Opal

From Latin Opalus and Greek Opallios, meaning “to see a change of color”.

Opal stone: general data

Opal stone, renowned for its great beauty and beautiful rainbow colors, has effective effects on mental and physical well-being.

Its quality is determined according to the purity of its crystals, creating the iridescent reflections. It contributes to the awakening of consciousness, helping the wearer to let go and to live in the present moment.

Meanings of opal stone

Its history goes beyond that of men and extends across our entire planet. From Sanskrit “Upala” meaning precious stone, Latin took the name of Opalus, Greek that of Opallios, and gave it the meaning “to see a change of color”.

Exploited for 10,000 years in the Virgin Valley in North America, opal was found in opal-decorated objects from Ethiopia were discovered in a cave in Kenya and dated to 4,000 BC.

Legends related to meteorological phenomena were associated with it among different cultures: the Aborigines had baptized it “rainbow serpent” or “rainbow snake”, since the creator god would have gathered this spectrum of colors in order to give birth to the stone. We find this idea in India, where the goddess of the rainbow would have transformed into opal in order to escape her many pretenders captivated by her beauty. Finally, the Arab culture tells that from the light of the lightning trapped in the rock results opal.

Composition of opal

Opal is formed by alternating dry and wet periods. Precipitation, through erosion, transports various elements into groundwater, including silicon, a natural form of silicon dioxide that accounts for more than 60% of the earth’s continental crust. Via an aqueous chemical reaction called hydrolysis, silica forms the opal, which is then rich in impurities.

When a new dry period occurs, the upper layers of chalcedony and quartz, from which the opal is extracted, form after evaporation. This unpredictable and sometimes very small silica deposit requires an artisanal operation. The main deposits have been identified on the Oceanian and American continents, but also in various regions of the world.

Opal history

Discovered in Australia in 1849, it is housed in the layers of sandy clay deposited in the Cretaceous period by the sea covering the depressions forming the Great Artesian Basin.

Opal production began in 1890 in what became New South Wales and Queensland. Today, 75% of opals come from the fields of Coober Pedy: discovered in the 1920s, they extend over 70 kilometers.

Opal: a mineral or gem?

Considered a mineral until 2007, the opal stone is composed of several elements: cristobalite, tridymite, amorphous silica hydrated, and also contains a percentage of water more or less high depending on the varieties. It cannot therefore be considered as a mineral. Often compared to quartz, the crystalline structure of the opal is its characteristic. Its quality is determined by the purity of its crystals, creating iridescent reflections.

The play of color comes from a diffraction of light, the result of the random arrangement of microscopic plates of tridymite spheres, or cristobalite. It separates the two fundamental varieties of opal:

  • The common opal does not present a play of color;
  • The noble opal, a very transparent type of quartz, is considered as fine stone and used in jewelry.

The opal «harlequin» is characterized by an extremely rare distribution of colors similar to the plaid / garment with the checks of the same name, but its background color can be black, like white, or even boulder. This does not make it a variety.

Varieties of opal

These varieties are distinguished by the origin, the color of the background or the nature of the gem:

  • Alumocalcite;
  • Diatomite;
  • Fiorite;
  • Forcherite;
  • Hydrophane;
  • Isopyre;
  • Mascareignite;
  • Menilite;
  • Neslite: light and soft, it floats on the water;
  • Opals by deposits;
  • Fire opal: its shades can vary, ranging from transparency, to orange yellow or red, and color schemes are not always present;
  • Black opal;
  • Golden opal;
  • Quincite.

Lithotherapy: virtues and properties of opal on the psychological level

Several properties associated to opal stone

Lithotherapy uses crystals to act on energies and chakras. The water contained in the opal dissolves the energy barriers related to beliefs, fears of lack, and restores the free flow of energy. It contributes to the awakening of consciousness, helps to let go and to live the present moment.
Each variety has its own vibration and sees its action aimed at different aspirations:

  • The common opal, vibrating to a softer intensity than the transparent and those of fire, presents calming and soothing effects on the emotional body: sensitive people, or suffering from excessive stress, will especially benefit;
  • The noble opal, meanwhile, has a powerful effect on the balance of energies;
  • The Ethiopian opal is used in the root chakra, heart chakra and coronal in the treatment of nervous system disorders, mental and nervous instability, and sadness. It acts as a mirror reflecting the inner visions, facilitates astral travel and stimulates dreams;
  • The opal of the Andes heals emotional wounds.

Virtues and choice of colors
Similarly, the choice of colors must not be neglected:

  • White: to face our inner life. A symbol of the purity of feelings, it is often used to create positive vibrations and balance the chakras, thus bringing joy, clarity and intuition;
  • Black: to ease our anxieties. It prevents apathy and lethargy;
  • Boulder: stone of contact with the higher spirits, the Indians used it in ceremonies and rites of passage. It unblocks the chakras and reinforces the addition of light into the aura.

Lithotherapy: virtues and properties of opal stone on the physical level

Opal stone acts both psychologically and physically, the two being intimately linked. It purifies blood and kidneys, facilitates delivery, and alleviates premenstrual syndrome. Stone of sensuality with aphrodisiac effects, it develops the senses and releases inhibitions.

  • Grey opal strengthens and strengthens the heart, blood circulation, parasympathetic system and nervous system;
  • White opal promotes sleep, in addition to being beneficial for digestion and gastric disorders;
  • Pink Andes opal relieves respiratory and viral diseases;
  • The turquoise blue Andes opal regenerates the skin, regulates the kidneys, stimulates the production of globules and rebalances the hormonal system.

What is the power of opal stone?

Attached to the root chakra, the Opal facilitates a better centering on oneself. Located at the base of the spine, the root chakra is the first chakra. It represents the connection to the Earth. If it is not balanced, then all other chakras will be destabilized. It is a chakra that helps to be on the right path. With an opal bracelet on the wrist, stress and anxiety decrease. The vibrations of the stone activate the circulation of energies and allow the root chakra to unlock. If it is not in harmony with the body, the root chakra brings frustration and aggressiveness.

Located at the level of the sternum, between the two shoulder blades, the heart chakra is the fourth chakra. It is a center of energy at the origin of love and joy. The Opal, stone of protection and wisdom, acts directly on this chakra. This will help to heal from separation, maintain self-esteem and find emotional and emotional balance.

Discover our others precious stones

Advices
25.11.2020

How to choose a quality diamond?

In the universe of precious stones, the diamond is undoubtedly the most desired and coveted stone. You have certainly seen, touched and possibly bough...

Read more
25.11.2020

Cleaning & maintenance advice

Beautiful jewels should be worn and admired and thereby it is normal for it to tarnish over time. As a consequence, a jewel must be cleaned regularly ...

Read more