Gem FAQS > Opal > Types of Opals

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Opals are described in several ways, by common name, by their body color, by the play of color and/or their origin.

The body color refers to the color of the background.

      - Black opals have a dark body color.

      - Fire opals have a yellow to orange color.

      - Crystal opals are translucent to transparent.


The play of color refers to the way the colors appear was the opal moves.

      - Pinfire opal has tiny little sparkles of color.

      - Harlequin opal has broad splotches of different colors.

      - Flame Opal has a red sweeping color.

Last updated on March 15, 2009 by Francis M Lynch