ABOUT VIRGIN VALLEY OPALS

VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL from northern Nevada USA is considered to be the brightest, most colorful opal on the planet.  Virgin Valley opals are considered to be the best SPECIMEN opals in the world and they are in demand by collectors.  Were it not for Virgin Valley Opal's unfortunate tendency to crack and craze, it would be the most popular opal in the world.

Most Virgin Valley Opal is for specimen purposes only and these are the most beautiful specimens found anywhere.  This is because the vast majority of the opal found in Virgin Valley has stability problems and crazes/cracks soon after removal from the ground.  Few Virgin Valley Opals survive longer than 25 years uncrazed as gems; with that said, however, rarely opal from the valley can cut proven stable gems and when they do they are among the highest priced opals in the world and are far more rare and valuable as collectors gems than opal from major fields producing vast amounts of stable stones.

The opal in Virgin Valley is found in-place within a defined zone of hard clay of bentonite/montmorillionite.  Most pieces are solid precious opal CASTS (without any petrified wood) that replaced the wood which rotted away and the silica solution that formed the opal percolated into the empty cavities and formed the opal.  Some precious opal is also found associated with petrified wood but precious wood opal (like conk) is extremely rare and valuable.   More info on the geology of the Virgin Valley Opal deposits can be read HERE.

 

VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL TYPES

THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF OPAL in VIRGIN VALLEY.   COMMON OPAL is just that, "Common" and found all over the valley.   COMMON OPAL does not display the flashing play of colors.     PRECIOUS OPAL is rare, and shows the play of colors.  

Both common and precious opal have base colors such as white, cream, clear, crystal, root beer, jelly, black, grey, etc. 

  • BLACK OPAL

  • SEMIBLACK OPAL

  • GREY OPAL

  • ROOT BEER OPAL

  • CRYSTAL OPAL

  • JELLY OPAL

  • CREAM OPAL

  • WHITE OPAL

  • FIRE OPAL

  • CONTRALUZ OPAL

  • WOOD OPAL

PRECIOUS OPAL: Shows a changing play of colors, sometimes incorrectly called "Fire."

COMMON OPAL: Does NOT show changing play of colors, also called "POTCH.".

Below are some examples of the different opal types found in Virgin Valley Nevada USA.

EXAMPLES OF VIRGIN VALLEY NEVADA BLACK OPAL:

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Roebling Opals Virgin Valley NV_edited
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Roebling Opal Virgin Valley Nevada Smithsonian Inst.
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EXAMPLES OF VIRGIN VALLEY NEVADA BLACK  CRYSTAL OPAL:

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Black Opal

EXAMPLES OF VIRGIN VALLEY NEVADA ROOT BEER OPAL:

ROOT BEER (aka BROWN BOTTLEGLASS) OPAL is technically a type of CRYSTAL opal, and the darker shades would also be a type of SEMI DARK or SEMI BLACK opal

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Wood Opal combo, ie, Opal in Petrified Wood
Crystal Opal

  • BLACK OPAL

  • BLACK CRYSTAL OPAL

  • ROOT BEER OPAL

  • CRYSTAL OPAL

  • JELLY OPAL

  • WHITE OPAL

  • FIRE OPAL

  • WOOD OPAL and CONK

  • MATRIX OPAL

 

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