October babies, let your voices be heard! This is your month, and is definitely your time to shine. As you probably already know, the gemstone Opal (and Pink Tourmaline, for that matter) is associated with your birth month, but do you have any idea how the two were linked together? Do you know which astrology sign is associated with it? What is the secret behind its simple yet undoubtedly elegant shimmer?
Oh, what a lovely white gem! But have you ever taken the time to hold it against the light, at different angles? Yes! This gemstone offers a kaleidoscope of bright colors, making it a favorite among those who are fond of multi-colored jewelry. Won’t you just love to have this truly one-of-a-kind beauty on your jewelry box, soon to be slipped onto your fingers?
Are you ready for this? If you think you already know a lot about this lovely gemstone, think again. Here we are going to discuss some astonishing and exciting facts about opals.
Facts About the Opal
It’s undoubtedly easy for anyone to fall in love with this precious gemstone; however, you should not mistake its beauty for that of the Pearl. According to the guide by the International Gem Society:
“Pearls are formed by oysters and other mollusks secreting a mixture of aragonite, conchiolin, and water around irritants lodged in their bodies. This material is very vulnerable to acids (even perspiration) and ammonia (which is found in many cleaners). Pearls are also very vulnerable to scratching.
“Opals are made of amorphous (non-crystalline) silica and can consist of up to 21% water. Although most opals used for jewelry are 1% to 6% water, they’re still extremely sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. Like pearls, opals are vulnerable to scratching.”
That being said, the Opal got its name from the Latin term “opalus”, which means precious stone, although, the origin of this gemstone’s name has been highly disputed.
It is believed by many that the Opal is the outcome of silica that has flowed down into rocks due to heavy rains. Silica gel was then separated from water particles through evaporation of the latter; said gel has hardened over the course of a few million years, resulting in the gemstone that we all know and love up to the present day.
By the way, the Greeks call the gemstone “Opallios”, which means to see a change in color, and during the early times, it was believed that they were formed from the tears of the ancient god Zeus when he defeated the titans. The ancient Greeks also had strong beliefs that the stone possessed godly powers.
According to an article by Opal Auctions:
“The ancient Romans considered it a symbol of hope and good fortune. A roman scholar in 75AD summed up our beautiful opal saying: “Some opal carry such a play within them that they equal the deepest and richest colors of painters. Others…simulate the flaming fire of burning sulphur and even the bright blaze of burning oil.” He marveled that this kaleidoscopic gem encompassed the red of ruby, the green of emerald, the yellow of topaz, the blue of sapphire, and the purple of amethyst.” This is why Opal is commonly called the Queen of Gemstones.”
According to the same article, the Opal was and still is considered as a gemstone of luck. It is used in a few select countries as a talisman and even a status symbol.
The Opal, however, lost its reputation as a power-infused gemstone due to the publication of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott in 1829:
“The Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colorless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott’s novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death. Within a year of the publishing of Scott’s novel in April 1829, the sale of opals in Europe dropped by 50%, and remained low for the next 20 years or so.”
Not enough time? Of course not! Who the heck has time to wait that long?!
Well, if you have more than enough budget, why not take the time to fly yourself onto Mars? And no, we’re not kidding around here — Opals have actually been found there!!! The Opal is one of the very few gemstones that have been found in other planets (including the Peridot, for that matter).
Don’t go fawning over its gorgeous white gleam just yet; did you know that there are also black Opals? In fact, this variety is considered to be the rarest, with the white ones falling under the common category.
We hope you still have enough on your pockets, because here we have some highly valuable Opals for you! First off is the Virgin Rainbow, valued at more than a whopping $1 million! This rare Opal literally glows in the dark — in fact, the darker it gets, the multitude of colors this Opal become more vibrant and therefore more visually pleasing. This particular gemstone was then purchased by the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.
Next is the Olympic Australis, which is possibly the largest and most valuable Opal mankind has ever found. It is valued at $2,500,000.00, and was found in 1956 at the Eight Mile Opal Field in (kind of obvious where it was found, though) South Australia.
Opal Jewelry by Kaylee Jackson
The unique shimmer and vibrant colors of the Opal are truly everlasting — one that deserves a place on anyone’s heart and mind. Just think of how your outfit would look like once you slip on an elegant jewelry with this gemstone as the centerpiece! Sure enough, a minimalistic white with its hidden treasures will charm and stun anyone who would even dare to lay their eyes on it.
Opals are truly a unique gift for any occasion. Both Libras and Scorpios get to enjoy them as their birthstone. If you or someone you know was born in October, or you simply have a thing for white jewelry, you can check out our huge collection here — we surely have something that will suit anyone’s taste.