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Opal jewelry: A special story

Opal is a fascinating mineral that is often used in opal jewelry. It belongs to the quartz group. The physical composition is hydrous silica. Because this gemstone is hydrous, most opals are (semi) transparent. But of course there are exceptions. We can roughly divide opals into three types: glittering precious opal, yellow-red fire opal and common opal.

Gold pendant with opal
  • Glittering precious opal is transparent, iridescent and opalescent. This means that the stone is transparent but that all the colors of the rainbow can be seen. A sort of holographic effect, you could say. Opalization is a particular technique used to process opal that is destined to become, for example, an abrasive. Another meaning of opalizing is to sparkle/shine like opal .
  • Yellow-red fire opal is usually yellow to dark red in color, and is often described as milky. Especially because the stone is partly transparent and because the colors look a bit creamy. We refer to this particular type of opal as the sunstone. Yellow-red fire opal is sensitive to pressure loads and bright light. The stone is not opalescent, so it does not sparkle like a precious opal.
  • (Ordinary) opal is generally not transparent. This is because the common opal retains relatively little water, making the stone cloudy. This usually results in a light, white or lilac color.

Opallios & Uppala

In addition, there are different types of synthetic opal and we can divide the above types into all smaller different types. Opal is truly an infinite world of beauty. The name opal could come from the Greek word “ opallios ”, which means to see a change. This is very appropriate as the colors in opals change with the light shining on them. In addition, it relates to the word “ uppala ” from Sanskrit, which means: 'gemstone'.

Opal is a gemstone that forms when fossils form or when filling gaps in stones or rocks. Previously, the best quality opals mainly came from what was then still Czechoslovakia. Over time beautiful deposits were also found in Australia and recently in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan and the US. The most important deposits are those in Australia; about 90% of the opals used in jewelry come from here.

Virgin Rainbow

Maybe the name Virgin Rainbow means something to you? The 'virgin rainbow' is currently the most expensive opal in the world and was found a few years ago in Australia. The colors of this opal vary for miles. From bright green to bright pink, and from aqua blue to fiery orange. A true spectacle for the eye, a pure experience in itself. The stone is worth more than one million euros and can recently be admired in the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia.

Long ago, opal was not as highly valued as it is today. There was even a time when people in the Western world believed that precious opal brought bad luck. It stood for infidelity and evil. In the Far East it was believed that the stone stood for faith and hope. Fortunately, this conviction has now been adopted by the Western world.

opal jewelry

Opal has a very special effect. The gemstone offers protection, provides the wearer with an active, open attitude and has a strong connection with pleasure. Opal lets you enjoy all the beauty in life even more. In addition, it makes you optimistic, full of life, spontaneous and happy. In addition to the beauty and special history of the stone, that is of course a nice bonus. Discover our collection of vintage jewelry with radiant opal here .