Opal Stone

An opal stone is one of the most attractive of all the precious gemstones. Opals are typically red, blue, violet, pink and more commonly, white. They can however also be found in shades of orange and brown. They are typically very small stones and have a glassy appearance that makes them shine. The color of the opal actually comes from transmitted light interference. The rarest of all opal stones is the black opal. These are also the most valuable. Black opals are not completely black in color but have a much darker overtone than the usual white opals. If you are looking for the least expensive of all opal stones, the milky white opals are the best choice.

Opals that are considered to be highly valued and gemstone quality are the ones that feature unique flash patterns. Prices for these opal stones can be very expensive as they are not nearly as commonly found as the milk white versions of the stone. Black opals are regularly mined in Lightning Ridge in New South Wales but they have also been found in certain areas of Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Peru, Australia and Brazil.

The opal stone itself is a very low temperature mineral and can typically be found in the crust of the earth. Cracks in the crust reveal these stones. In order for the opals to form there will need to be water found around the localities of the stone. Water is a part of the opal stone’s chemical makeup. In fact, an opal stone is a version of silica scientifically referred to as SiO2 with certain water molecules mixed in. It is believed that the name for the opal stone came from the Latin word opalus which means precious stone. If you are planning to purchase jewelry with an opal stone in it you should keep in mind that because water is part of the chemical makeup of opals, they can very easily become dehydrated when exposed to certain chemicals or high levels of heat. Opals are very porous stones as well in part due to their chemical makeup.

There are also many man-made versions of the opal stone. These are often synthesized copies of the original stone or the stone itself that is altered to produce a different color. If you are planning to purchase opal jewelry such as rings, earrings, bracelets or other pieces it is important that you understand that man-made opals are not nearly as valuable as the true stones. If you are paying for a true opal then you should be certain that a true opal is what you are getting. You should be very careful when selecting your jewelry containing the opal stone. Man-made opals include those referred to as doublets and triplets. Doublets are merely very thin slices of an original opal stone that is glued onto another, inexpensive stone such as a black onyx. Triplet opals are basically the same as doublets but normally have quartz or transparent glass capping. There are manufactured opals as well that are typically created in a laboratory that closely resemble a true opal stone. They are virtually identical in fact and to the untrained eye, may look exactly like a true opal. This is why when you are purchasing opals you should be certain to trust the retailer you are buying from to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.

Fire opals are very popular but are fairly rare as well. The stone is named for its fire red color as opposed to other opal colors that are named for their light interplays or flash patterns. Fire opals may contain many different hues throughout the stone from yellow to orange and deep red. Most fire opals are found in Mexico and although rarer than some other colors, these are not nearly as expensive as many other types of genuine opal stones.

For centuries many people have believed that the opal stone brought about loyalty, protection and faithfulness. Opals have been mystical gemstones for many years and many believe that they can be used to absorb feelings and thoughts, enhance those feelings and thoughts and then send them back to the person from which they came. For many years opal stones were considered to be bad luck and many thought that the stone granted the power of invisibility which is what indirectly caused the reputation for bad luck. Today however, opal stones are simply considered to be beautiful gemstones that can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and are used to create stunning and very unique pieces of jewelry.

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