Discovering the Magic of Opal: Meaning, Uses & Benefits

0
2285
Opal

Have you ever felt an unexplainable connection to something, as if it was calling out to your soul? It could be the white sands of a beach, dawn’s soft light or even an opal. Opals appear out of nowhere- they can magically start glowing when observed in the right light and fill observers with a sense of wonder.

There is no denying how special these precious Opal gemstones are! Not only do they possess stunningly beautiful properties such as iridescence and color play, but they also hold spiritual significance for some people worldwide.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the many features that make opals so captivating: their meaning, what use they have historically been put to, and finally – the benefits of using this remarkable stone. So read on if you want to discover more about this fascinating gemstone!

What Is Opal?

Opal is the stone of the dreamer, inspiring those around it with flashes of crystalline color that seem to originate sharply from its depths. Believed to hold many healing qualities and emotional comfort, opal brings a warmth of spirit that resonates like no other precious gemstone.

A popular favorite for centuries and the October birthstone, opal’s breathtakingly beautiful colors have been captivating admirers around the globe – to the extent where some say even diamonds pale in comparison to its flame-like hues. No wonder it can command premium prices per carat at auction, rivaling rubies, sapphires, emeralds – and perhaps even persuading diehard diamond aficionados!

Opal

Opal has been declared the world’s favorite gemstone for centuries, and its dazzling hues can entice even the most passive collectors. There are plenty of unique varieties to explore – some that will take you by surprise!

Opal Crystals Meaning

Opal is a gemstone known for its iridescence, which is the ability to display a rainbow of colors when it is moved. It is a hydrated silica form of tiny silica spheres arranged into three-dimensional lattices. Opal crystals can have a variety of meanings depending on the context and culture in which they are used. Here are a few common meanings associated with opal crystals:

Opal Crystals Meaning

Creativity and Inspiration

Opal is associated with its exquisite beauty, creativity, and inspiration. Many believe opal enhances imagination and aids in the expression of emotions. It is said to help inspire new ideas and foster a deeper connection to one’s self-discovery. Additionally, opal is believed to bring luck, protection, and a general sense of well-being.

Protection

Opal is a powerful protector of negative energies and entities. It is believed to provide a shield of protection that can ward off negative energies and bring positive energy to the wearer. Furthermore, opal crystals bring luck, passion, creativity, emotional balance, and understanding of one’s true self and purpose in life.

Luck and Prosperity

Opal brings luck, prosperity, and success. Those who wear or keep opal in their home are believed to have the potential for abundant wealth and abundant opportunities. Additionally, opal can bring joy, passion, creativity, and emotional balance, helping wearers create a more balanced life.

Uses Of Opal Stones

Opal stones are a popular gemstone used for a variety of purposes, including:

Jewelry

Opal jewelry is popular for its stunning and unique play of colors. It’s iridescent nature reflects light to give off an array of colors that can range from pale pastels to vibrant reds, blues, oranges, and greens.

Opal Jewelry

Whether worn as a single stone or set in gold or silver, opal jewelry is sure to make a statement. Additionally, the stone has been said to bring good luck and prosperity to those who wear it.

Decoration

Opal is often used as a decorative piece in home decor, adding color and texture to any room. It can be placed in vases or figurines, or kept as a paperweight. The stone’s various colors and hues give off a calming energy, while its reflective surface adds a nice touch of glamour.

Furthermore, the stone’s abundance and affordability make it an excellent choice for those looking to add something special to their home without breaking the bank.

Collecting

Opals are not only visually stunning, but they are also incredibly unique. With each stone featuring its own unique color and pattern, collecting opals can be a rewarding pursuit. For those collectors looking to add something special to their collection, opal stones make an excellent choice.

Besides the stone’s beauty and rarity, it is also affordable, making it much easier to build your collection without breaking the bank.

Investment

Opal stones can be a great investment for collectors and investors alike. The value of these precious gemstones can vary greatly based on factors such as color, pattern, and rarity.

