Mexican Opal 12-20mm faceted beads (ETB00694)
Mexican Opal - Cantera opal
These stones are comparable to Australian boulder opal and its origins are similar. These are found as small pockets or seams/veins of opal associated with rhyolite matrix, the host rock, which is softer than the opal. The word cantera refers to the host matrix. Like boulder opal and koroit opal, these stones were not initially as prized as the pure cuts but cutters and buyers of both koroit/boulder and cantera opal came to appreciate the attractiveness of the matrix cut and polished with the opal. Mexican opal often requires a dark background to bring out the colour play and the cantera although in some cases quite light, provides a natural backing to the opal, call it a natural doublet-like effect if you will. The most stunning cantera opals have a pool or "eye" of central opal within the matrix.
Dimensions of beads:
Size: 12 x 21 x 10 - 20 x 25 x 11 mm
- this is only an approximate, the size varies slightly.
Length: 16 inches