Opals or Opallios meaning “to see a change of color” have always had a magnificence to them. Varying shades of the rainbow create a glimmering opulence to the stone. Opals have had various meaning to people throughout history. Queen Victoria was known to gift Opals to all of her daughters on their wedding days. In Eastern cultures, Opals were a symbol of hope. Bedouin legend claims that thunderstorms produced Opals which fell from the sky during stormy weather. Aboriginal tales suggest that in the beginning of time the being that created the world came down to spread messages of peace and that for every footstep he took on earth an Opal was formed.
The Opal is Octobers birthstone. Since the mining days of the 1890’s Australia has become the world’s primary source for this birthstone. Opal is the stone given for the fourteenth Anniversary of marriage. Opals where considered a symbol of hope and luck throughout the world and, it was not until the 1829 novel by Sir Walter Scott, “Anne of Geierstein” that Opals took on the connotation of being bad luck or unlucky. Opals silica spheres form a variety or colors and patterns in the stone thus making no two Opals alike.
Although we are used to seeing Opals in a translucent or kaleidoscope of colors, they actually come in an array of shades.
Black Opals: Black Opals are the MOST sought after and most valuable Opal. These dark toned stones show off the splendor of colors in the Opal and range from jet grey to dark black. The term black Opal does not literally mean the stone is completely black. If it was totally black it would be rendered worthless.
White Opals: White Opals have a “milky” or white body of color. They don’t show off the color variance of the Opal as well as the black Opal does, however they can still be gorgeous and considered good quality!
Boulder Opals: Boulder Opals are shaped between the ironstone boulders in Western Queensland. Boulder Opals can be found in both dark and light shades. They often vary in both shape and size.
Fire Opals: Fire Opals have a distinctly radiant orange coloring to them. The are found mainly in Mexico, and have rightfully been dubbed “Mexican Fire Opals”. These precious stones were treasured by the Mayans and Aztecs.
Crystal Opals: Crystal Opals can range from light to dark and are transparent with sharp coloring.
Houston Jewelry and Fine Gifts can find the perfect Opal or gemstone for you or someone you love. Visit us today and let us assist you in all of your jewelry needs!