Friday, January 28, 2011

Its Magic! (Actually, It's Just Science)

I dont know if you remeber me talking about hydrophane opal in my in my other post about opal, but I thought it might be fun to actually show you what happens. Check this out, its a cream colored opal, right?
Not a great picture of the fire, but its totally white. Well, for now anyway. I mentioned earlier that this kind of opal is very porous and will literally suck up water. Check out what happens when I put it in water for 3 minutes:

There goes the white color! Crazy, huh?

After five minutes for a piece this size it becomes completely clear: 

In some cases the fire will compeletly disappear, but if the fire is still visable an experienced cutter can take advantage of the transparent state of the opal to find the best way to cut the stone. Additionally, any cracks in the stone can be spotted before the stone is cut. Thus, offending material can be removed and a a more stable stone created.

oh, yes, and dont worry about my stone: it turned back to its regular color in about half an hour!

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