The fire opal is transparent with orange and yellow hues, and even red hues. You can see different colors in it, or not.
As a lot of opals, between 3 and 20 percent of its weight is made of water. It is therefore a fragile stone and it can crack if it dries too much. It is therefore strongly advised to put it in water from time to time to maintain the good state of the stone.
When the fire opal is cut in the matrix (the rock around the stone), the expression "cantera opal" is used. It means a stone pit excavated opal.
Mines: mainly in Mexico but also in Guatemala, Honduras, the USA, Australia.
Pre-Hispanic people from Mexico would already know the fire opal before the Spanish arrived. They would use it in their jewelry, in the architecture and in religious ceremonies.
Aztecs would call it Quetzalitzlipyollitli or "stone of the bird of paradise" which was referring to the quetzal. It is a very symbolic bird for Mesoamerican people.
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