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Rare Opal Contains Trapped Insect

Dec 31, 2018 7:12 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... This story has legs: A US jeweler has obtained a colorful opal featuring an encased insect.

The rare stone originates from Java, Indonesia, and features a well-preserved invertebrate, apparently with its mouth still open. Looking closely, one can even see thin fibers extending from the limbs, noted Philadelphia-based gemologist Brian Berger, who recently acquired the gem.

The phenomenon is much more common in amber, as insects are attracted to tree sap, and become stuck when the fluid hardens into a solid resin. Berger’s stone may have originally been amber that later turned into opal, he posited.

“As conditions changed for the amber specimen, it is likely the amber opalized, preserving the inclusion — in this case, an insect,” he told Rapaport News.

The Gemological Institute of America said it was the only opal of its kind it had ever examined, Berger claimed.

“This is truly an exciting and extremely rare…find,” he said.

Image: The opal with encased insect. (Brian Berger/Timberbrook Capital).
Tags: amber, Brian Berger, Gemological Institute of America, GIA, Insect, opal, Philadelphia, Rapaport News
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