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Photo: Richard Lyons courtesy South Australian Museum

Say hello to the 'Virgin Rainbow,' the finest opal ever unearthed

Meet the "Virgin Rainbow" – perhaps the finest and certainly the most expensive opal on record.

It literally glows in the dark. In fact, as it gets darker around the opal, the opal appears ever more vibrant.

The stone's vivid and sparkly nature is in stark contrast to Coober Pedy, Australia where it was discovered.

The area is a hot, more-or-less desolate and barren desert laid waste by millions of years of heat, heat and more heat. The mining community was built underground and looks more like Tatooine than Earth.




But, it used to be the aqueous home to untold numbers of marine dinosaurs, including the modern-day cuttlefish's ancestor—inside whose skeleton the virgin rainbow was formed and found.

Unearthed by a lone miner working an old mineshaft with an excavator in 2003, the virgin rainbow is comprised of water and silica gel which ran together millions of years ago before hardening into its present shape.

Photo: Richard Lyons courtesy South Australian Museum
It's valued at over $1 million and was purchased by the South Australian Museum in Adelaide which will be presenting it as part of their "Opals" exhibit to celebrate 100 years of gemstone mining in the region.

Provided by AOL

Post a Comment

slatvatflatcat said... November 23, 2016 at 7:34 AM

1) No, it does *not* "literally glow in the dark"...if it did, you'd be able to see it without any lights on whatsoever, and you can't. It is merely highly reflective and iridescent (you my want to look up that word).

2) that photo is 'shopped to increase the color intensity.

Michael Rawlins said... November 24, 2016 at 12:18 AM

Personal foul: Improper use of "literally".

 
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