Geology & Mineralogy of the Virgin Valley Opal District

The precious opal in Virgin Valley is found "in-place" (where it was originally formed and deposited) within a hard, defined and traceable sub-surface horizon or zone of bentonite.  The opal was deposited by hydrothermal fluids and silica rich water filling voids in the host bentonite matrix and as veins and fracture fillings of petrified wood.   Bentonite has been defined as a mineral and consolidated clay rock derived from volcanic ash.  Above and below the specific opal-producing zone, no commercially valuable deposit of opals are found to exist.  The precious opals occur disseminated in-place throughout the opal bearing horizon or zone.  This opal zone is followed by miners as a "lead."  Because of "it's brittleness and low density, opal does NOT form economic placer deposits." See, The Geology of Gems by Eugenii Ya Kievlenko at page 124 (2003).  "With the exception of some Brazilian material, gem opal is rarely found in alluvial gemstone placers, but is instead mined directly from its host rock." See, OPAL: The Phenomenal Gemstone, at page 11 (various contributors, Lithographie LLC 2007). "Alluvial opal deposits are rare and lie immediately on in situ deposits because opal cannot survive movement, as such, Placer opal deposits are unheard of."

To learn more about how the mining laws apply to the above and the importance of the lode vs placer distinction, CLICK HERE.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please check back

VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL NEVADA OPAL MINES, home of the world-famous Nevada Black Fire Opal and source of the world's finest opal specimens and collector opal gems.  Several mines are open to rockhounds for fee digging of  precious black, crystal, fire, conk, wood, limb cast, and other opal types. Opal Gem Mines & Mining Claims for sale.  Information about the Royal Peacock, Rainbow Ridge and Bonanza Opal Mines Fee Digs and the Virgin Valley Opal and Mines.  Information about the other mines including Kokopelli Opal Mine, Opal Negra Mine,  and John Church Swordfish Mining Virgin Valley Opal.

All content © 2017 to present by VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL MINES DBA, CHRISTOPHER WENTZELL individually.  All rights reserved.  Any copying, reproduction, storing or transmittal prohibited without prior express written permission.  The information and services provided on this website are done so with the understanding that VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL MINES DBA, its owner/s and agents, are not engaged in rendering any legal, accounting, or investment services.  If legal advice or assistance is required or desired, the services of a competent licensed attorney or other appropriate professional should be sought.  Offers for services are void where prohibited by law.  By visiting and/or using this website, you agree to our terms of useprivacy policy, and sales terms/return policy. You can also see our FAQs.  This page is NOT owned or associated with any of the existing fee dig mines and is a collective resource of information maintained by CHRISTOPHER WENTZELL DBA VIRGIN VALLEY OPAL MINES.  Don't forget to also visit and like our Virgin Valley Opal Mines Facebook Page. Thanks for visiting!

Website Design by Christopher Wentzell of DOMINION GEMS.

  • Virgin Valley Opal Mines on Facebook
  • Virgin Valley Opal Mines on Youtube
  • Virgin Valley Opal Mines Instagram