to the others and is different in length. The cross section of the prism base in a trigonal system is three sided. In Hexagonal systems it is six. Typical trigonal crystal formations are three sided prisms and pyramids, scalenohedra, and rhombohedra. 

A
Achroite

Agate
Amethyst
Amethyst Quartz
Ametrine
Ankerite
Aventurine

B
Bloodstone
Blue Quartz
Brucite
Buergerite

C
Calcite
Carnelian
Cat’s-Eye Quartz
Chalcedony
Chromdravite
Chrysoprase
Citrine
Cinnabar
Corundum

D
Davidite
Dendritic Agate
Dioptase
Dolomite
Dravite

E
Elbaite
Eudialyte

G
Gaspeite

H
Hawk’s-Eye
Hematite

I
Ilmenite
Indicolite

J
Jasper

L
Liddicoatite
Linobate
Lizardite

M
Magnesite
Melonite
Millerite
Moss Agate

P
Parisite
Pezzottaite

Petrified Wood
Phenakite
Povondraite
Prase
Prasiolite

Proustite
Pyrargyrite

Q
Quartz

R
Rhodochrosite
Rock Crystal
Rose Quartz
Rubellite
Ruby

S
Sapphire
Sardonyx
Schlossmacherite
Schorl
Siberite
Siderite
Smithsonite
Sphaerocobaltite
Smoky Quartz
Stichtite

T
Tiger’s-Eye
Tsilaisite
Tourmaline

 

U
Uvite

V
Verdelite

W
Willemite

Orthorhombic Crystal System

The list of gemstones in the orthorhombic system (rhombic system) have three different length axes are at right angles to each other. Typical shapes are basal pinacoids, pyramids, rhombic prisms, and rhombic double pyramid.

A
Adamite
Aeschyrite
Alexandrite
Andalusite
Anglesite
Anhydrite
Aragonite

B
Baryte
Bastite

Bismutotantalite
Boracite
Bornite

Bronzite
Brookite

C
Celestine
Cerussite
Chambersite
Childrenite
Chrysoberyl
Cobalite
Cordierite

D
Danburite
Descloizite
Diaspore
Dumortierite

E
Enstatite
Eosphorite
Euchroite
Euxenite

F
Ferrosilite
Fosterite

G
Goethite
Grandidierite

H
Hambergite
Hemimorphite
Heterosite
Holtite
Humite
Hypersthene

K
Kornerupine

L
Lawsonite
Libethenite
Lithiophilite

M
Manganotantalite
Marcasite
Mordernite

N
Natrolite
Norbergite

P
Pearl
Peridot
Prehnite
Purpurite

 

S
Scorodite
Sekaninaite
Sepoiolate
Shattuckite
Shomiokite
Shortite
Sillimanite
Sunhalite
Smarskite
Stibiotantalite
Strontianite
Sulfur

T
Tanzanite
Tephroite

Thomsonite
Thulite
Topaz
Triphylite

V
Varsicite

W
Wavellite
Witherite

Y
Yttrotantalite

Z
Zektzerite
Zoisite

Monoclinic Crystal System

The monoclinic crystal system is a crystal system where three axes are different in length. Two of the axes are at right angles to each other and the other axis is inclined. Common crystal forms are prisms with inclined end faces and basal pinacoids.

A
Actinolite
Aegirine
Aegirine-Augite
Allanite
Antigorite
Augelite
Azurite

B
Barytocalcite
Bayldonite
Beryllonite

Bikitaite
Bowenite

Brazilianite

C
Canasite
Chalcocite
Charoite
Childrenite
Chondrotite
Chromian Diopside
Chrysocolla
Clinochlore
Clinochrysotile
Clinoenstatite
Clinohumite
Colemanite
Creedite
Crocoite
Cryolite

D
Datolite
Dickinsonite
Diopside

E
Epidote
Euclase

F
Friedelite
Fuchsite

G
Gadolinite
Gaylussite
Gypsum

H
Hancocktite
Hedenbergite
Herderite
Hiddenite
Hodgkinsonite
Hornblende
Howlite
Hubnerite
Hureaulite
Huributite
Hyalophane
Hydroxylherderite

I
Inderite

J
Jadeite

K
Kammererite
Kunzite

L
Lazulite
Legrandite
Lepidolite
Ludlamite

M
Malachite
Mesolite
Monazite

Moonstone
Muscovite

N
Nephrite
Neptunite

O
Orthoclase

P
Palygorskite
Papagoite
Pargasite
Petalite
Phosphophyllite
Piemontite
Prosopite
Psilomelane
Pumpellyite
Pyrophyllite

