More than any other precious stone, the Opal has a real personality. No other stone is so rich and varied. The opal presents color schemes of all the shades of the rainbow that change according to the viewing angle, especially when the stone is rounded.
History and legends
The name “opal” is probably derived from the Sanskrit "Upala", which means "precious stone". It was most likely the root of the Greek term "opallios", which translates as "color change".
According to the legends of the Australian Aborigines, the creator would have descended to the Earth on a rainbow to bring the message of peace to all humans. At the point where his foot touched the ground the stones became alive and began to sparkle with all the colors of the rainbow. It was the birth of opals.
Origin of the Opal
Australia produces about 95% of the world's opals and the Australian opal is renowned for its qualityall over the world. Large deposits are found in New South Wales at Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs and in southern Australia at Coober Peddy and Andamooka.
Colors of opal
Shades of the stone vary from diaphanous, gray, white, yellow to red. Diffraction can cause flashes of any color of the rainbow (the opalescence). The effect is so fascinating that it deserves a more lengthy description: as light enters the opal, it bends around the edges of tiny particles of hydrated silica « chips » of silicon and oxygen suspended in water within the stone. When it is diffracted, the light that is made up of all visible colors, each with its own wavelength, produces an entire rainbow of colors.
To keep your stone in immaculate condition clean it with a drop of oil. Other cleaning products, soap and perfume etc. will cause substantial damage.