Have you ever wondered what that captivating stone is that seems to light up and change colors depending on how the light hits it or which angle it’s viewed from? You’ve probably seen it a million times but may not have known that what you’re looking at is actually October’s birthstone – the opal.
The shimmers of color that you’ll see will depend on what type of opal you’re looking at, but regardless of which it is, it’s like looking at a tiny rainbow of color caught in a stone. This image is particularly apt as opals are said to be created by rain water that seeps into the cracks in the earth and then evaporates, leaving silica behind which swells and forms veins of this stone over time.
Opals come from various parts of the world but Australia is worth highlighting as it’s the home of some of the most famous opals. Take the “Olympic Australis”, for example. This enormous stone weighs a whopping 17,000 carats and was discovered in South Australia in 1956. It is thought to be the largest and most valuable opal gemstone ever found with an estimated value of over $1.5 million USD. It was given this name on account of the fact that Australia was host to the Olympic Games that year. Although this stone could conceivably be carved up into 7,000 carats worth of jewelry, because of its uniqueness, the plans are to leave it as is, so next time you’re in Melbourne, Australia, make sure to pay it a visit.
There are 5 main types of opal that are classified based on the color of their background or their “body”. These are white, black, fire, boulder or crystal. Black opal is perhaps the best known variant of opal and is also the most expensive. Part of the reason for this may be because it is found in only one place in the world: Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia. “Black opal” has a black or sometimes dark blue, dark green or dark grey background and, because of the contrast between the colours and this dark background, it has perhaps the most impressive effect. Whichever type of opal you prefer, it’s sure to be a great conversation piece so you’ll want to wear it as often as you can!
We carry all types of opal pieces at our store that we’d love to show you, so please drop by and see us. And don’t forget – we also have the ability to order a huge variety of pieces for you, so if you have something particular in mind, stop by the store or give us a call. We hope to see you soon!