R
Realgar
Richterite
Rinkite

S
Sanidine
Sapphirine Scolecite
Scorzalite
Serpentine
Smaragdite
Spodumene
Spurrite
Staurolite

T
Talc
Tawmawite
Titanite
Tremolite

V
Vayrynenite
Violane
Vivianite
Vlascovite

W
Whewellite
Williamsite
Wolframite
Wollastonite

X
Xonotite

Y
Yugawaralite

Triclinic Crystal System

The list of gemstones in the triclinic crystal system have three axes of different length. All axes are inclined to each other at non-perpendicular angles relative to each other. Paired faces are a typical example of a triclinic crystal formation.

A
Albite
Amazonite
Amblygonite

Andesine
Anorthite
Anorthoclase
Axinite

B
Bustamite
Bytownite

C
Cerleite
Chabazite

F
Ferro-Axinite
Fowlerite

K
Kurnakovite
Kyanite

L
Labrodorite
Leucophanite

M
Magnesio-Axinite
Manganaxinite
Microline
Montebrasite

N
Nambulite
Natromontebrasite

O
Oligoclase

P
Pectolite
Peristerite
Pyrophylite
Pyroxymangite

R
Rhodonite

S
Serandite
Serendibite
Sunstone

T
Talc
Tinzenite
Turquoise

U
Ulexite
Ussingite

W
Weloganite
Wollastonite

X
Xonolite

Amorphous

Unlike crystals, Amorphous materials are non-crystalline solids that have no apparent shape, symmetry or organisation

Amber

Glass

Moldavite

Obsidian

Opal

Petrified Wood

Strass

Misleading Gemstone Names

Correct Names

Italian Jade
Korean Jade

Lithia Amethyst
Lithia Emerald
Madeira Topaz
Marmarosch Diamond
Matura Diamond
Mexican Diamond
Mexican Jade
Montana Ruby
Oriental Amethyst
Oriental Hyacinth
Oriental Topaz
Palmyra Topaz
Salmanca Topaz
Saxon Chyrosolite
Saxon Diamond
Serra Topaz
Siamese Aquamarine
Siberian Chrysolite
Siberian Ruby
Simili Diamond
Slave-Diamond
Smoky Topaz
Spanish Topaz
Strass Diamond
Transvaal Jade
Ural Sapphire
Viennese Turquoise

Aventurine (Quartz)
Serpentine
Kunzite (Spodumene)
Hiddenite (Spodumene)
Citrine (Quartz)
Rock Crystal (Quartz)
Colorless fired Zircon
Rock Crystal (Quartz)
Artificially tinted Green Marble
Red Garnet
Violet Sapphire
Pink Sapphire
Yellow Sapphire
Brown Synthetic Sapphire
Citrine (Quartz)
Greenish-Yellow Topaz
Colorless Topaz
Citrine (Quartz)
Blue Zircon
Demantoid (Garnet)
Red Tourmaline
Glass Imitation
Colorless Topaz
Smoky Quartz
Citrine (Quartz)
Glass Imitation
Green Hydrogrossular Garnet
Blue Tourmaline
Artificially Blue-tinted Argillaceous Earth

Source: False and misleading names of some gemstones, p 13, newly revised fifth edition, Gemstones of the World, Walter Schumann

Loose Black Opals Sale

Black Opal 418L Special

€A stunning 2.86 ct exquisite teardrop featuring a large face. This beauty is characterised with every colour of the rainbow. SAVE 20{049d3018651de2a7e433ffb13acdc36a21b9ea4fa995a70edf1ffcc6a2970dff}

