The Sanskrit term upala, which means “jewel,” and its Greek derivation opállios, which means “to perceive a shift in hue,” are said to be the origins of the name opal. It is categorized as a mineraloid because of its amorphous nature, as opposed to crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals.
Opals are made of silica spheres that are spaced apart by water and come in a variety of colors. It is a hydrated amorphous form of silica, with a water content that typically ranges between 6 and 10% but can reach up to 21% by weight.
There are two categories for opal namely, precious and common. While common opal lacks play of color, precious opal does. White light is divided into the spectrum’s colors by the spheres’ diffractive action. Opalescence is the name for this phenomenon. All colors can be seen on larger spheres, but only blues and greens on smaller ones.
Opals have been mined and valued by humanity for countless years. An extensive amount of legend has been influenced by these stunning treasures. Opal gemstones have actually had dual reputations as the luckiest and unluckiest stones you can wear. For a very long time, this has been an absurd belief throughout the entire world.
Where is it mined?
Opal is a gemstone that is found in many places, including Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and the western United States. However, Australia produces 95% of the precious opal in the world, and it is their recognized national gemstone.
Opal was initially mined for profit in 1875 at Listowel Downs in Queensland and later at White Cliffs in New South Wales. Opal was historically most frequently mined by two or more people by burrowing and sinking shafts, then using picks and shovels to follow the opal’s “level.”
Even though this business is highly mechanized nowadays, it is still controlled by people who operate tiny mining claims or leases in accordance with various state mining laws. Unlike South Australia, where both open cut and underground mining are legal, NSW only permits underground mining.
Opal deposits can be found in very old weathered profiles that have formed in late Oligocene and early Miocene sedimentary rocks. Precious opal outcrops are quite uncommon since these profiles are typically hidden behind surficial sand and soil cover.
In East Africa, opal artifacts dating back several thousand years have been found. Opals were prized by the Romans as early as 250 BC; they are believed to have originated from mines in Eastern Europe, which was the opal-producing region of the time.
Opals from Australia were first discovered in the late 1800s, but they were not well received by European markets. However, as their commercial worth rose in the 1900s, Australia began to replace other countries as the world’s biggest opal producer in 1932, and it continues to be so today.
Opal in Jewelry
Opal can be utilized in many different ways, including the creation of jewelry. Opal jewelry is exquisite and one-of-a-kind in terms of color and elegance. It is available in a wide variety of styles and forms.
Opal may be fashioned to create jewelry that is both masculine and feminine, modern or vintage with equal simplicity and flexibility because each piece is individual and unique. Opals are more uncommon than diamonds and more valuable than excellent jade.
Australian Opal is a fantastic investment because demand for this gemstone is rising. Ring, pendants, earrings and even watches are available. The beautiful crystal appearance of crystal opals highlights the gold and makes them ideal for necklaces since they can be worn every day with a range of colors and designs.
Opals have been the preferred and most expensive engagement ring for ages. Hope and purity were represented by these gems. Opal may be worn daily because it is very adaptable. You can take a shower and wash your dishes in it. Just keep in mind that if a gemstone comes into touch with a hard surface, it will chip or crack.
Let’s look at what opal gemstones can provide us since that we’re all aware that gemstones have various metaphysical properties. The opal stone has a great sense of balance, amplification, and high vibrational energy.
It can also bring about bright equilibrium, regulation, newfound hope, and good karma. It is also lucky charm that enhances the wearer’s ability to draw incredible things. It is said that precious opal’s fiery display can inspire creativity.
Opal is said by some to help control and balance sexual impulses. Opal has traditionally been associated with hope, purity, and honesty in European traditions. This gem can strengthen the immune system and treat infections by bringing down fevers.
The opal stone can be a reliable companion for those who have been battling a long-term sickness or chronic disease as they make their way back to optimal health. It works well to improve the health of the hair and nails, to rejuvenate skin cells, and to make the eyes appear brighter.
Facts about Opals
- Opals are primarily found in Australia.
- Opal is the national gemstone of Australia.
- The word “opal” is Latin in origin.
- The official birthstone for October is the opal, which is customarily given as a 14th wedding anniversary present.
- Opals come in a wide range of hues.
- On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, opals range from 5.5 to 6.5 out of 10. They are extremely delicate stones that need a little additional care to keep them intact.
- Opal is not a crystal; it is classified as a mineral.
- The most uncommon variety of the stone is the black opal.
The value of an opal stone depends on a number of things. Type, brilliance, origin, color, patterns, fire, rarity, and transparency are important factors that contribute to the price range of this magnificent gemstone. The price per carat might range from $1 to $135 or more. The “Fire of Australia,” the rarest uncut opal, is worth $675,000.
Wrapping it up
You can’t really help but be captivated to the glistening fire and flashing light of this precious gemstone. Opal is a beneficial gemstone, especially for those who require illumination and direction. It can be challenging to stay on our feet in the face of strong emotions, shifting circumstances, and many forms of chaos. However, Opal offers support and sends its energy to keep us composed and calm.
Opal stands out among gems because it combines a variety of extremely bright micro rainbow iridescent qualities. You and everyone else who wants calm and tranquility will undoubtedly benefit from it. Don’t hesitate to go and get yourself one.