Common opal, sometimes known as “potch”, is a variety of opal that does not exhibit the flash and play-of-color seen in precious opal. However, common opal occurs in a variety of beautiful colors that includes a range of wonderful pastels including yellow, blue and pink.
Most deposits of common opal are of limited geographic extent and volume. At the present time, none are large enough for highly mechanized mining. Many are so small that a team or a family of just a few people can work them out in a few field seasons or less (Photo credit outbackmining.com)
Pink Opal is found in a number of places in the world, including Peru and the United States, however the Pink Opal we use in our pieces comes from a locality in Western Australia called Mooka Station (which is why this stone is also called Mookaite). A great inland sea once existed in this area, where microscopic creatures known as radiolarians thrived. As the sea began to evaporate over many centuries, these plankton-like animals opalized and absorbed various minerals from the retreating waters, which were very rich in Iron oxide and gave the stone its pink color.