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Pinfire Opal also known as Pinpoint Opal


Pictures of beautiful pinfire opals


pinfire opals

Pinfire opals: The opal on the left is a pinfire opal cut from material mined at Coober Pedy, Australia. The stone on the right is a pinfire opal from the Constellation Mine in Spencer, Idaho. It is 6 millimeters by 4 millimeters in size.

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What is a Pinfire Opal?

"Pinfire opal" is a name used for opal that has pinpoints of fire throughout the stone. In the accompanying image, the white opal on the left is a pinfire opal cut from material mined at Coober Pedy, Australia. The black opal on the right is a pinfire opal from the Constellation Mine in Spencer, Idaho. It is 6 millimeters by 4 millimeters in size. The video below illustrates the "play-of-color" in a pinfire opal.

Honduras black pinfire opal

Pinfire in Basalt: The cabochon shown above is an example of basalt matrix opal from Honduras. The basalt contains tiny vesicles and cavities that have been infilled with precious opal. The black color of the basalt makes the play-of-color stand out. Cabochon and photo by Stony Mountain Studio.

Pinfire in Basalt Matrix Opal

A very different type of pinfire opal is the black basalt-hosted opal from Honduras. In the area around Erandique, Honduras, numerous basalt flows contain tiny vesicles that have been infilled by precious opal. This produces a matrix opal with a black bodycolor and an enormous number of pinfire flashes. This opal has been mined for over 100 years - long before opal mining began in Australia.

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