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    PRECIOUS BLACK OPAL IN PETRIFIED WOOD
    Virgin Valley, Denio, Nevada, USA

    Of all the varieties of Precious Opal found on this planet, the type showing a dark gray to black body color with flashes of rainbow "fire" is considered the most attractive and therefore; valuable. Virgin Valley is a remote district in the far North-West sector of Nevada which is famous for stunning Black Opals, as fossil replacements of tree limbs and sometimes other plant remains are abundant in this locality. The "limb casts" found here could easily be considered the most valuable form of petrified wood known. The typical Black Opal from this locality shows brilliant flashes of color floating in a dark yet transparent mass of Opal. One of the rare and significant finds at Virgin Valley was a very sizable Opal chunk that was sawn into six slices. Those six slices turned out to show a very unusual pattern of Black Opal replacement of Fossil Palm Wood - very different from the "normal" Virgin Valley fossil replacements. The not so obvious advantage of Palm Wood being the template for the replacement, is an extremely large slice of Black Opal, that doesn't have to be kept in water unlike most Virgin Valley pieces. In fact this slice has been out of any contact with water for several years now.
    Looking more like fossil Dinosaur bone, the cellular character of the wood has resulted in a slab showing hundreds of individual "cells," each adding its' colorful flash to the mix. The most desirable color combination in Black Opal is red fire against a black background. This is true for Australian Black Opal and is the case with Virgin Valley material. The predominant hue of the "fire" exhibited by the piece, is pure red with just enough other colors to round out the spectral palette. As mentioned before, there were six slices fashioned from the eight pound chunk of fossil wood - this is the last one to be offered to the public. See it in person if you can - watch the myriad flashes of color move over the piece. Let its beauty captivate you.
    Overall Measurements: 7.63 x 4.5 x 0.25 inches (19.37 x 11.43 x 0.64 cm)
    Offered at no reserve.

    Provenance: Ex. Peacock Ranch Collection


    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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    28th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,946

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