Rare Dendritic Blue Opal Cabochon
Lily Mine, Ica Department, Andes Mountains, Peru
An example of some of the finest material from the Lily mine in Peru which produced blue opal from 1993 to 2003. The opal was mined in underground workings, where it formed in association with calcite, chalcedony, quartz and chalcotrichite. Only 0.1% of the opal ever found there was of translucent to transparent gem grade such as the present example.
A beautiful and artistic piece of jewelry could be designed to feature this unique freeform cabochon of highly transparent blue opal. A secondary mineral seeping into the mix as the opal formed created the fascinating dendritic or "fern-like" patterns seen through the translucent material. The initial deposits of blue opal in the Andes created a great sensation when they reached the American market in the early 1990s...they have now been entirely worked. However, this particular piece, high-graded nearly two decades ago by an impassioned collector, has now reached the market.
Weighing approximately 51.8 carats and measuring 42.0 x 20.0 x 9.0mm