Opal is one of the birthstones for October and it is the gemstone for the 14th wedding anniversary. It is a seductive stone and is allegedly able to intensify emotional states and release inhibitions which is why the opal is often associated with desire and eroticism along with love and passion. Besides that, opal purportedly acts as an emotional stabilizer too. In addition to this, wearing an opal is also said to bring about loyalty and faithfulness.
This beautiful gemstone is a hydrated variety of amorphous silica. It has water content that may range 3% - 21% by weight. It is without a crystalline structure, and without the "ordered atomic structure" and this is makes an opal a "mineraloid" rather than a mineral because it does not have a definite chemical composition.
Les Plaisirs De Birks Yellow Gold and Opal Earrings worn by the Duchess of Sussex
Even the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) chose to wear opal earrings for her engagement photo session with Prince Harry back in November 2017. The Duchess of Sussex looked absolutely lovely wearing small statement opal earrings by Maison Birks. They are 18-carat gold with opals in the center and is estimated to cost around $995.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) states that the three main aspects of an opal's quality are:
1) Color - Background color and play-of-color
2) Pattern - Arrangement of play-of-color (shifting colors in rainbow hues)
3) Clarity - Transparency and quantity of inclusions
Besides that, the quality of the cut and polish, the type of opal, body tone, brilliance and color bar thickness, as well as the size of the stone also plays a role in determining its value. The Australian black opal, which is known to be the most prized opal, is one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. High-quality black opal can cost up to $10,000 per carat. The Ethiopian Welo opal on the other hand commands a lower price range of $10 - $250 per carat but is more durable in resisting breakage compared to all other opals. The reason its price is on the lower range is because there is a large quantity of Ethiopian opal available and this has kept the price relatively low.
Where it comes from: Australia, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, Central Europe, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, Turkey, United States
Hardness: 5 - 6.5
Care: Opals can be fragile so extra care should be taken when cleaning or storing them. The safest way to clean Opals are with warm, soapy water. Other methods of cleaning including using an ultrasonic cleaner may damage opals.
All prices quoted are in USD.
Do you own Opal jewelry? Share how you have been taking care of it and whether you would get more. Or if you have more questions, just leave it in the comment section below :) We'll be super happy to help!