Opals, the birthstone for the month of October, have a mystery and history as interesting as their iridescence.
Whether you were born in October or not, improve your knowledge of opals with these fun facts from Adina Jewelers from Empire:
- The opal is an ancient mineral known as petrified silica gel that is found near the earth’s surface where geothermal hot springs once existed.
- Many opals contain a rainbow-like iridescence known as “opalescence,” which changes the colors that appear in the stone depending on the angle it is viewed.
- Opalescence is caused by a hydrous silicon dioxide material that causes the gemstone to flash iridescent colors when the opal is viewed from different angles.
- The subcategory of opals known as precious opals are the most in demand because of their “opalescence” or “play of color.”
- The word opal is derived from the Latin word “opalus,” meaning precious jewel, as well as “upala,” the Sanskrit name for precious stone.
- Opals are given to celebrate a 14th wedding anniversary, and are a symbol of faithfulness and confidence.
- The ancient Romans called the opal “Cupid Paederos,” which translates to “a child beautiful as love.”
- In ancient Rome, opals were ground up and consumed because they were believed to have healing properties and the power to ward off bad dreams.
- The Great Bard, Shakespeare, loved opals so much, he nicknamed them the “queen of the gems.”
- The opal is Australia’s national gemstone, and its indigenous people call opals “the fire in the desert.”
- Coober Pedy, Australia, is known as “The Opal Capital of the World” because 51 percent of the world’s supply of opals are mined there.
- In 2008, NASA discovered opal deposits on Mars! Since opal is made up of mostly water, Mars may have contained water for billions of years.
If you’re born in October, or just looking to buy beautiful opal gemstones, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a magnificent collection of estate and vintage opal jewelry, available at true wholesale prices, as well as a wide variety of precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry. Shop online today, and remember, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.