Opal is worldwide known for its special and attractive optical phenomenon which is known as color play. Although some other gems are seen to exhibit this in some way or the other, the opal gem is the one in which the real experience is acquired. This phenomenon allows the possibility of viewing rainbow colors in the gemstone and these are totally unrelated to the actual color of the stone. This phenomenon occurs because of the structural patterns of the gem which results in the optical changes. Due to the patterns, the diffraction in the gems or the light interference produces the spectacular phenomenon called the color play.

opal color.png 300x139 Opal???s Color PlayOpal is the silica amorphous form which means that it is formed of very small microscopicopal stone 250x250 Opal???s Color Play spheres of this compound with some air and water trapped in the spaces that are between the spheres. The water amount in opals can be anywhere from three to twenty one percent whereas the precious ones are seen to just carrying a six to ten percent water content. This stone is sedimentary and at the time of its formation, the water oozing through the earth dissolves in the silica and makes them rich. When water enters the cavity, the silicates are deposited in the form of minute spheres.

A three dimensional grating is formed between the amorphous silicate spheres and the voids that are between them. This pattern is preciousopal 13315 Opal???s Color Playthe structure which causes the light diffraction and the interference from the interior or the gem surface. This properly helps the stone to feature a number of colors when the incident light angle changes. The interference is caused by the opening of the diffraction gratings which further split the light into several colors with the help of the whole structured layers. Light passes through and breaks into several colors which are also seen in the prism.

The color playrainbow color opal 232x300 Opal???s Color Play phenomenon causes the spectral colors to shift in patches in the gem interiors and also on the surface of the stone. The lights which are reflected from several silicon layers overlap slightly from the synced waves and help the other spectral colors to reinforce, remove or decrease the other colors. Because of this, the user gets to view a number of shifting colors that move in the form of trembling off and on effect. When the gem is turned around, the color patches also move. This effect is very similar to how bubbles cause rainbow colors but it is a lot more spectacular and dramatic in the opal form.

 

 


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