American Museum Of Natural History To Unveil Display Of Spectacular Opals

2009

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 locations-Australia, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, and the United States-and 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

australia-cube-sm.jpg

australia-sm.jpg

australia-blue-sm.jpg

australia-orange-sm.jpg

brazil-sm.jpg

ethiopia3-sm.jpg

ethiopia4-sm.jpg

ethiopia-sm.jpg

oregon-fire-sm.jpg

ethiopia2-sm.jpg

ethiopia5-sm.jpg

oregon-fire2-sm.jpg

 

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

Tags: