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Opal



Name:

Known as "The Gem of the Gods," Opal has always had a mystical significance. During the time of Queen Elizabeth, Opal was written "ophal." Some believe the name was derived from the word "opthalmos" meaning, "the eye."

Description:

There are 4 main types of natural opals, namely Black Opal, Boulder Opal, White Opal and Crystal Opal. The rarest and therefore the most expensive is Black Opal. The body of the stone can range from a dark grey to an almost black and these dark colouring allows the fire of the opal to flash in an exceptional way.

Gemmological Characteristics:

Amorphous silica, SiO2 + nH2O, is a solidified jelly so it has no crystal structure and contains up to 13% water. The most common for of opal is the white opal. It is formed in almost the exact same conditions as black opal but the carbon and iron oxide trace elements that give the black opal its darker colour were not present. White Opals are the least expensive of all opals and are often used in rings and pendants of all types.

Crystal Opals are any type of opal in which the body of the stone is transparent. The colours range mainly from yellow or oranges but can be other colours. The stones transparency allows the flash of fire to show through making this gemstone not quiet as valuable as black open but on a level with boulder opal.

Holistic Properties:

If you want to increase the power of your working, adding an opal to the work can do just that because it is a natural amplifier. In magickal workings you can also charge any opal for any type of work making it a great stone to keep around in case you happen to not have a specific stone that you need.
Sourcing:

About 95% of the worlds Opals are mined in Australia where it is the national gemstone. Boulder Opals are found only in Queensland, Australia where they form in the cracks ironstone boulders. This means they are exceptionally thin stones and are usually cut with a layer of the boulder still attached to give the stone the strength to be usable in jewellery. Most of the remaining opal is mined in the United States, Mexico and Slovakia.

History:

The most striking quality of opal is its ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light. The interplay of different wavelengths of light gives opal its unique visual appeal, and makes it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world at all times. 
Precious opal has been a gemstone since Roman times. Opal was included among the noble gems and was ranked second only to emerald by the Romans. A beautiful opal called the orphanus was set in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. It was described "as though pure white snow flashed and sparked with the colour of bright ruddy wine, and was overcome by this radiance." Opals are also set in the crown jewels of France.

Most opal is more than 60 million years old and generally dates back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Most of the precious opal marketed in ancient times was obtained from occurrences in what is now Slovakia.

Zodiac & Birthstone:

Month: October
Zodiac: Libra