Opal mines are known to retain their value over time and even increase in worth, making them an excellent choice for those looking to diversify their portfolio or make a wise financial decision.

The Properties Of Opal

Common Opal is a hydrated silica form composed of the smallest silica spheres and arranged in a three-dimensional lattice. It is a unique gemstone known for its iridescence, which is the ability to display a rainbow of colors when it is moved. Here are some of the properties of opal:

The Properties of Opal

Hardness

With a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, opal is relatively soft compared to other gemstones. As such, common Opal should be handled with extra care as it can be easily scratched or chipped if not properly protected. Caring for and protecting your opal gems is essential if you want to maintain their beauty and value for years to come.

Density

Opals have a density of 1.98 to 2.25 g/cm³, which is comparatively lower than other gemstones. This means it is relatively lightweight and easy to transport, making it an ideal choice for those who travel frequently and want to take their collection with them.

Refractive Index

Opals have a refractive index of 1.44 to 1.46, allowing them to bend light as it passes through. This characteristic creates the play of color that is so beloved in opal jewelry, and it is one of the features that makes these gems so beautiful and captivating.

Specific Gravity

Opals have a specific gravity of 1.98 to 2.25, making them one of the lightest gemstones available. This low specific gravity gives opals an advantage over heavier gems – they are easy to transport, making them ideal for those who love to travel and bring their collections with them.

Color

Opal is a versatile gemstone, offering an array of colors including white opal, black opal, blue opal, green, yellow, orange, and pink Opal. Depending on the type of opal you have, its color may be solid or it could show flashes or patches. This variety in color makes opal one of the most sought-after gems in the world.

Optical Properties

Opal is particularly renowned for its distinctive optical properties. Light diffraction through the tiny silica spheres held within the gemstone produces an iridescent play of color that can be seen changing from different angles. This ‘play of color’ is what makes opal so special, and is a key factor in determining its value as a gemstone.

Composition

Opal is composed of hydrated silica, meaning that water molecules are held within its structure. This can have an impact on the color and optical properties of the opal – depending on the amount of water within each stone, different shades and ‘plays of color’ can be achieved.

Different Types Of Opal

There are several types of opal, each with their unique characteristics and appearance. Some of the most common types of opal include:

White Opal

White opal, also known as light opal, is characterized by its milky-white base color and flashes of iridescence in various colors. It is the most common type of opal and can be found in many parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico, and the United States.

White Opal

The iridescence in white opal is created by how light is diffracted as it passes through the tiny silica spheres that make up the stone. This causes flashes of color that are so highly prized in opals.

Black Opal

Black opal is formed from the same mineral composition as other opals: hydrated silica. However, unlike other opals, black opals have a dark body tone ranging from dark gray to black. This dark base color makes the colors of the opal stand out more prominently, giving it a unique and intense play of colors.

Black Opal

Black opals are formed similarly as other opals, through the deposition of silica gel in voids and cracks in rocks, usually sedimentary rocks. However, the specific conditions required to produce black opal is quite rare, and Opal occurs primarily in the Lightning Ridge area of New South Wales, Australia. Lightning Ridge is known to produce the finest quality black opal, which are highly prized in the gemstone market.

Matrix Opal

Matrix opal is a type of opal that is formed when precious opal is deposited within or on a host rock, such as sandstone, ironstone, or basalt. The Matrix Opal forms in veins or patches within the host rock, creating a unique pattern of colorful opal set against the natural background of the host rock.

Opal

The term “matrix” refers to the rock or material in which the opal is found, and matrix opals are named after the type of host rock they are found in. For example, ironstone matrix opals are found in ironstone, while sandstone matrix opals are found in sandstone.

Boulder Opal

Boulder opal is a variety of opal embedded in ironstone boulders in Queensland, Australia. It is known for its striking patterns and colors, formed by the opal’s interplay of light and dark patches. The ironstone matrix forms a natural backing for the opal, providing a dark background that enhances the play of colors.

