Geology / History
Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica its water content may range from 3% to 21% by weight, but is usually between 6% & 10%. Because of its amorphous character it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike the other crystalline forms of silica which are classed as minerals. It forms at a relatively low temperature by descending percolation of surface mineral solutions & may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock. It is most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl & basalt.
Although Opal is a mineraloid, it has an internal structure. At micro scales it is composed of silica spheres some 150 to 300nm in diameter arranged in a hexagonal or cubic close-packed lattice. These ordered silica spheres produce the internal colours by causing the interference & diffraction of light passing through the microstructure. Depending on the conditions in which it formed & the alignment & size of the silica spheres it can take on many colours. The more uniform the alignment & size of silica spheres the greater the quality of precious Opal.
Common opal is referred to as potch & does not show the display of colour exhibited in precious opal. Precious Opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, & black. Of these hues, the reds against black are the rarest, whereas white & greens are the most common.
Opals have a very long history with the human timeline & have been revered for thousands of years. The term Opal originally derived from the term “Upala” which is Sanskrit for “precious stone”
Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world's supply. South Australia accounts for approximately 80% of the world's supply of gemstone precious Opals.
Opals are stones of great magic & good fortune making them fantastic for manifestation of all kinds. All Opals are fierce protectors of light, keeping their human friends surrounded in a force field of radiant light. They increase emotional strength & open the mind to its higher self. A powerful ascension stone which teaches us how to embrace our light & our darkness, to embrace all aspects of the self brings wholeness & oneness, creating joy & happiness. They teach us about connectivity, this removes the illusions seen within human life & brings forth the truth of our own divinity. Opals are very powerful they deflect negative energies returning them to the source & will release negative emotions & trigger point from traumatic experiences.
Much like Obsidian, Opals show us our darkness giving us the courage to understand, embrace & integrate it into the whole divine being. They stop us from seeing our darkness or pain as a barrier to happiness & light, they teach that it is indeed the path to it. This is an ancient wisdom of oneness a universal secret to enlightenment.
White & Black Opal: A very fine & delicate energy. Aids in expressing your true self. A protective stone especially when venturing into dangerous places. Brings loyalty & spontaneity. Reflects negative energy back to its source.
Blue/Green Opal: Opens to new opportunities & encourages openness. Helps to see the world with new eyes. Alleviates emotional burdens & liberates feelings promoting emotional recovery. Helps to balance relationships. Gives meaning to everyday life. Cleanses & rejuvenates. Alleviates colds & flu.
Pink Opal: Activates clairvoyance. Helps to heal headaches that arise from a blocked or unopened third eye. Promotes tissue regeneration, heals blood disorders, muscle tension & spinal disorders.
Crystal System: Amorphous
Form/Habit: Irregular veins, in masses & nodules
Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
Lustre: Subvitreous to waxy
Specific Gravity: 2.15
Transparency: opaque, translucent, transparent
Colour: Colorless, white, yellow, red, orange, green, brown, black, blue, pink, purple
Fluorescence: black or white body colour: inert to white to moderate light blue, green, or yellow in long and short wave. May also phosphoresce; common opal: inert to strong green or yellowish green in long and short wave, may phosphoresce; fire opal: inert to moderate greenish brown in long and short wave, may phosphoresce
Wearing Opals - Do not expose doublets & triplets to water. Do not expose Opals of any kind to any chemicals. Always remove jewellery before bathing/showering.