Our Idaho opals come from the Opal Mountain Mine, Inc. in Spencer, Idaho. Just a short drive from our location in Philipsburg, Montana, these beautiful gems are just another example of the fantastic gems grown in our location.
The opals from the Spencer, Idaho deposit differ from other well known deposits in the United States,Australia, Mexico and Brazil. Here the deposits were formed in cavities of the igneous rocks obsidian and rhyolite when geyser activity (like those at Yellowstone National Park) brought the silica rich water to the surface over 4 million years ago. As the silica rich water seeped into these rocks, the layers accumulated into plates creating a very stable form of opal.
Opal found in igneous host rock has only been documented in one other location in the world – Mojave Desert, CA, but with too little a deposit to commercially mine. All other opal in the world formed as ground water percolated through silica-rich sedimentary rocks filled with decomposed organic matter. The silica rich water leached out the organic matter replacing it with opal.
The brilliant colors and patterns found in Spencer come from the density and uniformity of the silica layers. Their opal comes in every color of the rainbow and every pattern imaginable, creating a one-of a-kind triplet that is well protected and will give you many years of enjoyment.
The quality and beauty of the opal we offer is so impressive that Specimens from this mine have been donated by request to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. It has been featured in the “Prospecting and Mining Journal” as well as having an article about the mine published in almost every major US paper and the Bankok Post. Opal Mountain Mines, Inc. is also known to produce the very rare star opal.
Cleaning Opal Jewelry
Just use a silver polishing cloth, taking care not to soak the stone in any strong cleaning agents – and NEVER USE SONIC CLEANERS.
Opal Fun Facts
The Opal is the traditional October birthstone and the accepted gem for the 13th wedding anniversary.
Opal ranges between 5.5 and 6 on the mohs scale. Idaho opal is estimated to be about 4 million years old. Opal formed as silica from nearby geysers mixed with ground water which formed a silica gel that has collected and hardened in underground cavities and fissures.
Opal is said to aid the kidneys and blood diseases. It is used for subduing an over-active 7th Chakra (Crown Chakra) and has been associated with the sacral chakra, imbalances of which can cause problems with addictions. Natural Healers use opal to promote visions, enhance prophetic dreams and intuition as well as help moderate and harmonize sexual desires. Opal helps you see possibilities and helps you discover a broader perspective. Opal frees you when you feel blocked in a situation.
With it’s fiery display, opal has been said to spark creativity. The “dance” of it’s fire can help people enjoy their lives. Gazing into the depths of your opal has been said to improve eyesight and reduce stress. Tales also say that wearing opal is thought to keep blonde hair from fading with age, it has also been said that the power of opal can be misused and that it may be used to cast beauty spells. Some may find opal very hard to wear.