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*:

    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. 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 Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,617

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