Opal is a beautiful, iridescent gemstone that has long been associated with October. Opal is the official birthstone for the month of October, as well as the traditional gift for the 14th and 18th wedding anniversaries. If you're looking for a unique and eye-catching birthstone to add to your jewelry collection, opal is the gem for you!
This colorful stone can be found in various shades, and it often displays a play of truly stunning colors. Because of their rarity and beauty, opals are one of the most popular gemstones in the world. Keep reading to discover everything you need about this gorgeous gem.
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What is Opal?
Opal is a type of mineral called hydrated silicon dioxide. It's made up of tiny spheres of silicon dioxide stacked together in an orderly fashion. The spaces between these spheres cause the opal to diffract light, which creates its signature iridescent sheen.
Opal is found in various colors, but the most common are white, black, and fire opals (red, orange, or yellow).
Two Main Types of Opal
Opal has two main types: valuable opal and ordinary opal. Precious opal is the more precious and uncommon variety; it has play-of-color, which means it shows a spectrum array of hues when viewed from different angles.
Common opal does not display play-of-color and is typically translucent or opaque.
Where is Opal Found?
Opals are found in pockets or veins within sedimentary rocks. They typically form near the surface of the earth, which makes them relatively easy to mine.
Most mined opals come from Australia, which is thought to produce 97% of the world's supply. Other notable sources of opals include Brazil, Ethiopia, Honduras, and Mexico.
How is Opal Used?
Traditionally, opals have been used in jewelry; in fact, opals have been coveted by royalty and nobility for centuries. Today, opals are still frequently used in rings, pendants, earrings, and other jewelry pieces.
However, because of their iridescent sheen, opals are also a popular choice for use in art and decor.
Because of its unique properties, opal is used in a variety of ways in jewelry design. Here are some of the most popular uses for opal in jewelry.
Opals are often used as inlays in other pieces of jewelry. Inlay Work is the process of setting a gemstone into another piece of jewelry, usually made from a different material.
This technique is often used to add color and interest to an otherwise plain piece of jewelry. Opals make beautiful inlays because of their stunning colors and patterns.
Doublets and Triplets
A doublet is a thin layer of opal that has been glued to a base stone, usually black onyx or obsidian. This technique is used to create the illusion of a thicker stone, as well as to make more affordable pieces of jewelry.
A triplet is similar to a doublet, but it has a clear quartz cap over the top of the opal layer. This protects the opal layer and makes it more durable.
Opals can also be cut into beads and strung together to create beautiful necklaces and bracelets. Because opals come in such a wide range of colors and patterns, they make very versatile beads that can be mixed and matched with other stones to create unique pieces of jewelry.
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Styling With Opal
Opals are a beautiful and unique gemstone that come in many different colors. They can be worn as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
Opals can be dressed up or down and are a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit. Here are some tips on how to style opal jewelry with your outfit.
Wearing Opal Rings
Rings are the most popular type of opal jewelry. They can be worn on any finger and are a great way to add a pop of color to your outfit.
To style an opal ring, pair it with other delicate rings or wear it as a statement piece. If you’re wearing an opal ring as a statement piece, keep the rest of your jewelry simple.
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Wearing Opal Necklaces
Opal necklaces are a great way to add a touch of luxury to any outfit. They can be worn alone or layered with other necklaces. If you’re wearing an opal necklace alone, choose a shorter necklace that hits at the collarbone.
If you’re layering necklaces, choose one or two other necklaces that complement the opal necklace.
Wearing Opal Bracelets and Earrings
Opal bracelets and earrings are the perfect way to add a touch of sparkle to any outfit. They can be worn alone or paired with other bracelets and earrings. If you’re wearing opal bracelets alone, choose a thin bracelet that hits at the wrist bone.
If you’re layering bracelets, choose one or two other bracelets that complement the opals. When pairing earrings with an opal bracelet, choose small studs or hoops.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating opal into your jewelry collection. Whether you prefer the classic look of an opal doublet ring or the bohemian vibe of an opal bead bracelet, there’s sure to be an option that speaks to your personal style.
So next time you’re in the market for some new jewelry, keep opal in mind—you might be surprised by how versatile this iridescent stone can be.
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Wearing The October Birthstone
Opal is a truly unique gemstone with a rich history dating back centuries. Whether you're looking for a beautiful piece of jewelry or a stunning work of art for your home, opal is sure to add a touch of luxury and sophistication.
And because it's the birthstone for October, it makes the perfect gift for anyone celebrating a birthday this month!Related Link: The History of Birthstones