Opal Gemstones

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Opal Gemstones

When you close your eyes and think of opals, what do you see? Fireworks. Rainbows. Galaxies. Lightning. No matter what you’re picturing, it must be full of gorgeous, vibrant colors. Unlike any other gemstone, opal’s shifting interplay of colors and light create a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic effect. An opal’s refraction of light can display various colors at once, called play-of-color or opalescence. There are two distinct kinds of opals- precious opals and common opals. Precious opals are more popular and display the phenomenon known as play-of-color. Most precious opals will flash a mixture of vivid colors. Although still beautiful, common opals do not exhibit “play-of-color.” Common opals are typically one solid, opaque color.

Opals can be divided into five different categories:
  • White or light opal- translucent to semi-translucent with play-of-color exhibited against a white or light gray background
  • Black opal- translucent to opaque with play-of-color exhibited against a black or other dark background
  • Fire opal- transparent to translucent with a brown, yellow, orange, or red background color. Also known as Mexican opal, this kind of opal often does not exhibit play-of-color.
  • Boulder opal- translucent to opaque with play-of-color exhibited against a light to dark background. Fragments of the surrounding rocks, or boulders, become part of the finished gemstone.
  • Crystal or water opal- transparent to semi-transparent with a clear background. This kind of opal exhibits exceptional play-of-color.
Opal is the birthstone for the month of October. These gorgeous gemstones are also the theme gift for 14th wedding anniversaries. Because opals contain colors from every other type of gemstone they were believed to be the most powerful gemstone. Opal is considered to be a symbol of hope, innocence, and purity. It also has strong implications of happiness, faithfulness, loyalty, and confidence.

Every opal is unique in appearance, which makes them perfect for anyone who craves individual expression. Showcase your vibrant style with a selection from the iridescent precious and common opals.
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