Mexican Fire Opal

Although nine Mexican states have produced these magnificent gems, Querétaro and Jalisco—two centrally located states—are the primary origins for most opals labeled "Mexican." And while the "Hecho en Mexico " label may not be exotic enough for some, these gems are both unique and beautiful. History. Mexican opal has a long history, dating back as early as the 14th century, when Aztec Indians gathered the gems. Mexican residents still search for opals, digging in open-pit quarries. In this respect, not much has changed since the late 1800s. But what has changed over the years is the definition of the term "fire opal." According to some experts, the Mexicans themselves label any opal with play-of-color as "fire opal." It wasn't until the 1970s that German gem cutters, looking for faceting material, began attaching the name "fire opal" to transparent non-play-of-color material with

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