The Perfect Surrounding

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Fine Food Cuisine

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The Best Experience Ever

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Chris Jones
Travel Blogger

Savour Your Next Holiday

Opals n Jewels Loose Black Opals Sale

Welcome to the Opals n Jewels Loose Black Opals Sale. Please have a look around and if you have any questions along the way please don’t hesitate to call out. All Opals sold on this website are SOLID Black Opals extracted from the Opal fields of Lightning Ridge, NSW Australia. We only sell quality Black Opal. You will NOT find Doublets, Triplets or Synthetic Opal on this website. For our range of Solid Black Opal Gold Pendants please click https://opalsnjewels.com/australian-black-opal-pendants
Opals n Jewels Loose Black Opals Sale – Product Code: 34286 https://youtu.be/pMCVAatN4Mc A favourite of mine that displays just about every colour you can think of. I have taken a wider shot of the Opal to give you a clearer picture. I took this video in the morning the light on an Apple Ipad. The predominant colour is red but you will also see other colours within the stone such as violets, flashes of green, blues, orange and more. It is an amazing stone characterized by spectacular features. The display face is very large due to a shallow cut and at 2.86 ct is a great deal at USD $1100. Shipping and Insurance vary depending on location. Product Code 34286
Opals n Jewels Loose Black Opals Sale – Product Code: 34286  

The History of Diamonds

The History of Diamonds 

The first know discovery of diamonds dated back over 2,300 years ago in the Indian region of Golconda, and up until 1725, India was the only notorious country to have a source of diamonds.

In 1725 a diamond-producing area in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil was discovered by gold miners along the banks of the Jequitinhonha River.  And by 1760 Brazil was producing almost half of the world’s supply of diamonds resulting in the value of diamond falling by more than 60 percent. However, diamond value increased sharply in the late 1800’s when Brazilian diamond mining dramatically decreased

The first diamond discovered in South Africa was from an alluvial deposit and dated back to 1866 when Erasmus Jacobs, a 15-year-old boy, found a 21.25 carats stone along the south bank of the Orange River on his father’s farm. Over the course of the next few years, South Africa produced more diamonds than India presented in more than 2,000 years.


Diamonds may not be forever

Experts estimate that more than 30 major diamond mines will cease to exist by the year 2030. Australia’s Argyle mine is the third largest diamond mine by volume in the world and will close its operations by 2020. Diamond reserves of three major mines in South Africa, the Kimberly, Venetia, and Voorspoed are expected to cease by 2025.

Reports estimate the world’s supply of NATURAL diamonds will decrease by approximately 50 percent in 2030 with reserves declining in 2020.

To think that maybe one day the Earth will no longer be able to provide the world with this precious gemstone and can you imagine how expensive a natural diamond might be if our planet were exhausted of all supplies?

The rarest and most expensive diamond today is the Pink Star Diamond weighing in at 59.6 carats. This fabulous diamond is valued at $72 million, equivalent to $1,208,053.69 per carat.
What will it be worth in 30 years time?


It’s disturbing for me to think that our Mother Earth is running out of NATURAL diamond reserves.

As the world’s supply of NATURAL diamonds diminishes, what will happen to the market?

If you have diamonds do you sell them now or do you hang onto them and purchase more?

Could NATURAL diamonds now be a good investment?

What are your thoughts?

Australian Black Opal Pendants

australian black opal pendants

We specially handcraft beautiful Australian Black Opal Pendants featuring stunning Solid Black Opal Stones. 
All Black Opals listed on our website, come directly from the Opal fields of the Lightning Ridge region in outback NSW, Australia,
home to the rare and exquisite Australian Black Opal Stone.

When selecting a Gold Pendant the best-coordinating colour for Opal is Yellow Gold. White Gold looks great with Blue colours and Rose Gold compliments Pinks, Aquas, and Blues.

THE Pendants

All Black Opal Gold Pendants are made from either 9 K (375) or 18 K (750) Australian Gold. Your choice of colours include Yellow Gold, White Gold, and Rose Gold

THE settings

Our Black Opal Stones are Bezel-set for security and protection. Bezel-set Opals are surrounded completely by Gold (360°) which also enhances the stone's natural features.

THE chains

Our 9 K and 18 K Gold Trace Chain necklaces are Italian made and Italian designed. Crafted with South African gold, the links in this chain provide strength and durability.

design your
Black
OPAL
pendant

Customize

When browsing through our website you may come across a loose opal stone that you really have your heart set on but you don’t have your own trustworthy jeweller to set it for you. If so, then please let us know and we can help you out and set it for you. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for then just send me the below listed details of what you heart desires and I will send you photos of all the Opals that match your description that are not yet listed on this website.

Please provide the following information:

  • Your preferred predominant colour or colours, if applicable
  • The shape of your desired stone – oval, teardrop, freeform  
  • Size of stone – carat weight
  • Price range
  • Gold colour – Yellow, White, Rose 
  • Gold karat weight – 9 K / 18 K
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