In honor of it almost being llyn’s birthday month, I want to tell you about October’s birthstone, opal.
“Opal” comes from the Sankrit word for “stone.” It has a hardness of about 6. The finest opals come from Lightning Ridge Australia, although they are found all over the world, including Peru, Mexico, Ethiopia, and our states of Nevada and Idaho.
Opals always contain 3-30% water. If they dry, they can crack.
There are 3 subgroups of Opals: precious, common and yellow-red fire opals.
Precious opals are known for their play of color, which casts rainbow-like hues. This is caused by tiny spheres of only 0.001mm diameter mineral cristobalite layered in siliceous jelly. These can be white, black, boulder, jelly and crystal opals to name a few.
Fire opals, mostly from Mexico, contain no play of color, and therefore, are often faceted. And Common opals are usually opaque and often come from Peru. A few examples of these are Agate, Wood, Honey, Moss, and Andes Opals.
We have beautiful opal strands here in the store! Feel free to stop by and try them on now that you know a little more about them!