Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition. Garnet species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless, with reddish shades most common. The mineral group shows a range of hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6.5-7.5.
Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the black opals are the rarest, whereas white and greens are the most common.