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Opal is a mineraloid gel which is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock. Opal is formed from fossil matter from shells, bones and wood caught in cavities and cracks in near-surface volcanic rock. It is formed in or near volcanic ash by percolating water that dissolves silica and then precipitates opal.
Opals have always appealed to admirers for their play of color or their shifting colors under movement and different lights. Opals range in color from white to black. The most prized are black opals with an intense play of color. Also important in the color of play is the dominant color and the color that is most abundant. The most valued color is intense red, followed by orange, green and blue. Blue is the most common color shown. Play of color is measured when the stone is viewed face up. The brighter and more brilliant an opal the greater value it will have.

Opal is the birthstone for October and April and is also the 14th year wedding anniversary stone.

Please have a look at our wonderful rings with this gemstone

The name opal is derived from the Sanskrit word "Upala" which meant precious stone. This evolved into the Latin name for opals, "Opalus".

The oldest opal mine is thought to be in Czechoslovakia (formerly Hungary). The mine is thought to have worked since the 14th century, but some documentation suggests it may have been earlier.

Queen Victoria changed the outlook on opals when she wore an opal during her reign and often gave opals as gifts. Queen Victoria is credited with opals being a popular adornment with what is now considered the "Victorian Jewelry Period". Opals were a favorite stone for Rene Lalique during the Art Nouveau period. He designed opal jewelry for Sarah Bernhardt and others. Opals are popular in contemporary estate jewelry.

Opals have always evoked many feelings and superstitions. Romans considered opals a stone of love and hope. The opal talisman from the House of Normandy was considered to make the wearer invisible, thereby becoming known as the talisman for thieves and spies. Australian aborigines considered opal to be a devil item, being half-serpent and half-human.

With a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5, on the Mohr's Scale, opals are hard enough to wear, however; they generally are a softer stone so some caution should be exercised.

Opals should not be cleaned in ultrasonic cleaners, steamers, heat, jewelry cleaning solution or other chemicals. Opals jewelry should be removed before doing dishes, bathing or swimming. Immersion into water may cause stone discoloration or possible cracking.

Don't miss our amazing jewelry with this gemstone

Crystal system: mainly amorphous
Cleavage: None
Refractive Index 1.44 - 1.47
Specific Gravity: 1.98 - 2.20

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