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opal glass

Opal definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

O'PAL, n. [L. opalus or opalum.] A stone of the silicious genus, and of several varieties. It is one of the most beautiful of this genus, by reason of its changeableness of color by reflection and refraction. Kirwan distributes opals into four families, opal, semi-opal, pitch stone [pechstein,] and ligniform. Jameson divides opal into seven kinds.
Opal is a subspecies of indivisible quartz.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color; some varieties are used as gemstones

Merriam Webster's

noun Etymology: Latin opalus, from Greek opallios, ultimately from Sanskrit upala stone, jewel Date: circa 1586 a usually amorphous mineral that is a hydrated silica softer and less dense than quartz and typically with definite and often marked iridescent play of colors and is used especially as a gem

Britannica Concise

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 colorless, but impurities generally give it various dull colors ranging from yellow and red to black. Black opal is especially rare and valuable. White opal and fire opal, characterized by yellow, orange, or red color, are much more common. Various forms of common opal are widely used as abrasives, insulation material, and ceramic ingredients. Opal is most abundant in volcanic rocks, especially in areas of hot-spring activity. The finest gem opals have been found in Australia; other areas that yield gem material include Japan, Mexico, Honduras, India, New Zealand, and the U.S.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. a quartzlike form of hydrated silica, usu. white or colourless and sometimes showing changing colours, often used as a gemstone. Phrases and idioms: opal glass a semi-translucent white glass. Etymology: F opale or L opalus prob. ult. f. Skr. upalas precious stone

Webster's 1913 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. 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.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(opals) An opal is a precious stone. Opals are colourless or white, but other colours are reflected in them. N-VAR

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