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OPAL Education

OPAL FEATURED GEM

opal

Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal's shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem.

Opal's microscopic arrays of stacked silica spheres diffract light into a blaze of flashing colors. An opal's color range and pattern help determine its value.

BIRTHSTONE: OCTOBER
overview
Because opal has the colors of other gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all. The Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. When Australia's mines began to produce opals commercially in the 1890s, it quickly became the world's primary source for this October birthstone.
 
Opal Earring
Opal Ring
0.2 MICRONS

Grids of silica spheres 0.2 microns in size create red play-of-color flashes.

1829

The novel “Anne of Geierstein” gave opal a reputation of being unlucky.

20% WATER

Opal contains up to 20% water trapped in its silica structure.

QUALITY FACTORS 
Play-of-color, intensity, and pattern are important value factors.
color
Color Gemstone

Opal's spectacular play-of-color can display all the colors of the rainbow.

clarity
Clarity Gemstone

Experts expect different levels of clarity for different types of opals.

cut
Cut Gemstone

Fine opals are often cut into irregular shapes that keep as much play-of-color as possible.

carat weight
Carat Weight Gemstone

Opal has relatively low density so even larger sizes can be comfortable to wear.

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