Indulge in the Splendor of Opal Jewelry


When it comes to luxurious gemstones, few can outshine the opal. Known for its iridescent hues, opal has been revered as a symbol of magic, healing, and hope throughout history. This precious stone has been used for centuries by many different cultures, from the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks, and still remains coveted today.

In recent years, opal jewelry has become increasingly popular, with more and more people eager to indulge in the splendor of this captivating gemstone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at opal jewelry, its history, its properties, and what to keep in mind when buying or wearing it.

What is Opal?

Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica, composed of tiny spheres that diffract light and create a rainbow of colors. This optical phenomenon is called play-of-color, and it’s what makes opal so unique and desirable.

Opals are formed in a variety of geological environments, such as geysers, hot springs, and volcanic regions. They can be found in many different countries, including Australia, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Brazil.

Opals can be divided into various types, such as white opal, black opal, fire opal, and boulder opal. Each type has its own distinct characteristics, such as body color, play-of-color, transparency, durability, and price.

Opal in History:

Opal has a rich history that dates back many centuries. It has been revered by many cultures and used for different purposes. Here are a few examples:

– Ancient Egyptians believed that opal was the god of the underworld’s gemstone, and that it could protect the wearer from evil spirits and nightmares, as well as promote fertility and vitality.

– Ancient Greeks believed that opal was formed from Zeus’s tears of joy after he defeated the titans, and that it could provide foresight and prophetic powers. The Romans later adopted this belief and thought that opal symbolized purity and hope.

– Medieval Europeans believed that opal could cure diseases and promote beauty and success, and that it was a talisman for happiness and good luck. However, opal also gained a reputation for being cursed and bringing bad luck, especially after a popular novel called “Anne of Geierstein” portrayed an opal causing the heroine’s downfall.

– Indigenous Australian people have considered opal sacred for thousands of years, as it is a sacred stone for the Aborigines. Evidence of their relationship with the stone is found dotted throughout the country.

Properties of Opal:

Opal’s beauty and value depend on several factors, including its play-of-color, body color, clarity, pattern, cut, and size. Here are some key properties of opals to consider:


Opals with a strong play-of-color are more valuable than those with a weak one. The play-of-color is affected by the size, shape, and orientation of the tiny spheres. Some color combinations are rarer than others, such as red on black, green on blue, or yellow on red.

Body Color:

Opals come in a range of body colors, from white, gray, and beige to black, brown, and yellow. The most common body color is white, but black opals are considered the most valuable because of their dramatic play-of-color on a dark background.


Like other gemstones, opals can have inclusions, cracks, and other imperfections that affect their clarity and value. However, some types of opals, such as boulder opals, can have “matrix” patterns that add to their unique beauty.


Opals can have various patterns, such as pinfire, broad flash, harlequin, or rolling flash. These patterns are created by the distribution and shape of the tiny spheres. Harlequin opals are among the rarest and most valuable, as they display a diamond-shaped play-of-color pattern.


Opals can be cut into various shapes, such as oval, round, pear, or cabochon. The choice of cut depends on the size, shape, and pattern of the stone, as well as the setting and intended use of the jewelry.


Opals can range in size from tiny chips to large specimens that weigh several carats. The price per carat increases with the size and quality of the opal.

Indulging in the Splendor of Opal Jewelry:

Opal jewelry is a timeless way to indulge in the splendor of this captivating gemstone. Whether you prefer a simple stud earring or a statement necklace, there are many ways to incorporate opals into your personal style. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying or wearing opal jewelry:

Choose Quality:

When buying opal jewelry, it’s important to choose quality over quantity. Look for stones that have a strong play-of-color, a clear body color, and a natural pattern. Avoid stones that are cracked, cloudy, or fractured.

Combine with other gemstones:

Opals can be combined with other gemstones to enhance their beauty and create contrast. For example, opals can be paired with diamonds, sapphires, or amethysts to create a colorful and elegant look.

Consider the setting:

The choice of setting can affect the durability and appearance of opal jewelry. Opals are relatively soft and sensitive to heat, chemicals, and impact, so they require a protective setting that secures the stone and prevents it from chipping or cracking. The most common setting for opals is a bezel, which covers the edge of the stone and protects it from damage.

Opal Jewelry Gift Ideas:

Opal jewelry makes a wonderful and meaningful gift for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or holiday. Here are some opal jewelry gift ideas for different budgets and tastes:

– Simple stud earrings:
A pair of opal stud earrings is a classic and versatile choice that can be worn every day or for special occasions. They come in various sizes and shapes and can be set in gold, silver or platinum, depending on your budget and preference.

– Pendant necklaces:
Opal pendant necklaces are a chic and feminine option that can add a pop of color to any outfit. They can be worn alone or layered with other necklaces for a trendy and personalized look. Some popular pendant styles include teardrop, round, or heart-shaped pendants.

– Statement rings:
Opal rings are a bold and eye-catching choice that can showcase the stone’s beauty and uniqueness. They can come in various styles, such as cocktail rings, stackable rings, or vintage-inspired rings. Some rings feature other gemstones or diamonds to create a more dazzling effect.


Opal jewelry is a luxurious and timeless way to indulge in the splendor of this captivating gemstone. Whether you prefer a simple stud earring or a statement ring, opals can add a touch of magic and elegance to your personal style. By understanding opal’s history, properties, and care, you can choose high-quality opal jewelry that will last for years to come. So go ahead, indulge in opal’s splendor, and embrace the radiance of this enchanting gemstone.

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