One cannot deny the beauty of the Mexican Fire Opal also known as the Mexican Diamond. The Aztec’s called them Vitzitziltecpa which means hummingbird stone and rightly so, the bright iridescent colors of the bird’s plumage mimicked the colors of the brilliant fire opal. According to historians, Aztec’s as early as in the 1200’s used the Fire Opal as embellishments for ornaments as well as ceremonial pieces.
Fire Opals are found in the flow of volcanic rock and are still being mined today in many areas of Mexico. One of the famous and richest Opal mines is in the region of Magdalena, Jalisco, just 49 km NW of Guadalajara, where some of the most important stones in the history of opals have been discovered. The rarest, and thus the most highly desired, is the intense red-orange fire opal.
In your search for your precious opals, know that they are given many different names but they all fall into 3 basic categories:
1. Fire Opal is a variety of opal that has a bright yellow, bright orange or bright red background color. They receive their name from their fiery background color.
2. Precious Opal is a name given to any opal that exhibits “play-of-color”, a flashing display of spectral colors when the opal is moved under a light source.
3. Common Opal is a variety of opal that does not display “play-of-color” and is usually opaque to translucent.
The name “fire opal” is all about the body color – fiery yellow, fiery orange or fiery red. It’s not about “flash”.
One must be very careful when purchasing any opal…there are many fake, man-made stones that can be passed as an Opal to the naked eye…but if you are the adventurous type and really interested in purchasing an Opal for your private collection then why not go to Magdalena and unearth a precious opal of your own, what a story to tell your friends!
Private tours of Magdalena and Opal mine.
Tour guide – Inaki Oyarvide Ibarrola – Biologist
Phone 52 1 33 1020 2776
Available on Facebook and Whatsapp
Lake Chapala Real Estate, owners, employees, agents nor the writer of this article have any affiliation with Inaki Oyarvide Ibarrola and cannot be held responsible for the tour of Magdalena or the transportation to and from said tour.