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Description: Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica. As it is an amorphous character, the gemstone is classified as a mineraloid. As the tourmaline, it is an October birth gemstone, a fascinating jewel with an incredible variety. We can assess its shades to a rainbow (like black opal), or being impressed by its deep, vibrating and limpid color, as the Fire Opal. Opal comes from “opalus” which means “see a change”; which would come from a Sanskrit word: “upala” (gemstone). This would mean that the roman opal comes from India.
Characteristics: On one side, Opal is particularly popular thanks to their characteristics colors – changing color flash according to the observation angle, this only happens with Opals. This gemstone is also very appreciated because of its stability, very important criteria for a gemstone with 6% of water.
On the other side, on the philosophic point of view, Opals could be harmful to the person who wear it if he is weak, also called “tear’s gemstone” can bring bad luck to this kind of people. But it will increase tenfold the vital energy of someone with a strong temperament.
History: Opals are found in sedimentaries rocks. Moreover, 95% of opals with color shades are found in Australia in Andamooka’s mine (1930), Coober Pedy (1915), Lightning Ridge (1902)… But they are also found in Ethiopia (Opal Welo), Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Tanzania.
Myth: this diverse and mysterious gemstone is surrounded by myth and legend. For a long time, Opal has been used as a talisman bringing beauty, success and happiness. For Romans it was the symbol of hope and flawlessness whereas Arabes thought that Opals fell down from the sky with lightning flash which would protect them against storm and provide them an invisibility cape. Or even in the south of Australia in Andamooka country, tribes were calling Opal: “ Fire of the desert” and were associating it to their creation’s myth.
Tips: Always protect Opals from heat and dryness. Some could be damaged due to a thermal shock. Avoid temperature fluctuations.
Variety: It is very hard to stock of all the Opal varieties, so that’s why we give you here a list of what you can find on our website:
• Opal Welo
Australian opal didn’t see its competitor the Opal Welo coming recently and stealing its popularity. Its deposits are located in the Semien Wollo mountainous region in northwestern Ethiopia. We don’t really know concretely when the discovery of this stone was done. Some sources mention its advent as early as 1993 on the Nairobi markets. Geological engineer Telahun Yohannes would be granted its discovery and Dr. N. Barot reported its existence in an article published by the ICA Gazette in 1994. In 1997, 10 kilos of this stone were extracted, but it was not until 2008 to see Its commercial exploitation actually begin. The Eyaopal workshops in Addis Ababa cut 400 grams. That same year, Opale Welo was presented at the international mineral exhibitions in Sainte-Marie. A year later, the Eyaopal workshops presented 350 opals cut at the Tuscon Show. The new Opal star was born.
Discovered in Ethiopia and widely unknown, Welo is mostly yellowish and amber beige. This gemstone is both translucid and with many colors’ shades. Some in the past have claimed that it is more fragile and prone to break than its Australian cousin. This theory has been repeatedly denied and would ultimately appear more stable than the Australian Opal. Its hydrophobic character is very marked and the Opal Welo can absorb up to 8% of its weight in water. In case of contact with water, it is sufficient to let it dry in the open air and it will resume alone its initial aspect. It is also interesting to do the test and see for yourself the effects that your Opale Welo acquires when wet.
A scarce Opal and difficult to product
Its production has been only increasing since 2008, the Ethiopian minister reported only tens of kg were extracted this year, then in 2009 hundreds of kg and finally tons in 2011. But only 5% of the extracted stones are exploitable to be traded and only 1% has a sufficient quality to be provided in jewelry.
Opal Welo is found in silica veins only 2-3m from the surface. What makes it so difficult to operate is the means employed. Only people living in the region are allowed to exploit these deposits. The populations being rural, they use archaic methods and sometimes dangerous to extract the stones. Since January 2011, a new operating site has been set up with more stringent standards covering 500 professional miners. The Ethiopian government regulates and monitors this wealth by not allowing buyers to go to the farm to deal directly with minors. The Opal Market is located outside the mining area.
• Boulder Opal
It is mainly found in specific region like Queensland, and very often just a thin vein of precious opal is present. Concerning its color, it can be black or light depending on the observation angle. Since the 70’ its demand has soared after being re-evaluated. Boulder Opal is also very valuable. You can call it “painted ladies”
The Boulder Opal is in the form of Opal veins trapped in iron ore. It is generally cut so as to leave a part of this ore around the veins of Opal. Its size is therefore rather delicate because of the hardness of the iron ore compared to that of the Opal. But thanks to this particularity, these Opals are reputed to be stronger than their sisters. The Opal Boulder is particularly interesting because the contrast of the black rock matrix brings out the multiple luminous colors of the Opal. For Boulders Opals, the color schemes are mostly in blue-green tones.
These stones have also made the happiness of some jewelry designers like Irene Neuwirth. She created beautiful Boulder Opal earrings that were stylishly worn by Octavia Spencer at the Golden Globe ceremony, Busy Philips, heroine of “Emergencies”, “How i meet your Mother”, “What do you think Or by professional dancer Jenna Dewan-Tatum, known for her sultry role in “Sexy Dance”. Jennifer Hudson wore Opal Boulder earrings on the red carpet of the 2013 Oscars.
Opal fire doesn’t have much colors’ shades but is impressive with its deep tones of orange, red, yellow and even green! Buriti Opal fire is well known for its intense orange tons reminding the Mexico Opal fire.
Opal fire is popular because it regulates periods of menstruation, helps procreation in women and facilitates childbirth. It is also the stone that suits the chakra of the sex; Stimulation, lifting of inhibitions, strengthening of desire, more spontaneous access to pleasure.
Then it fortifies personal power, awakening inner fire and protecting from danger, therefore it is a symbol of hope, excellent in business to facilitate change and progress and intensifies energy. Used in situations of injustice and abuse, it supports the person through the resulting emotional disturbances.
Opal fire releases the intense feelings of grief, even those emerging from another life. It is also wonderful to free oneself from the past, whatever its action may be explosive when the contained emotions are suddenly released.
The fire opal resonates with the abdomen, the lower back and the meridian of the triple heater. It treats the intestines and kidneys, rebalances the adrenal glands, prevents exhaustion, stimulates the sexual organs.
• Pink Opal
A Pink Opal Stone fills your aura with tranquility and peaceful energy. It is a very stone to use for emotional healing, as well as keeping your emotions in balance. Sleeping with these healing stones underneath your pillow, or meditating with a pink opal stone over your heart chakra, fills your heart with compassion and encourages a gentle resolution of any painful emotional occurrences or memories. Along with Rose Quartz, Emeralds and Rhodochrosite, in our opinion, it is one of the most powerful heart chakra stones.
The pink opal meaning is especially beneficial for sensitive people—loving people—who are in need of healing wounds of the heart. Pink opal healing properties have a gentle frequency that helps to calm and soothe your emotional body, clearing and calming the heart to bring a sense of love, peace, and hope. If you are healing from a breakup, or the loss of a loved one, these healing stones will help to heal your heart and painful emotions, encouraging you to move forward and open your heart to love again.
In addition to healing matters of the heart, the pink opal meaning encourages the release of fear, worry or anxiety. It helps to dissipate stress, allowing you to be more centered and calm. If you often find yourself nervous or anxious, try carrying pink opal stones with rose quartz, blue lace agate, and other calming crystals to soothe your nerves.
Please find multiple of Opal on Etsy