precious opal
Opal O"pal, n. [L. opalus: cf. Gr. ?, Skr. upala a rock, stone, precious stone: cf. F. opale.] (Min.) A mineral consisting, like quartz, of silica, but inferior to quartz in hardness and specific gravity. [1913 Webster]

Note: The {precious opal} presents a peculiar play of colors of delicate tints, and is highly esteemed as a gem. One kind, with a varied play of color in a reddish ground, is called the {harlequin opal}. The {fire opal} has colors like the red and yellow of flame. {Common opal} has a milky appearance. {Menilite} is a brown impure variety, occurring in concretions at Menilmontant, near Paris. Other varieties are {cacholong}, {girasol}, {hyalite}, and {geyserite}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • precious opal — any opal having a play of colors, used as a gemstone. Also called noble opal. * * * …   Universalium

  • precious opal — any opal having a play of colors, used as a gemstone. Also called noble opal …   Useful english dictionary

  • Opal — O pal, n. [L. opalus: cf. Gr. ?, Skr. upala a rock, stone, precious stone: cf. F. opale.] (Min.) A mineral consisting, like quartz, of silica, but inferior to quartz in hardness and specific gravity. [1913 Webster] Note: The {precious opal}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opal — For other uses, see Opal (disambiguation). Opal An opal bracelet. The stone size is 18 by 15 mm (0.7 by 0.6 in) General Category …   Wikipedia

  • opal — /oh peuhl/, n. 1. a mineral, an amorphous form of silica, SiO2 with some water of hydration, found in many varieties and colors, including a form that is milky white. 2. an iridescent variety of this that is used as a gem. 3. a gem of this. [1350 …   Universalium

  • Opal — /oh peuhl/, n. a female given name. * * * A hydrated, noncrystalline silica mineral used extensively as a gemstone. Its chemical composition is similar to that of quartz but generally with a variable water content. Pure opal is colourless, but… …   Universalium

  • OPAL —    a variety of quartz, of which the finest kind, precious opal, is translucent, with blue or yellow tint, and when polished with a convex surface shows an admirable play of colours; it is found chiefly at Cerwenitza, Austria …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Precious coral — Corallium rubrum Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Opal — f English: one of the rarer female names taken in the late 19th century from vocabulary words for gemstones. This is ultimately derived (via Latin and Greek) from an Indian language (cf. Sanskrit upala precious stone) …   First names dictionary

  • opal — (n.) 1590s, from Fr. opalle, from L. opalus (Pliny), supposedly from Gk. opallios, possibly ultimately from Skt. upala s gem, precious stone. Used in Middle English in Latin form (late 14c.) …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”