LA TRINIDAD, Mexico — Héctor Montes has been around opals his entire life and has held a concession from the Mexican government to mine the stone for 40 years. But at 76, he said he could still feel a rush of adrenaline when he picked up a raw opal that had an especially promising glint — he never knows what it will look like in its finished state.
“There are no two alike,” he said of the stones he shapes and polishes. His workshop, strewn with rocks and lapidary equipment, is part of the family opal business that he runs in this community of about 2,500 residents in the central
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