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American Museum Of Natural History To Unveil Display Of Spectacular Opals

 

 The American Museum of Natural History will unveil a display of 25 beautiful iridescent opals for public view on Thursday, February 26, in the Museums Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals. Opal deposits are found around the globe, but about 85 percent of the worlds gem opals are mined in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. These opals come from a range of locationsAustralia, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, and the United Statesand illustrate the gems diversity.

 

 Renowned for their colorful iridescence, opals unique internal structure creates their colors by scattering light. Opal gemstones used in jewelry are relatively soft and fragile; they need protection from scratching, bumping, and abrupt temperature changes. Opal most commonly forms by the action of warm water on volcanic glass. It can also form at low temperatures, when water rich with dissolved silica mixes with sediment or enters rocks.

 

Photo Gallery: Opals

 

Click on an image to see it larger. To navigate through all of the images as a slide show, click on the first image, then roll over it with your cursor. "Next" and "Previous" links will appear.

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Media Inquiries: Department of Communications, 212-769-5800

 

  

 

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American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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