8 Things You Might Not Know About Opals

While you probably know some of the things on the following list we hope you will find some little nugget about opals that you find interesting. There is certainly more to learn about opals so we hope that the following is enough to get the interest flowing.

1. 97% of the Worlds Opal comes from Australia

Breaking that down further a massive 90% of that 97% is either White Opal or Crystal Opal. The majority of the other 3% of the worlds Opal can be found in the following areas: Czech Republic, Indonesia, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey,and Ethiopia.

2. Black Opals are the Rarest and most Expensive Type of Opal

Black Opal, which has a dark background giving the colours a beautiful deep look to them, is found mainly in Lightning Ridge, NSW, Australia.

3. How Opals are Formed

Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone, and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids, caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time and eventually Opal is formed!

4. There is an Opal formed in a Laboratory

Called Synthetic Opal it tends to have brighter and larger color patches then natural Opal. Also as the intricate pattern that natural opal has cannot be duplicated the pattern of synthetic opal will be a more organised array of colors. While not worth anything near what real Opal is it still is sold the world over and gives you a cheap alternative that looks very similar.

5. Opal is the Birthstone for October

The following is a extract taken from a poem published around 1870 about all the birthstones.

October's child is born for woe, And life's vicissitudes must know, But lay an opal on her breast, And hope will lull those woes to rest.

This verse is focused on Opal and as you can see Opal stands for hope! October was at some stage associated with bad luck & pain so Opal was the perfect remedy as it represented hope and good fortune!

6. Opal is a Delicate Flower

Opals need to be protected at all time from scratches or blows because it is softer and less dense than quartz. It should never be kept in oil or any other chemicals because it may cause the stone to lose some it’s fire like appearance.

7. Opal is Mainly Composed of Water

By keeping the stone in a soft, cool and clean place can actually help keep the Opal looking polished. The other option is to pop into your local Jeweller’s who can help you with a quick polish.

8. Opals have many Beliefs Associated with Them

Opal is worn for numerous reasons, mainly because they look amazing! However there are many other reasons to wear Opal. They are known for bestowing beauty, power and for financial prosperity. Additionally it was said they can improve the personal charm of the wearer and sexual powers.

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