There is some confusion about the term Fire Opal. When I was a child growing up in a family that did not work in the Gemstone and Jewelry Trade, my family called Opals with Play of Color Fire Opals. I learned the difference when I started to work in the Gemstone and Jewelry Trade. Many people who do not work in the Gemstone and Jewelry Trade also call Precious Opals with Play of Color-Fire Opals.

When we use the term Fire Opals, it refers to the background colors of Orange, Yellow and Red (the colors of fire) of Opals found primarily in Mexico and other places in North America. To make it even more confusing, some Fire Opals do have Play of Color but most do not. Some experts separate Opals into Precious (play of color) and Common (no play of color) and Fire Opals can be in either category. Other experts propose three Opal categories, Precious, Fire and Common, as these experts don’t consider Fire Opals Common. We usually have jewelry in our store made with the bright orange Fire Opals from Mexico and the yellow ones from Oregon.