Boulder Opal

The boulder opal forms in veins or patches within the ironstone matrix, and the opal can range in color from blue and green to orange and red, with some specimens exhibiting a full spectrum of colors. The patterns and shapes of the opal are also varied and unique, ranging from irregular spots to intricate tendrils and patterns.

Crystal Opal

Crystal opal is a variety of opal with a transparent or translucent body, allowing light to pass through the stone and creating a mesmerizing play of color. This type of opal is highly valued for its clarity and the intensity of its color flashes, which can range from blue and green to orange and red.

Crystal Opal

Crystal opal is formed in a similar manner as other opals, through the deposition of silica gel in voids and cracks in rocks. However, the specific conditions required to produce crystal opal are relatively rare, and it is mainly found in Lightning Ridge, Australia, which is known to produce the finest quality crystal opals.

Opal Triplets

An opal triplet is a type of composite gemstone comprising three layers – a thin slice of natural precious opal glued opal sandwiched between a layer of black backing material and a protective clear quartz or glass top layer. The black backing is usually made of common materials such as plastic, glass, or onyx.

Opal Triplets

Opal triplets are a popular alternative to solid opals because they are more affordable and can mimic the look of a high-quality solid opal. The top layer of the triplet acts as a magnifier, enhancing the play of color in the thin slice of natural opal.

Australian Opal

Australian opal, refers to any opal that is found in Australia, which is known for producing some of the world’s finest and most valuable opals.

The Australian opal, Australia fields are located primarily in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia. The famous Australian opal fields are Lightning Ridge, Andamooka, and Coober Pedy. These most precious opals are known for their vibrant and unique color patterns caused by trace elements such as iron and silica.

Fire Opal

Fire opal is a variety of opal that is found primarily in Mexico, although it can also be found in parts of the United States and Australia. Fire opal is characterized by its vibrant orange or yellow-orange color, which gives it a fiery appearance. Unlike other types of opal, fire opal does not display the iridescent play of color typical of opals. Instead, its color is due to iron oxide and other minerals.

Fire Opal

Fire opals are highly valued for their striking appearance and rarity. The most highly prized fire opals have a deep and vivid color with minimal inclusions or blemishes. The value of fire opals is also affected by their size, with larger stones commanding higher prices.

Fire opals are often used in jewelry, particularly in pieces that require a burst of color, such as pendants, earrings, and bracelets. They are also popular with collectors, who prize them for their unique and eye-catching appearance. Some fire opals are even cut en cabochon, which is a style of cutting that emphasizes the stone’s natural shape and color.

Ethiopian Opal

Ethiopian opal is a type of common opal that was first discovered in Ethiopia in 1994. It is characterized by its stunning play of color, which often surpasses other opal types. Ethiopian opal is formed through a combination of silica and water, which fills cavities and cracks in volcanic rocks. The unique conditions in Ethiopia give rise to opals that are characterized by their vibrant colors and intricate patterns.

Ethiopian Opal

One of the most distinctive features of Ethiopian opal is its play of color, which can range from vivid shades of yellow, orange, and red to cooler tones of blue and green. The colors can appear to dance and shift as the opal is viewed from different angles, giving the gemstone a magical and otherworldly quality.

Ethiopian opal is highly prized by collectors and jewelry makers alike, and is often used in high-end jewelry pieces such as rings, pendants, and earrings. Several factors, including the intensity and vibrancy of the colors, the clarity and transparency of the stone, and the size and shape of the opal determine the value of Ethiopian opal.

Peruvian Opal

Peruvian opal is a type of opal that is found primarily in Peru, although it can also be found in other parts of South America. It is characterized by its striking blue or blue-green color due to the presence of copper in the stone. Unlike other types of opal, this opal is opaque and does not display the iridescence and play of color that is typical of opals.

Peruvian Opal

Peruvian opal is highly valued for its unique and vibrant color, which is often compared to the color of the Caribbean Sea. The most highly prized opals have an intense color, with minimal inclusions or blemishes. The value of these opals is also affected by their size, with larger stones commanding higher prices.

