Although most the people in gem and jewelry industry priced opals base on their degree of play-of-color intensity. However, there's an exception to the very unique Paraiba blue colored of opals. which originates from The Great Mountain of The Peruvian Andes. So it is in facts, a national gemstone of Peru. The remarkable greenish blue coloration of this opal is the most importtant factor that set its value in the market. Peruvian Blue Opals were found around 1983 in the copper mining exploration area which is located in southern of Lima Acari in the Arequipa Division, and have since experienced ever increasing popularity among opal fans.
The color of the Blue Opals ranges from intense neon blue to mint green with all shades in between and is sometimes also accompanied by brown and black-brown moss like inclusion that really make the piece one of a kind.
The predominantly green to yellowish green color variety is also called Chrysopal. Vibrant blue Peruvian
Source of Paraiba blue opal
Natural Peruvian Blue Opal is now very rare and only mined in the Andes mountains near San Patricio, Peru where it is honored as the national stone of Peru. Once you see a Peruvian Blue you will never forget its gorgeous medium tone blue, typically very translucent and dreamily reminiscent of the Caribbean Sea. Like turquoise, and Paraiba tourmaline, fine traces of copper mineral that trapped in its crystal structure are the caused for the color effect in the Peruvian Blue Opal. The rough of these Peruvian opals are found in approximately 1 to 5 cm thick veins that run between other sedimentary rocks. And only handfuls of facet grade materials are found.
The Paraiba blue opal is usually cut in one of three ways;
Clear cabochon cut - to display that classic neon blue shade,
Scenic - to demonstrate different levels of coloration or
Dendritic - to emphasize the dark fern like mineral inclusion that frequently discovered in the rough.
Spotting a Fraud
The current lack of blue Opal due mainly to the growing demand of Indian and Chinese processor that attempting to complete their product pipeline to the US and European countries where the blue opal is very popular. Because the supply of natural Peruvian blue Opal is so limited, greedy gem dealers have been mis-representing colored Chalcedony (Agate) in its place. While the alternative of colored Chalcedony is not as expensive as the original ones.