Most gemstones often appear in a single colour, and are even characterised by it. Unlike other gemstones, however, opal has a unique display of flashing rainbow colours. As it showcases unsurpassed splendour and mystique, it’s no wonder that opal is, and remains to be, among the most fabled gemstones there is, as jewellery shops would attest to.

Opal Highlighted As Being One of the Most Elegant Gemstones As Reading Jewellery Shops Could Attest to

Made of Zeus’s Tears

Greeks call this gemstone opallios, which literally means “to see a change of colour”. In fact, ancient Greeks believe that opals are formed from Zeus’s tears of joys as he defeated the titans, and possessing one can bestow prophetic powers upon the bearer. Ancient Romans, on the other hand, regarded opals as a symbol of hope and good fortune. Opals are even favoured by Queen Victoria, amid her wide collection of different gemstones.

The ancient Greeks weren’t far from the truth, though. Opals are the product of seasonal rains that drench dry grounds, and these showers often carry dissolved silica downward as they soak deep into ancient underground rock. As the water evaporates, solid deposits of silica are left, which are then formed into opal.

Despite being regarded by jewellers as a gemstone, opal isn’t actually a mineral, but a mineraloid. Opal lacks a crystal structure that most minerals have. Despite this, however, virtually all scientific references include opal in their list of true minerals.

Different Types of Opals

Though there are different categories for opals, jewellery experts were able to determine five main types. White or light opals are characterised by their translucency or semi translucency, while black opals display a play-of-colour against a black or other dark background. Boulder opals showcase fragments of the surrounding rock, called matrix, while crystal or water opals present exceptional play-of-colour. Fire opal, on the other hand, doesn’t show much play-of-colour, but is characterised by its brown, yellow, orange, or red bodycolour.

Otherworldly Beauty

Given the circumstances in which opal forms, it’s no wonder why almost 95 per cent of opals are found and produced in Australia. Surprisingly, though, astronauts found opal on Mars, making it one of the few gemstones discovered outside of the planet. This seemingly shows the otherworldly beauty that jewellery pieces embedded with opal possesses.

Beautifully unique, opal makes for a great gift for October birthday celebrants. Find an exquisite opal jewellery piece by visiting a jewellery shop in Reading, like Jacobs, today.


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