Oscar Wilde described opal as 'like a broken rainbow', and we can't do any better than that. They shouldn't be natural, but they are, and need seeing to be believed.
Opals are arguably the most magical stone, and for that beauty, they demand a little extra care and attention. They are fragile, as well as absorbent, so need to be looked after a little more than most. Its something to consider when choosing an opal, there is a chance the stone could get damaged at some point in her life and may need attention or replacing. But for us die hard opal addicts, its totally worth the gamble as these beauties are truly out of this world.
Opal is not a crystal like many gemstones but a hydrated amorphous form of silca. The internal structure of precious opal makes it diffract light giving off the insane rainbow colours that we love it for. These bright flashes of colour are called the stones 'fire'.
Ethiopian opal this is the most temperamental of the opals, but as luck might have it, also some of the most beautiful. They are the most absorbent and need to be kept away from oils or dirty liquids. No swimming in rivers or washing on wearing one of these babies.
Australian opal rarer, so yes, you've guessed it, more expensive, but also a harder material than the Ethiopian. They are less absorbent and definitely a wiser choice for a piece to be worn everyday. Brazilian opal is also quite stable.
Black opals when natural these are the rarest, whereas white and greens are the most common.
Fire opal is the orange opal and is different to the fire we refer to in the stone. Fire opal still has fire, its very confusing.
Fun fact: You may have heard the myth that opals are unlucky? This is because it is a porous mineral with a high water content (usually between 6-10%) so with the humidity in the atmosphere are prone to shrinkage. In the past they were known to mysteriously fall out of traditional jewellery settings so gaining this 'unlucky' reputation. All of our designs are created allowing for any shrinkage.
Colours: Clear through white, gray, red, orange (aka fire opal), yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black.
Mohs scale: 5.5 - 6
Crystal formation: Amorphous
Country of origin: Australia, Ethiopia, Brazil and the USA.