DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Opalised fossil. Cut and polished surface of fossilised wood where gaps in the rock have been filled with opal. Opal is a form of hydrous silicon oxide deposited from silica-bearing waters in voids and fissures of certain rock formations. Water molecules trapped in the silica account for the milky luster and brilliant pastel colours that make opal such a desirable precious stone.
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