Opal

Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal’s shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem.

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BIRTHSTONES &
ANNIVERSARIES

Opal is an October birthstone.

ABOUT TOURMALINE

Because opal has the colors of other gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all. The Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. When Australia’s mines began to produce opals commercially in the 1890s, it quickly became the world’s primary source for this October birthstone.


WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE

1829

The novel “Anne of Geierstein” gave opal
a reputation of being unlucky.

20% WATER

Opal contains up to 20% water trapped
in its silica structure.

0,2 MICRONS

Grids of silica spheres 0.2 microns in size
create red play-of-color flashes.

FORMATION

When opal formed, silica gel filled crevices in rock. As water evaporates,
the silica is deposited in the form of tiny spheres.

INTERACTION WITH LIGHT

Opal’s flashing play-of-color is caused by diffraction of light
by silica spheres stacked like tiny Ping-Pong balls in a box.

UNIQUE

Opal’s arrays of silica spheres form a fantastic variety of patterns and colors.
No two opals are exactly alike.


QUALITY FACTORS

Play-of-color, intensity, and pattern are important value factors.

COLOR Opal’s spectacular play-of-color can display all the colors of the rainbow.

COLOR
Opal’s spectacular play-of-color can display all the colors of the rainbow.

CUT Experts expect different levels of clarity for different types of opals.

CUT
Experts expect different levels of clarity for different types of opals.

CLARITY Fine opals are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-color as possible.

CLARITY
Fine opals are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-color as possible.

CARAT WEIGHT Opal has relatively low density so even larger sizes can be comfortable to wear.

CARAT WEIGHT
Opal has relatively low density so even larger sizes can be comfortable to wear.