Opal, known as the ”queen of gems,” can flash patterns of color representing every hue of the rainbow. Believed by ancient people to actually contain fire, opal has long been credited as having magical qualities. By tradition, opal was said to help its wearer in seeing endless possibilities. With many years of history behind it, we would like to share with you the history, formation, and types of this miraculous stone.
The Discovery of Opals
Opal has been discovered similarly to the way diamonds were produced and was priced as high as diamonds in ancient Greece. The famous anthropologist, Louis Leakey discovered the earliest known opal artifacts in the caves of Kenya. Historically, these stones were also found in Australia, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Brazil.
Ancient Romans adored opal and provided the first real market for them. This was a great deal because by that time many countries had become familiar with opal and the wealthiest people acquired a passion for beautiful gems.
How Opal Is Processed
Our artisans produce the opal resin by crushing natural rock and mixing it with a specially developed resin, which allows them to easily cut and shape the pieces needed to set in the jewelry.
The Types of Opal
Black opal stone can range from dark grey to jet black. The rainbow colors in black opal stand out incredibly making the colors very vibrant.
White opals are very common. It has a milky appearance and it’s capable of displaying mixed colors of red, green, purple, and blue.
The name “Boulder opals” came from the mining of large ironstone boulders under the ground. The vibrancy of color in this opal is similar to black opals due to its dark tone.
Fire opal receives their name from its fiery background color. It contains bright yellow, bright orange and bright red.
Ethiopian opal has a wide variety of color especially reds. Their appearance is similar to glass due to its smooth surface and extreme radiance.