Opal

The Uses of Opal

Opal is one of the most attractive stones and with its wonderful traits and variety of deep, rich colors that it comes in, it has become one of the more popular gemstones of our time.

Opal is made from sand and water. Usually the sand comes in the form of Limestone, Sandstone, Rhyolite or Basalt. These silicates usually mix with water usually from meters underground in the water tables. Opal is created at very low temperatures, usually at 200 degrees Celsius or less.

For the most part Opal is used for ornamental jewelry and it is a wonderful stone for many high-quality pieces of jewelry. For instance, Opal comes in a wonderful array of colors such as white, black, gray, orange, yellow and red. Red is usually the most attractive color for Opal and it comes in either cherry or fire red. Another great trait of Opal is its opalescence. Opalescence is a kind of light play that happens with certain high-quality stones. Light reflects and bounces around the very small structures of the stone, giving it a wonderful glow and sometimes iridescence.

Opal is used for many types of ornamental jewelry pieces and while it a great stone for jewelry, synthetic opal is also used. Synthetic opal is very popular as well, because it is able to mimic extremely high-quality Opal. Most people prefer synthetic opal due to the great traits and colors that synthetic Opal achieves. If you are looking for a stunning stone, Opal definitely delivers.

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The History and Origins of Opal

Opals are some of the world’s most beautiful stones. Opals come in many attractive colors, shapes and sizes and are used on many types of ornamental jewelry including rings, earring rings, brooches, charms, bracelets, etc. If you are looking for a very attractive precious gemstone with lots of color, here is some more information on Opal.

Opal has been known throughout history to man. It was called Upala in Sanskrit, Opallios in Ancient Greek and in the Latin language was called Opalus. All three of these words mean the same thing – precious stone.

One of the extraordinary features of this gemstone is called Opalescence, similar to Moonstone, Opalescence is when internal colors are reflected throughout the stone, giving it a wonderful aura and filling it with color. Opals come in many colors, including black, white, gray, yellow, colorless, orange and red. It should be noted that red is one of the more popular and one of the most attractive colors that Opal comes in. It includes the colors of cherry and fire. While Opal can be found in many regions around the world, it is mainly mined in Australia.

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How and where are Opals formed and found?

Opal is considered a mineraloid and has no crystal structure. The term used for no structure is amorphous.  Opal comes in many varieties of colors including white, blue, black, gray, red, yellow and brown. There are two types of Opal, common and precious, common Opal has truly no structure, but precious Opal does have certain structural elements that makes it very attractive.

Opal usually is formed as a mineraloid gel that is created at very low temperatures. This mineraloid gel is usually created at temperatures less than 200 degrees Celsius and can occur in fissures of many types of rock.

It has a distinct internal color composed of very tightly packed silica spheres. Wonderful colors can come from these tightly packed spheres that can range in size from 150 to 300 nano meters in diameter. Sometimes this phenomenon is called opalescence and it gives the Opal a wonderful play of color.

This gemstone is found all over the world. However, the precious variety of Opal is usually mined in one specific spot in the world – Southern Australia. Southern Australia is renown as the Opal capital of the world and is responsible for up to 95% of the Opal mined.

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Different colors, shapes and sizes that Opal comes in

Opal is one of the more popular stones, mainly due to its wonderful variety of rich and beautiful colors. If you are interested in purchasing ornamental jewelry and are interested in stones that give you a great choice of attractive colors, shapes and styles, Opal should be at the top of your list.

Opal is a precious stone that is made from silica and there are many stones that Opal can be. Besides silica rock, Opal also includes water, with usually a water content of 3% to 10%. Opal is a cryptocrystalline, meaning it has extremely small crystal structures that are very fine and can’t be seen with the naked eye. Other types of cryptocrystallines are Agate and Onyx.

Opal comes in a wonderful variety of colors including white, black, yellow, orange, brown and red. Red is one of the more popular Opal colors. There are usually two types of red colors –cherry red and fire red. Fire red is usually the most popular and possibly the most expensive due to its wonderful hue.

Opals are mined in larger sizes, so they can easily be cut and sized to fit almost any type of rings. Other types of jewelry that Opal works well with are bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings and you can even find figurines and statuettes made from precious Opal.

 

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