DescriptionVERY LARGE OPAL SPHERE
Opal Butte, Morrow County, Oregon, USA
Obvious jokes about bowling balls aside, rock spheres that get this large begin to enter a different category, one traditionally associated with the phrase "museum specimen." The size alone pushes it into a higher, more exotic level and the exotic appearance takes care of the rest. The overall impression conveyed being of a shiny alien planet with discrete 'continents', oceans and green areas; presumably forests. With regard to size, there just aren't that many people who can form and polish a sphere this size, assuming that suitable raw materials to form one are available. This monster was fashioned from mixed Opal and Rhyolite from a volcanic deposit creatively referred to by the locals as: Opal Butte. The Opal of the deposit falls into two categories: a small amount shows the fiery flashes of precious Opal. This goes into things sold by the carat. The rest is Opal that has the look of old-time nightclub air: a little hazy, kind of transparent, slightly blue, with glints and flashes coming from inclusions deep inside the Opal. The host rock for the Opal is a brown, banded volcanic rock common to the Western U.S. called Rhyolite. Fractures in the Rhyolite became the preferred home for the milky Opal, which enterprising locals mine for its suitability as lapidary objects, some of them ... big. Excellent condition. With custom wooden, ring base.
Overall measurements: 9.9 inches (25.1 cm) in diameter. Offered at no reserve.
Provenance: West Coast Mining [Hoppel # D1179]
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Estimate: $22,000 - $26,000.
Condition report available upon request.
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