Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Ever increasing in popularity, October's birthstone 'the opal' is a stone that comes in many different colours and can even change in colour in certain light. We have been working with opals a number of years but it's only in the last couple of years that the House of Solus team has seen a rise in popularity.
Meaning 'precious stone' , the opal has been known to hold the powers of purity and hope. It's also been known as a protective stone and is supposed to protect the wearer from harm. William Shakespeare in fact referred to the opal as a miracle and referred to it as the Queen of Gems.
This stone had however been notoriously known to bring bad luck and hold evil powers in the 19th century. However this belief has been banished for quite some time after a rare black opal was found in Australia, helping the opal market tremendously. In fact the Opal is now recognised as the national gemstone and the country supplies 90% of the worlds opal.
COLOUR & STRUCTURE OF AN OPAL
Unlike diamonds opals are actually a amorphous meaning they don't have a regular crystal structure. An opal is actually made up of millions of tiny silica spheres. In-between these spheres are solidified acids which then forms the opal. Probably best known for it's change in appearance, opals ooze amazing colours with mesmerising patterns. These spheres refract light which causes the difference in colour that you see. The colours you see varies with the size of the sphere.Spheres that are approx 0.1 micron produce the colour violet, Spheres that are 0.2 microns produce red. Any size in-between these produce the rainbow colours.
There are two broad classes of opal; precious and common. Precious opals display the playfulness of colour whereas the common does not.
Although there are many different types of opals the experts have broken them into the following colours:
WHITE / LIGHT OPAL - Translucent to semi translucent, they have a play of colour against white / grey background.
BLACK OPAL - Translucent to opaque, they are based against a dark or black background.
FIRE OPAL - Also known as the 'Mexican Opal' , the stone is against a backdrop of yellows, reds, browns and oranges. It is translucent to opaque
BOULDER OPAL - Amongst the most popular of opals - the boulder opal is translucent to opaque in appearance. This opal has a play of colour from a light to dark background. Matrix, which is an element of the surrounding rock can be found in a boulder opal.
CRYSTAL / WATER OPAL - Transparent to semi transparent this clear opal shows an exceptional play of colour.
There is so much creativity and choice with the opal gemstone. It really is a beautiful stone to work with. As you can see we've worked with many different colour gemstones and can work with you to look at different designs and how we can work with the coloured opal of your choice.
To learn more about how we can help you on your bespoke journey book an appointment with one of our designers. Book