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A Very Opal October

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What do you wear if you can't decide what gemstone matches? You wear a gemstone that includes many colors, while most gemstones only have one! That's what I love about the opal. My favorite thing to wear to show off my opals is black. I have a beautiful opal pendant that was my grandmother's, and it happens to have a great play of color. I tend to wear it with black a lot so that its beauty and opulence can be easily visible.

History of the Opal

The opal, a form of hydrated amorphous silicon dioxide, is believed to have been formed millions of years ago deep within the earth. It was formed as rain fell down into the crevasses of the earth and dried, leaving behind silica, which eventually formed into opal. It is actually a mineraloid, rather than a mineral, because of the fact that it changes form. It name derives from the Greek word "opallios," meaning "changing colors." Most of the world's opals come from Australia, and it is also that country's national gemstone.

In the 1960s, Australian gemologists found that the opal has the ability to diffract light. It is because of tiny amounts of silica gel within the stone that the light is diffracted, resulting in a beautiful array of color. As light enters the stone, it must curve around these tiny pockets of silica as well as bits of oxygen, causing the rainbow color effect visible to the eye.

Colors of the Opal

Opals come in an array of base colors. The most common opal is an opaque white, but they are also found in colorless, black, brown, gray, red, and yellow. The colors within the opal can be found in a wide range, although it is more common to see blues, greens, and yellows.

Opal Mining

As it is the national gemstone of Australia, the majority of opals come from that country. In addition to finding them "Down Under," they can also be located in Brazil, parts of Mexico, Ethiopia, Russia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, and Nicaragua. In the United States, opals have been found in Nevada and Idaho.

Powerful Properties of the Opal

The opal is believed by some to have healing powers. Some people say that the stone helps heal those suffering from depression and helps the wearer find true love. It is supposed to boost positive aspects of those born under the zodiac signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Aries. The play of color is representative of the moodiness and emotions of people, as the stones are different every time you look at them: Colors can become less or more apparent depending on the lighting. Australian aborigines believe that the stone is the mark of the being that created them and brings positivity and a harmonious spirit. They believe that the place where the opals are found is the place where the footprint of the creator touched the earth. Many say that the opal is a stone that brings luck, while the ancient Romans believed that it brought wealth and a positive spirit.