Peruvian opals are often used in jewelry, particularly in pieces that require a pop of color. They are frequently cut into cabochons, which highlight their natural shape and color. Peruvian opals are also popular with collectors, who appreciate their rarity and distinctive beauty.

Mexican Fire Opal

Mexican fire opal is a variety of opal that is found in Mexico, mainly in the state of Queretaro. This type of opal is known for its vibrant and intense orange, red, and yellow colors, which are caused by the presence of iron oxide and other minerals.

Mexican Fire Opal

Mexican fire opals are unique because they often have a translucent Opal body to transparent body, which allows light to pass through and reflect off the internal structures of the stone, giving it a fiery glow. This phenomenon is known as play of color and is one of the defining characteristics of opals.

Healing Properties And Benefits Of Opal Crystals

Opal crystals are believed to have healing properties and offer several benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. Here are some of the healing properties and benefits associated with opal crystals:

Healing Properties And Benefits Of Opal Crystals

Emotional Healing

Opal is renowned for its ability to help heal and balance emotions. It is said to have a calming effect, releasing negative emotions such as anger, fear, and resentment while promoting peace and serenity. Because of this, opal has become a symbol of emotional healing throughout the world.

Emotional healing

Physical Healing

Opal is believed to have several physical healing properties too. It can help strengthen the immune system, aid in digestion, and promote restful sleep. Additionally, opal may be beneficial for respiratory issues and it has even been used to help heal wounds and address skin conditions.

Promotes Physical Healing

Spiritual Awakening: Opal is known as a spiritual stone and has been used throughout history to promote spiritual growth and awakening. It can enhance intuition, psychic abilities, and provide insight into one’s inner truth. Opal is also said to help connect with higher spiritual energies, allowing one to access deeper levels of understanding.

Creativity and Inspiration

Opal has long been associated with creativity and inspiration. This gemstone is believed to possess a unique energy that can stimulate creativity, unlock creative potential, and inspire new ideas. Opal is often used by artists, writers, and musicians to help them tap into their creative energies and produce their best work.

Creativity and Inspiration

Opal is said to have a calming and soothing effect on the mind, which can help to quiet inner chatter and distractions, allowing for greater focus and concentration. This, in turn, can help to stimulate new ideas and perspectives.

Relationship Harmony

Opal is thought to encourage balance and harmony within all relationships. It can help strengthen emotional connections, promote understanding, and enable better communication between two people. In addition, it can bring new depths of understanding in both romantic and platonic relationships.

Relationship Harmony

Chakra Healing

Opal is believed to help balance the crown chakra, which is located at the top of the head. It can help to promote a spiritual connection and awaken one’s higher consciousness. Furthermore, it may also aid in calming emotions, creating inner peace, and helping one to live with more self-love.

Chakra Healing

It’s important to note that while many people believe in the healing properties of opal crystals, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Opal should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.

Proper Way To Clean Opal Stones

Opal is a relatively delicate gemstone that requires special cleaning care to avoid damage or discoloration. Here are some tips on how to properly clean opal stones:

Proper Way To Clean Opal Stones

Avoid harsh chemicals

Opal is known to be sensitive to certain chemicals, so it is important to take extra care when cleaning it. Avoid using harsh cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, and sulfuric acid as they can potentially damage or discolor the stone. It is best only to use gentle soaps and warm water to clean opal for a safe and successful result.

Use a soft cloth

Cleaning opal should be done with a soft, non-abrasive cloth or microfiber towel. Paper towels and tissues should be avoided as they may scratch the stone’s surface. Additionally, warm water and a mild soap can also be used to help lift dirt off the surface of the opal.

Warm soapy water

Warm, soapy water is the safest and most effective way to clean opal. Using a mild soap such as dishwashing detergent, gently wash the stone using a soft cloth or brush. Once done, rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth. These tips will help keep your opal looking beautiful for years to come!

Avoid hot water

Cleaning opal should be done with lukewarm water instead of hot water, as the temperatures can cause the stone to crack or lose its iridescence. Additionally, a mild soap and a soft cloth or brush should also be used to help lift dirt off the surface of the opal. Once done, rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth.

