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    Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine, Virgin Valley, Nevada

    Fifteen million years ago, volcanic flows resulted in basin lakes throughout areas of Northern Nevada, which were great environments for a variety of trees. These trees would eventually fall and get preserved in ash and sediment. Silica-rich water replaced the wood over the course of thousands of years and thus resulted in opal-replaced petrified wood; also known as opal limb casts. Most of the opals found in this region are common white opal, but a very small percentage of specimens are replaced by precious fire opal or black opal. This specimen is an exceptional example of a fire-opal replaced limb cast from the Virgin Valley region of Nevada. When lit directly, the rough gem dazzles the spectator with brilliant flashes of red, green, yellow, purple, and blue; a beautiful rainbow of colors made more remarkable by the fact that the gem is also a piece of petrified wood. Nevada fire opal contains 10-15% water, which is 3 times the concentration of similar opal from Australia; this means that the specimen should be kept in water to prevent it from crazing and cracking. This specimen, measuring 1 inch across, is displayed in a custom glass opal dome that helps bring out its vibrancy without damaging the specimen.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,597

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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