If you’re someone who loves opals, you’re not alone. This is a fascinating gemstone that uses play of colors and a unique iridescence to catch the eyes and bring a sparkle to this.They’re great for all jewelry collections, but what’s the truth about opals. Let’s find out.
How they’re formed
We can thank silica rich water for this one. They flow down to the crevices and cracks within the crust of the earth. The water does evaporate over time, leaving behind silica. As this repeats the process, the silica layers build up, and it forms a mineral deposit that’s known by many as opal. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 million years to form, depending on the conditions and factors.
This results in a unique, beautiful gemstone with play of color, and is created by the means in which light refracts through the silica layers.
They also use it in different ways. Not every opal has play of color in it, as this is mostly in Australian opals. However, they usually have color colors of white, orange, pink, red, and sometimes black.
Using Opal Jewelry
Opals have been used for millennia, and the earliest examples of the utilization of this is in ancient Greece and Rome.
During the middle ages, people sought out opals as they were believed to be supernatural, having some magical powers. The wealthy and royalty prized thee.
During the 19th century, opals started to become even more available, and it became a very popular option for engagement rings and other jewelry for special occasions.
Within the 20th century, this jewelry became even more popular as this was a popular choice because of the play of colors that’s there., it’s a jewel filled with personality, and great for collections.
Australia does have some of the best and finest opals. Almost all of the supply is from Australia.
The first opal in Australia was found in the 1840s. however, it wasn’t until later one that mining really took off.
The first mine opened up in White Cliffs, located in New South Wales, back in 1890. Since then, there were other deposits that were found in Andamooka, Coober Pedy, and Lightning Ridge
Opal mining is still very small scale in Australia, and many of the mines are more family run. But there are larger mines that are producing these significant stones.
Today, opals are sought after by designers, collectors, and lovers, as they are a beautiful, vibrant gemstone that can be fitted as a piece for lots of jewelry.
Caring for Opals
If you have an opal, congrats! There are a few things that you should make sure that you do with this.
- Keep it away from other pieces as this gemstone is soft, so you don’t have to worry about damaging or scratches. Put it in soft pouches, of jewelry boxes, in order to create the ideal storage space.
- Clean it regularly to prevent the buildup of oil and dirt. This is simple, you just have to wash this in warm, soapy water
- Don’t get it wet for a long period of time, especially if they have backings that are artificial, or they are doublets or a triplet. Take it off when you shower and swim. Make sure that, fi it does get wet, you dry it out very quickly to prevent future damage
If you have an opal, taking care of it helps it last a long time. And here, we went over not only care tips for opals, but also all about these fun and beautiful stones.