Topgems Cabochons
Fine designer cabochons of ocean jasper, marra mamba tiger eye, hawks eye, Biggs and Blue Mountain jasper, Mookaite, Fire Agate, Fire Obsidian and others.
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This page was last updated: July 21, 2005
Honduras Opal types information
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Black matrix opal
Andesite Opal
andesite opal cab
Gems are generally cut with adhering andesite rock.  This type opal is more stable than many others and the matrix makes for some very interesting picture cabs. 
The Tablon mine is best known for its production of black matrix opal. This type opal is not dyed or sugar/acid treated to make it black. Sometimes it is sealed with a hot resin bath after the the cabs are finished then scrubbed and cleaned.  This helps to seal the stone and prevent the cab from absorbing other substances such as skin oil, hand lotion and others.

  The Tablon mine outside of the town of Erandique.Honduras and is the largest mine in the country as well as the oldest known opal mine in the world.

  The color bands are within the vesicular black basalt  and the opal is congealed within the rock itself. It cuts very stable stones as far as crazing or cracking. You will usually find very small pits in stones cut from this type opal because of  it's slightly porous structure. As you can see in the cab pictured it makes some very nice stones