Store properly

It’s important to store opal properly to prevent damage. Ideally, it should be stored separately from other jewelry in a soft cloth or jewelry pouch and kept away from direct sunlight or heat, as both can cause it to lose color or crack. These simple steps will help ensure your opal looks beautiful for years!

Professional cleaning

Professional cleaning is the best way to ensure that opal jewelry remains in top condition. Taking it to a professional jeweler guarantees that the stone will be cleaned safely and without causing any damage.

But if you choose to clean your opal yourself, use lukewarm water, a mild soap, and a soft cloth or brush; rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth afterwards. Keep in mind that these pieces are delicate and should be handled with care when cleaning. Following these simple steps will help prolong the life of your precious opal jewelry!

How To Cleanse Opal Stones

In addition to physical cleaning, opal stones can also benefit from a spiritual cleansing or energy clearing. This process helps to remove any negative energies the stone may have picked up over time and help restore its natural balance. Here are some tips on how to properly cleanse opal stones:

How To Cleanse Opal Stones

Smudging

Smudging is an ancient Native American tradition that involves burning a bundle of herbs such as sage, sweetgrass or cedar to clear away negative energy. To smudge an opal stone, hold it over the smoke and allow it to absorb the cleansing energy. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area and practice proper safety precautions when dealing with fire.

Saltwater bath

Salt is believed to be a powerful purifier that helps remove negative energies. To cleanse an opal with salt, fill a bowl or container with water and add 1-2 tablespoons of sea or rock salt. Place the stone in the bowl and let it soak for a few minutes before removing it from the container. Rinse off the salt afterward and use a soft cloth to dry.

Moonlight

Placing an opal stone in the full moon’s light is another way to cleanse it. This process helps remove any negative energies and restore its natural balance, so be sure to do this on a clear night when the moon is in its fullest. Leave the stone in the moonlight for a few hours before retrieving it and wiping it down with a soft cloth.

These are a few ways to help cleanse opal stones and restore their natural energy balance. Be sure to use these techniques regularly, as this helps keep your precious stones looking beautiful for years!

FAQ’s

What are opal stones?

Opal is a mineraloid of hydrated silicon dioxide known for its robotic, multicolored appearance. Opal ranges in color from pink Opal and yellow to red, blue, violet, and even black. The varying shapes present in the stone are due to the diffraction and interference of light when passing through its thin layer.

Where can I find an opal stone?

Opals can be found worldwide but are most commonly mined in Australia, Ethiopia, Peru and the United States. However, some of the finest quality opals come from Australia’s Lightning Ridge region.

What are Synthetic Opals?

Synthetic opals are man-made gemstones that are created in a laboratory setting. They are composed of the same chemical and physical properties as natural opals, but they are produced under controlled conditions using advanced technology.

How should I store my precious opal jewelry?

To prevent damage, store opal separately from other jewelry ideally in a soft cloth or jewelry pouch away from direct sunlight or heat as both can cause it to lose its color or crack. Simple steps like these will help ensure your opal looks beautiful for years!

Can I clean my opal myself?

If you choose to clean your natural opal yourself, use lukewarm water with a mild soap and a soft cloth or brush; rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a soft cloth afterward – being extra careful not to scratch any surfaces on the natural Opal.

Conclusion

As we have explored, precious Opal is a truly inspirational stone. Its fascinating history and unique properties set it apart from the rest. Whether you are interested in collecting opals, wearing them as jewelry to help with your healing journey, or simply nurturing your connection with its magical energy, you should look further into these wonderful stones.

Don’t forget to take the time to let yourself feel all the awe and wonder of this majestic gemstone. Who knows? Through your discovery of blue opal, perhaps new doors may be opened for you, and your life can be emboldened with newfound appreciation and excitement!

So why not try it – discover the many meanings, uses, and benefits of precious opal today! All are welcome to explore the magic of this radiant stone!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here