Opal

History

Known as the "Queen of the Gems," there is no other gemstone that even remotely looks like the iridescent opal. Arabic legends reflected the belief that opals fell to earth from flashes of lightening. The ancient Greeks thought opals gave wearers the gift of prophecy, while Europeans have long considered opals to be symbols of hope, purity and truth. Opals are considered to be the luckiest and most magical of all the gemstones because it can show all colors. Opals are believed to enhance imagination and represent wisdom, hope and confidence.

Color

Uniquely individual, opals often exhibit multi‐colored flashes of light when viewed from different angles. There are four main types of opal – white, black, fire and boulder – and each has its own color story. White and fire opals are the most common, with true black opals bring quite rare. Opals show off their remarkable play of color best when cut into cabochons.

Gem Family

Opals are a gemstone variety unto themselves.

Hardness

With a rating of 5.0‐6.5 on the Mohs scale, opals are somewhat fragile and should be treated with care.

Treatments

Opals are commonly treated with oil impregnation, sugar treatments and smoke impregnation, all used to enhance an opal's play of color.

Birthstone

Opal is the traditional birthstone for those born in October.

Care

Heat can lead to evaporation and cracking so opal jewelry is best stored in moist, absorbent cotton in a cool location. Store away from other gemstones to avoid scratching. Care for your opals by wiping them down with a soft, lint‐free cloth. Avoid steam and ultrasonic cleaners, or cleaners with ammonia or bleach