Honeycomb Opal: It’s not hard to see why so many people fall in love with Opals. This breathtakingly unique “Honey Comb” Opal is a pleasure to just look at. Exhibiting “multi-fire” patterns, it’s certainly something every gem hound would want under their Christmas tree this year.
When most people think of Opal, they imagine a white opaque gem with some colour flashes across its surface. Those more familiar with Opals may think of other colours such as black Opal or Fire Opals. However, few people are familiar with the rare variety known as a “Honeycomb Opal”.
The stones derive their name from an unusual natural pattern they exhibit resembling a honeycomb. This pattern displays cells of colour across the surface of the gem. These cells have visible depth to them making them further resemble a piece of honeycomb captured within the gem. Often, a cross-section of the cell columns can be viewed from the side of the gem if the cell columns have been cut into when cutting and polishing the gem.
Each of the cells in a honeycomb Opal usually displays colour. The cell colours can be the same colour in every cell or the Opal can display a variety of coloured cells in every colour of the rainbow that looks amazing when the gem is moved.
Although these rare Opals resemble a honeycomb, the cells can be irregular in shape and are not perfect hexagons; most honeycomb Opals display rounded colour cells in irregular shapes that resemble a cluster of bubbles.
Honeycomb Opals are usually a variety of Ethiopian Opal; the honeycomb pattern and other rare patterns are sometimes found in Australian Opals however if you see a honeycomb Opal it is far more likely to be an Ethiopian Welo Opal.