Price is per 36-inch strand. Average largest chip measures about 12mm x 5mm x 4mm.
The name Opal could have came from many places. In Greek opallios, translates as color change, and to the ancient Romans ┐opalus┐, was a stone from several elements. Pliny, a Roman author, wrote that opal combines the sparkle of Almandine, the shining purple of Amethyst, the golden yellow of Topaz, and the deep blue of Sapphire.
Fine opals shine and sparkle in a continually changing play of colors called ┐opalising┐. Most opal has this play of colors except ┐Common Opal┐, a name give to all others, like Pink Opal. Because demand outstrips supply, fine opalizing opal is very very expensive, so is sold in individual beads for hundreds of US dollars each. Therefore, the type of opal common in necklaces, and for sale on this auction, is non-opalizing opal ┐ usually pink opal from Peru.
Due to 2 to 6% water, opals easily become brittle and if stored too dry or exposed to heat over a longer period of time, they will show fissures and the play of color will fade. Therefore, Opal jewelry should be worn as often as possible, for then the gemstone will receive the needed humidity from the air and from the skin of its wearer. In earlier days opal┐s sensitive surface was oiled, but today they are sealed with clear resin.