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UTAH LACE OPAL STORY BOOK
What is Utah Lace Opal?
Utah lace Opal was discovered in 2008 by Larry and Joyce Wright. This is a young rock and was formed only 2000 years ago over about 300 years of time. A geyser type formation came from a silica center splinter. This formed under an existing opal layer pushing through the sandy soil forming gas pockets, allowing thermal fluids to discharge maturation from opal C to mature quartz. It went from one silica phase to another, forming Opal-C to Opal-CT, and Opal-CT to quartz and is seen in various stages and is still maturing. Vugs with Botryoidal Hyalite Opal clusters forming stalactites and stalagmites give Lacey layers to the formation. The layers colors came from various acids and heat drawing out different minerals into the liquid silica. The white color is opalized Silica, the blue green is Aluminum, the magenta and pink Opal is from the fusion of Manganese, orange is from the Iron, gray is from Magnesium, and the Titanium forms the yellow. This is a unique formation and we know of no other combination of minerals and creation of patterns. The seam is very small and we are limited to what we can dig and carry out as to the size of the pieces. The color change and pattern thickness of the seam changes about every square foot. The claim is about 12 miles from civilization and we dig by hand. The Utah Mineral Mountains have produced a great number of precious stones and we have been blessed by the giving of some of these precious stones to our care.
How was Utah Lace Opal discovered?
In 2006 Larry was invited to join a rock club, his experience with rock at that time was burying and stacking basalt rock which was prevalent all over the ranch. Joyce in turn, followed Larry all over the ranch, behind the tractor trying to save the inherited rocks that were left by the previous owners. At age 60 this new awakening became somewhat of an obsession, learning more about creation and how God put things together he started picking up rocks, all kinds of rocks, but mostly leaverites. Larry travels all over Western Colorado and Eastern Utah with his business and was able to stop and explore in his travels. When Larry and Joyce made trips to see family in California they always followed the rock books to find locations where rock hunting was popular. In 2008 they were on their way to California following the trails in a Utah rock book and discovered the location for common Opal near Milford Utah, this location was leased to a rock club which had posted no trespassing signs. They left that location in search of obsidian in the nearby hills and discovered turned over trees from a fire about five years previous. Digging through the roots of these trees, they found a hard foamy rock which they took home to clean up and add to their collection. Three more trips were made to that area and each one produced better specimens than the last. At that time they had no idea what a claim consisted of, or what type of rock they were picking up. After hours of Larry searching the web and studying the claim procedures, they filed a claim. They took their samples to a lab in Grand Junction, Colorado to have them analyzed. After finding the results of the analysis; the minerals in the Opal formations, they named it Utah Lace Opal.
What products are available?
Because of the limited production and only one small silica center splinter seam which goes down to a depth of about 70 feet and is dug by hand. This type of Opal formation has not been found anywhere else in the world. They have very limited amount of rough Opal for sale or trade. Aspen Rock and Gem is the exclusive distributor for Utah lace Opal. Their products range from rough, slabs, cabs, polished rough, polished slabs and wrapped cabs. Their finished products are available online, and in higher end jewelry stores and rock shops. Aspen Rock and Gem is a subsidiary of Wright Distributing Inc. which is Larry and Joyce Wright. Larry is the rocker and Joyce is the wrapper. The finished stones have been stabilized and polished. When mounted, they use sterling silver on the cabs, old Aspen, deer antlers or 200-year-old black walnut and reclaimed wood for the base of the polished rough and slabs.