Fire Opal

Mexican fire opal is the aptly-named amorphous, water-bearing form silica (SiO2·nH2O) that holds a red to yellow body color caused by traces of iron. In some examples, Mexican fire opal can show precious play-of-color phenomenon. More often, it exhibits the sheer blanketing of brazen color synonymous with the name without the spectral addition. For hundred of years, ancient Mayans and Aztecs cherished the Mexican fire opals they would find near the slumbering volcanoes of their homelands. Known as “quetzalitzlipyollitli” to these indigenous peoples and used in rituals and adornment alike, today's translation is known as “the stone of the bird of paradise”. Along with these great civilization's decline, knowledge of Mexican fire opal was lost to history for a time and was only rediscovered to be linked with lore in the early 1800's. Though Mexico is home to the finest and historical examples, similar instances of fire opal can modernly found abroad in North America, Central America, Ethiopia, and Australia. 

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