How Opal Is Formed
Opal’s country of origin is Australia. With its seasonal rains, silica deposits are carried underground between the layers of rock. When the water is evaporated, these deposits form tiny spheres. Opal’s flashing play-of-color is caused by dispersion of light by silica spheres stacked like tiny ping-pong balls in a box. There are many legends from various groups of people that serve as a way to explain this phenomenon. In Australia, they believed that the creator came to Earth on a rainbow, leaving these colorful stones where his feet touched the ground. Today, opal is prized for its unique play-of-color, which is how its value is determined. The finest opals possess broad patterns over the stone’s entire surface, in which all the colors of the spectrum are represented.
The ancient Romans and Europeans believed opal to be a symbol of love, hope, fidelity, and purity because it encompasses all the colors of all other gems. Many cultures have credited opal with supernatural origins and powers. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and protected them from disease. Throughout most of history, opal has been regarded as the luckiest and most magical of all gems because of its many colors.
There are over a dozen variations of opal. White opal is the most common variety, displaying a milkier color with hints of the entire rainbow- making it ideal for statement jewelry that can be worn with anything. The piece we recommend to wear with any outfit is our 18K white gold ring with a 1.78 carat oval opal. It is adorned with 112 fully cut diamonds and takes on the timeless halo style.
Black opal is among the most prized for its blue, gray, or black color. This type of opal has a darker base allowing for more rainbow colors to disperse- as shown in this custom-made ring. This immaculate ring is made in platinum and features a 4.35ct oval shaped black opal and has 42 fully cut diamonds.
The Mexican Fire Opal gives off a glowing red-orange color, unique to its formation. It is created when water seeps into silica-rich lava. Then, under incredible heat and pressure, becomes trapped within itself. The result is a bold and breath-taking hue. Since the times of the Mayans and Aztecs, it has been regarded as giving its wearer confidence, energy, and joy. This Underwood pendant is made in 18K white gold and features a 3.04 carat cushion shaped Mexican Fire Opal and is surrounded by 25 fully cut diamonds.
Boulder Opal has a unique relationship with its host rocks in that you can see the formation behind them. The result is a surface of exotic patterns and celestial imagery. It is placed on creative display just as often as it is set in jewelry. For the boulder opal, Underwood’s recommends this “trapeze” style necklace. It features a free-form shape 3.20 carat boulder opal made in 14K yellow gold that is surrounded in fully cut diamonds in the halo.
Come see these amazing Opals and much more only here at Underwoods Fine Jewelers! Located at 611 W. Dickson Street in Fayetteville. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm and Sat 10am-5pm. You can contact us at 479-521-2000 or email@example.com.