Opal: The October Birthstone
Opals have a rich history with many myths associated with it. Dating back to Ancient eras, the opal was a symbol of fidelity and assurance, and in later history it became associated with religious prayer and symbols of hope in Asian countries.
Fun Fact: In the Medieval era, opal necklaces were popular among fair haired women who believed the stone kept their hair from fading or darkening.
Founded in New South Wales, Australia in the late 1800’s, black opals became popular among the wealthy. The discovery of these opals led to a decline of European opal production and Australia is still the principal source of black and white opals. JSL’s opals come from Australia too!
Opals have been considered very lucky throughout their discovery as being a part of rituals in religion and symbols of hope in many countries, but the stones would often dry out and break while being cut, polished or mounted before modern tools were used for jewelry making. Sometimes considered bad luck because of them breaking, this stone became popular in fairytale stories (often to scare children).
The brilliance and vibrant colors within an opal display an array of rainbow iridescent effects, all mixed together. The array of color comes from the opal's formation process, which is different from many other gemstones. Opal has closely packed silica spheres, which vary in shape and size. The random patterns of these spheres are responsible for the different colors the opal displays. The more brilliant the color, or “fire,” the more valuable the opal.
The most familiar opals are opaque or translucent white, some having a black or reddish tint. All opals vary greatly in their color of fire. Some have only red and orange lights, some also have green, and some have yellow and blue lights. Black opals may have all of these colors as well as purple, which make them extremely valuable.
Opals with an abundance of red are usually the most expensive. Those strong in blue and green are equally as beautiful, but less rare. One of the most rare opals is called the Harlequin Opal, which displays color patterns resembling a checkerboard.
The most valuable opals come from Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, which have been the main producer of opals since their discovery in the late 1800's. Nowadays, opals are mostly found in Australia, Mexico, the USA, South America, Britain, Canada, Brazil, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Opal is known to amplify traits and bring characteristics to the surface for intense transformation. This stone can enhance self worth, confidence and self-esteem, but is most helpful when learning about potential.
Karma and opal mix together as the stone encourages positive emotion, justice, and harmony. Wearing this stone, particularly in October is known to bring loyalty and faithfulness.
The Opal is an incredibly unique gemstone that attributes karmic energy and luck to the wearer. This birthstone is at its highest peak of power during the month of October. Its value carries great weight in ethical mining and uniqueness as well.
Click here for the October Birthstone Collection
Have more birthstone questions? Checkout the blog post here!
Check out Part 2 here to find out more about October’s Birthstones.
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JSL Team :)