Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ancient Bug in Opal a mystery

The Gemological Institute of America has studied the Indonesian specimen in detail, and issued a report and certificate authenticating it. According to the report, it's a real (not synthetic), unaltered, untampered precious opal, with a genuine insect inclusion. It's not a hoax.

So how did it come about? Current theories about opal formation require water with a high silica content, and cracks and cavities.
It may have formed from opalized wood, which is plentiful in Indonesia. Since wood is the source of amber, perhaps the insect-in-amber had been nestled inside a crevice in a piece of wood before opalization took place. Amber takes millions of years to turn to stone. (much amber is actually copal, the mid-point between resin and amber)

Opal also takes a long time to form and solidify, so the unidentified insect could be very old.