Opal Stone: Top 10 Exciting Facts
Opal stone is possibly the most beautiful, diverse, and unique birthstone. As compared to various gems, Opal does not have a fixed crystalline shape; it is amorphous. It takes many colors and shapes, and it is not predictable in that way.
Opal stones are attractive, and there are several myths about these stones that you need to be aware of. Let us talk about some interesting facts that make opal stone more beautiful.
Opal stones are the muse of writers, artists, and other creatives since the start of the time. The origin of the Opal’s name is arguable; however, according to the historians, in ancient Rome, Opal was renowned as ‘opalus,’ which means a ‘precious stone.’
Was the Opal the ancient Romans revered the same as the one that we love today? No one is sure. But the proof of opal artefacts dated as far back as 4000 B.C.
Opal Stone Development
Opal is in the hearts and minds of people for thousands or hundreds of years; the opal stone takes ample time to form.
While the real cause of opal formation is not known, a lot of people consider that silica was carried down into the crevices of rocks due to heavy rains. When the water got evaporated, the silica gel was left, then it was hardened over the time of what people believe is millions of years. It did not occur overnight! It requires approximately 5 million years to harden just one centimetre of Opal.
This theory seems right as Opal consists of water. The water content of the Opal can be up to 20% but is in a range of 5% usually.
Origin and Types of Opal Stone
It is predicted that Australis is the source of 95% of the opal stones in the world. Other states that mine opals include Mexico, Brazil, and Ethiopia.
There are two kinds of opals: common and precious. The precious opal stones show a play of color or have vibrant color. Play of color is a term used to explain the unique multi-dimensional display of color that some of the precious opals have.
Color of Opal Stones
There are two primary colors of precious opals, their play of color and their background color. The Opal’s background color is made by the impurities present in the silica. In the family of precious opals, there are numerous different opal varieties. Everyone has their own character traits and color combinations. Opals are found purple, blue, green, red, yellow, or orange. The black Opal is considered the rarest gem, although opals have a variety of dark colors.
The other colors are made by the way silica forms together. Silica consists of a bunch of small spheres adhering to one another. During fusion, the tiny gaps are made between them that let the light diffract. This type of diffraction makes a magnitude of different color combinations and shapes.
Price of Opals
As compared to different gemstones available, opal stones are present in their natural state. But some necessary treatments, including smoke treatment and fracture filling, which is used to darken a stone.
Opals having the most diverse and intense play of color are usually the most prized and expensive. The boulder opal is the only one having the display of the entire rainbow in one stone. If you can count indigo, it has a minimum of seven colors.
Doublets and Synthetic Opals
Since the 1970s, opals have been made. The natural opals are sliced and stick to onyx and other gemstone material to offer an illusion of a dark, big, and most expensive opal. The doublets are more liable to damage if they are flooded in liquids for extended periods.
Hardness of Opals
On Mohs Scale of Hardness, opals rank 5.5 – 6.6 on a scale of 1 – 10. As compared to other birthstones, opals are undoubtedly more fragile, so you should be careful while handling them. But they can hold up well with proper care.
From October 1912, Opal became the official birthstone. At that time, the National Association of Jewelers sat together to conclude the longtime debate as to which gem represented each month. Since the 15th century, Opal is the clear winner of the October month.
Similar to a birthstone for each month, there are several Zodiac birthstones as well. The birthstones that apply to the Zodiac signs are not as definite as the monthly birthstone cemented by the National Jewelers Association.
Numerous cultures along history have linked different gems with astrological signs. The stone aligning with your sign significantly depends on which culture or list you need to follow. Usually, the Opal has been associated with the sign of Libra and Scorpio, aligning with October.
Besides, Opal is the official gem gift alternative for the 14th wedding anniversary.
Numerous people consider that having an opal if it is not your birthstone or purchasing an opal is back luck. There are innumerable stories of opals destroyed or getting lost and the owner accusing the occurrence of this superstition. A reason for this superstition is because of the fact that Opal is more liable to damage as it is a soft stone.
Fossil wood or petrified wood has the same structure as the Opal: having amorphous silica. But all the petrified wood is not considered Opal. Sometimes, the fossil is overtaken with the opal-like sheen or replaced with the Opal completely.
These are some of the interesting facts about opal stone. I hope you like them. Is it so? If yes, let us know in the comment section. And, don’t forget to visit our website for more articles.