opal gemstone sources
Australia (largest producer of opal and it is the national stone of Australia), USA, Ethiopia. You can find our interactive map for gemstone of the world Here.
opal gemstone history
In Roman times, Opal was thought to bring good luck and fortune, but in the early nineteenth century, the popularity of opals waned for several decades because they were believed to bring bad luck to the owner. This brought a corresponding decrease in the popularity and value of the gem. Eventually opal’s bad luck reputation subsided, and today they are again among the world’s most desirable gemstones.
opal gemstone treatment
There are various treatments used to enhance the beauty of opals. The most common treatments darken the body color, making the play of color slightly more noticeable. Darkening of opal is done by two main methods 1) exposing opal to smoke, due to porous nature of opal, carbon in the smoke penetrates the opal's surface and causes the light opal to appear dark 2) placing opal in sugar liquid, sugar is soaked into opal's surface and the carbonized in acid to impart a thin dark layer. Also some opals are coated with oil, wax or plastic to improve their appearance. All of these treatments only affect a thin outer layer of the gem’s surface and, therefore, are not considered stable.
opal gemstone in jewellery
As opals are slightly softer than most transparent gemstones, they are best suited for wear in earrings and pendants. It also can be used in a rings or bracelets but special attention should be paid to ensure the stone is well protected.
opal gemstone care
water content of the beautiful opal gemstone can sometimes dry out and crack with time. For this reason uncut opal is stored in water. As opal is a relatively soft stone care must be taken when grinding and polishing opals for use in jewellery. Opal can be destroyed by acid or strong alkalis. Opal is very sensitive to changes in temperature, therefore cleaning in hot ultrasonic or steam cleaners will damage the gemstone. Also, opal jewellery should be stored separately from other gemstones, this will reduce the chance of accidental scratches.
opal gemstone healing properties
Creativity, spontaneity, relationships, memory, happy dreams and changes.
opal gemstone basic properties table
|Chemical Formula||Hydrous silicon dioxide
|Hardness||5.5 - 6.5 on the Mohs scale|
|Transparency||Transparent to opaque|
|Fracture||Conchoidal, splintery, brittle|