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The Genie

Click for a large but detailed image.

This is a natural image of a Persian prince or genie, exactly in the style of the great Persian miniaturists in the "Shah Nameh". The face of the genie is so perfect, that it is shocking. Starting at the black peaked turban with a tall feathered panache, it is easy to see that he is sitting in a classic Persian cross-legged style, facing right, with arms crossed in his lap.

He is wearing a peaked turban and brocaded robes, and is sitting on a funnel shaped cloud of lighter grey which appears to be coming out of a bejeweled object at the bottom of the stone. There are additional pictures below which show the image in different perspectives.

It was discovered by removing the sand layer of the original rough. No effort was made to manipulate the image in any way. This occurs on the reverse side of 35 carats of Mintabie semi-black crystal opal, the front appears below.

Click for a large but detailed image.

This is a dark field photo of the front of the stone. It is not possible to take a picture of the full-sheet of orange-green fire that covers the face. There are flowing features in the fire, and depending on the juxtaposition of the light, the face changes from a deep orange-red to a lime-green.

The edges show the multiple layers which are evidence of distinctively different formation periods. One layer of hundreds of flowing red layers, flawlessly set against a single thick layer of brilliant faceted green-orange straw fire, offset by 90 degrees.

The next layers are composed of relatively thick and thin opal 'potch' of varying shades of white to black. The image of the genie is formed by the interaction of these layers.


This is a stylization of the genie image made by playing with a photo digitally. It is intended to show the dark objects in the genie image. All of the rest of the genie image is a light green crystal fire seen in the photo at the top of the page.

Even more remarkable is that the genie is visible 'contra-luz'. By holding the stone near the edge of a lamp, looking through the stone from the front or rear, the genie is perfectly clear, especially the face.


The next photo is a poor close-up of the face and head area. If you mentally reduce its size, you can see that the white face is clearly delineated by black potch lines which make the forehead, nose, mouth, chin, neckline, AND his right eye is a dot of black potch.


Please understand that this is not a stretch of the imagination. The image is even more startling under magnification. The lines are very sharp.

Below are images of Persian miniatures from the 15th century. from them you can easily see the uncanny similarity between the opal and the art.



This shows that the turban can sometimes be a tall feathered sheaf.


This shows the typical images in the brocade which look remarkably like those in the opal.

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Copyright 2012, Australian Opal Mines. All rights reserved.

Last modified: June 8, 2012
Murray Willis