Opals are arguably one of the most beautiful gemstones in the world. With their fiery iridescence and vibrant patterns, opals beautifully accent jewelry. Hailing from many corners of the earth, from the interior of Australia to the hills of Ethiopia, opals offer gem and jewelry enthusiasts the opportunity to truly see a unique jewel. Therefore, although opal is incredibly beautiful and a popular gemstone for jewelry, it is not extremely hard.
It is a delicate stone measuring 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The color you see in an opal depends on the size of the silica spheres and the spacing between the layers. Large dials result in a red color, the rarest and most valuable color of all, while medium dials usually result in green and blue colors, and smaller dials create violet tones. To achieve this goal, cutters can mold fine opals into large, irregular shapes that maintain as much color play as possible.
The very idea that these magnificent colors have been hidden under the earth in the dark since ancient times and have been taken out of the ground to show their opalescence in daylight, is truly astonishing. But how is opal formed and what is it that makes this gemstone so unique and captivating? The answer, like many mysteries of the universe, lies within it. For opals, you need to consider the type of opal, the tone of the body, the brightness, the color pattern, the thickness of the color bar, the play of colors and any defects you may have. The spheres of an opal are not only remarkably uniform in size, but they are packed, in gem-quality opal, in a very regular set.
Opal is truly THE precious stone of the decade and its popularity will continue well beyond the New Year. Whatever color or pattern found in opal, you can't deny its magnificence and versatility as a striking gemstone that looks stunning in any style, whether it's a ring, pendant, earrings or other forms of jewelry. The pattern and color arrangement shown on an opal can take many beautiful forms, and the movement of color on the face of a stone is known as the “play of colors”. For example, you can have a less expensive diamond, which is considered precious, and a rare opal that is considered semi-precious.
Fire Opal Fire opal is transparent to translucent with a body color that is usually yellow, orange or red. There are twisted shanks, side stones of round and baguette-cut brilliant diamonds, and asymmetrical tower-like motifs that sit on the opal above the band. The opalescence, or shine, that makes opals so attractive comes from different amounts of water and different sizes of spheroids in different layers that refract light differently. Opal is found in rocks that formed between 65 and 135 million years ago, usually located in arid areas of inland Australia that were once covered with water as part of the Great Artesian Basin.
Dealers who voluntarily buy crazed opal do so because it has a lower wholesale price than undamaged opal.