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Our Mine
Hidden in the isolated northwest corner of Nevada, lies Virgin Valley. Despite it's arid and desolate location, rockhounds and miners from all over the world travel here to search for the beautiful black opal for which this area is famous. These spectacular opals are prized by collectors, lapidary enthusiasts and jewelers worldwide. This area is famous for the rare and fabulous black opal, known to occur in only two places on Earth; the Virgin Valley, Nevada and New South Wales, Australia. These wonderful specimens flash and gleam with a rainbow of brilliant reds, blues, greens and purples in a jet black matrix.  Prime examples can be worth more per carat than even diamonds. Also found in the area is opal in a variety of colors and types from the famous black opal to the amber colored honey opal, the clear jelly or crystal opal, and the pure white matrix of the lechosos or milk opal, all of which can contain the stunning play of color which signifies the 'precious opal.' Most of the opal is in the form of replaced wood and limb casts. Sometimes retaining the characteristics of the ancient wood in incredible detail. It is  theorized that this area was once the location of a large lake surrounded by lush forests of sequoia, spruce, hemlock, birch, cedar, larch and chestnut.  This prehistoric forest was devastated by a series of volcanic eruptions which buried the forests, lakes and accumulated driftwood with layer upon layer of ash.  Over millions of years, the silica-rich water of the areas hot springs seeped through the layers of ash and slowly replaced the buried wood with hydrated silica molecules. Under the right conditions precious opal may form. 

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