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5 Interesting Facts about Opals You Probably Didn’t Know

In Pearl Jewellery
20 Jul 2015 | No Comments

‘For there is amongst them the gentler fire of the ruby, there is the rich purple of the amethyst, there is the sea-green of the emerald, and all shining together in an indescribable union.’

— Pliny the Elder, about opals

Opals are considered one of the most precious gemstones for their eye-catching beauty, offering a kaleidoscope of colours that represent all hues of the spectrum. Because of their unique beauty, they are sought-after by many jewellery lovers and jewellery stores in Sydney CBD and throughout the world.

But how much do we really know of this mystifying stone? What is an opal and what is it made of? Let’s discover the answers to these questions and more by uncovering some interesting facts about this unique, colourful and valuable gemstone.

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The word opal is derived from the Latin term ‘opalus’, which means precious stone.

Opal is made of hydrated silica that contain as much as 20 per cent water, which means it may dry out if left in a warm environment.

The leading source of opals is Australia.

Australian opals are considered the finest in the world. Approximately 95 to 97 per cent of the world’s supply of opal comes from the three regions namely: New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Other sources of opals include: Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, the United States, Peru, Ethiopia and Nicaragua.

Opal is the birthstone for the month of October.

The gemstone signifies hope, innocence, confidence and purity. Opals are believed to bring about happiness and beauty to the wearer.

The rarest and most valuable opal is the black opal.

This type of opal exhibits a full play of colour, ranging from yellow, blue and green to violet, fiery red and orange. The more colourful the opal, the more valuable it will be. Apart from the play of colour, the body tone, pattern, brilliance and type of opal all play important roles in determining its value.

Opals come in a plethora of colours.

These include: white, orange, yellow, red, blue, green, purple, grey, brown and black. The colour play in opals is due to the silica pieces that diffract light entering the stone. Precious opals are most sought-after not only by opal Sydney jewellers but the finest jewellers and designers in the world because of their colour play that is far more striking compared with common opals.

Unique, magnificent, colourful and valuable, opals are among the most precious stones in the world in league with diamonds, emeralds and sapphires.

Find an extensive collection of exquisite and authentic jewellery pieces made from the finest quality Australian pink diamonds, pearls and opals; visit us at Volle Jewellery today.

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