What Are Opals?

Opals are unique stones formed by seasonal rains in the outback of Australia. During periods of rainfall, water transports silicon and oxygen (known as silica) into rocks. When the dry season arrives, the excess water evaporates, leaving behind silica deposits that form opal between sedimentary rock layers. 

Renowned for their mesmerizing play of colors and somewhat peculiar characteristics, Anueva Jewelry cherishes these natural stones for their one-of-a-kind beauty. Opals are a swirling galaxy of incandescent colors that dance in the light. These fireworks of color occur because of their structure. Sub-microscopic spheres are layered in a grid-like pattern that refracts light differently to display a rainbow of colors. Nature is truly magical! In this blog, we'll delve into the enchanting world of opals, exploring their history, different types, suitability for jewelry, care tips, and why Anueva Jewelry embraces these exquisite gemstones.

Set of Bezel Opal Rings on Hand

History and Lore of Opals

Opals have a rich history that spans thousands of years. They were treasured by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Opals were historically and culturally associated with love, hope, and purity. According to the Middle Ages' ancient lore, opals were believed to possess mystical powers. This changed after the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Anne of Geierstein” in the 1800s; in the story, an enchanted princess dies after her opal stone’s “fire” is extinguished. For a short period of time, opals faced undeserved suspicion and superstition. It wasn't until the 19th century, with the discovery of Australian opals in 1850, that they regained popularity and appreciation worldwide. Opals are now considered to be a stone that brings good luck. 

Different Types of Opals

Opals come in various types, each with its own unique allure. Here are a few of the more commonly known ones: White Opals feature a light body color with vibrant flashes, while Black Opals, the rarest and most valuable, exhibit a dark body color that intensifies their play of colors. Fire Opals are transparent to translucent and showcase fiery orange, red, and yellow hues, while Boulder Opals fuse opal deposits with the host rock, resulting in stunning patterns. 

Boulder Opal Necklaces

Do Opals Make Good Jewelry?

We love creating beautiful opal jewelry; there’s nothing quite like it! As transcendent as opals are, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before purchasing opal jewelry. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, opals only score between 5.5-6.5. Due to their relative softness, they are more susceptible to scratches and noticeable wear and tear. While we may not recommend an opal for an everyday ring like an engagement ring, they do make for gorgeous jewelry. With the proper settings and precautions, opals can create breathtaking jewelry that embodies the beauty of nature.

How to Care for Your Opal Jewelry

You can use a few simple care tips to help maintain your opal jewelry’s brilliance and extend their life. To protect your opals, avoid exposing them to extreme temperature changes or harsh chemicals. Avoid wearing opal jewelry during strenuous physical activities, as they can be vulnerable to impact. To clean your opals, simply use a soft, damp cloth and store them separately to prevent scratches.

Why Anueva Jewelry Loves Opals:

At Anueva Jewelry, opals hold a special place in our hearts. As mini artistic masterpieces, we are captivated by their dancing colors and fascinating history. They embody the beauty and playfulness of the natural world, aligning in tandem with our nature-inspired philosophy. Our opal jewelry designs draw inspiration from the delicate balance found in nature, bringing a touch of wonder and elegance to your personal style.

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