Opal Stone: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered why most people spend a lot of money on an opal stone purchase ? The answer lies in the huge number of advantages the stone is believed to offer. The name Opal originates from "opalus", meaning a "precious stone." The gem is formed from rich silica waters. It formed when the water runs into the cracks of the earth, collecting silica sands along its journey. This forms spheres that are tightly packed together. Due to its amorphous nature, the stone is characterised as a mineraloid, unlike crystalline forms of silica, which are viewed as minerals.

The stone mainly occurs in fissures of almost all kinds of rocks. You can commonly find it in limestone, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt. It's one of the most colourful gemstones globally and has been used since ancient times for its evident beauty, and some people even believe it contains healing powers. The crytals in this stone contain various colours such as white, colourless, red, white, orange, green, brown, black, pink, and blue. When the crystals are passed near a beam of light, more colours are likely to emerge. These colours mainly depend on the conditions in which it formed the crystal; the stone may be transparent, translucent, or even opaque. The stone is an enigma of light, purity, and mystical play.

In addition to its beauty, the stone is widely known to bring out a person's positive traits and characteristics to the surface. This precious stone is also believed to pick up a person's thoughts, feelings, desires, and wishes and amplify them. When it picks up negative thoughts and emotions, it makes them easier to understand and fix. It's generally said to help you get rid of the undesired emotions that often bother you.

Types of the stone

There are three significant types of this stone: precious, common, and fire. Each of these crystals contains different characteristics. The precious type is known for its ray of colours, hence mostly referred to as the rainbow variant. It's also the rarest of the three. The internal structure of this precious variant causes it to diffract light which produces its play of colours.

On the other hand, the common variant can be easily located worldwide. It comes with a milky lustre and does not show a play of colours. Lastly, the fire variant imitates fire colours, hence its name. It is both transparent and translucent, with vivid colours of yellow, orange, and red.

Other varieties of the stone include:

  • Andean variant: Mined in the Andes Mountain in Peru.

  • The Banded variant: Formed with colour bands.

  • The black variant: The most precious that comes in darker colour variations such as dark blue, dark grey, dark green, with black being the most valuable.

  • Crystal variant: A transparent and semitransparent precious stone with the most amazing play of colour.

  • Moss variant: This variant that looks like a moss plant.

  • Wax variant: has a yellow to brown colour and waxy luster.

History of the stone

Louis Leakey, an anthropologist from Kenya, was the first person to discover the earliest known opal artefacts dating back to around 4000 BC. Such discoveries continue to emerge historically. As the early man found the stones and other minerals around them, they slowly learned to turn them into decorative shapes. As time progressed, communities associated precious stones with a symbol of wealth to their owners. Hungary mined the stone for the Middle East and Europe in the old world. Mexico also supplied its empires with the stone. Since the late 1800s, Australia has remained the largest miner of the stone contributor, with 97% of the world's production. Other countries such as Zambia, Ethiopia, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, Brazil, and Mexico produce differing qualities.

The first discovery in Australia was from a young boy searching for gold and quartz with his father when he stumbled upon these precious stones. The boy stuffed his sack with fistfuls of these stones. From that incident, many men dreamed of collecting the gems, which led to men going to battle with the harsh elements of Australia's backcountry to try their lack. However, most miners in Australia only gave tales of desperations, extreme heat, thirst and the stabbing bushlands. To this day, the stone is known as Australia's gemstone.

The ancient Romans provided the first market for the stone. During this time, the wealthy citizens and the powerful empire had acquired disposable income and a huge passion for gemstones. Because of its ability to shift colours with every shift of light, the stone was rarer than pearls and diamonds and destined to be a stuff of myths and dreams.

Early races credited the stone with the possibility of granting the wearer the ability to see limitless opportunities. The Greeks also believed that it bestowed powers of prophecy to its owner, while the Romans believed it symbolised hope and purity. The Arabian folklore believed the stone fell from heaven in flashes of lightning.

In the middle ages, it was known as the eye stone because it was good for eyesight. Some cultures even thought that the wearer of this precious stone could become invisible to evade dangers. Blonde women also wore necklaces made of the stone to prevent their hair from losing its colour.

In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the stone began to lose its favour in Europe as it was believed to cause bad luck and was closely associated with causing famine and the fall of monarchs. Queen Victoria helped reverse these assumptions by purchasing opals and wearing them throughout her reign. Her action made it one of the most sought after precious stones since the royal court of Britain had been regarded as the model of fashion around the world. People also gave the precious stone to Queen Victoria's five daughters as presents. Finer quality opals were also discovered in Australia, and various fields were discovered and worked on in the latter years of the queen's long reign.

Top benefits associated with wearing the gemstone

  • It helps the wearer live a luxurious life. The stone is believed to help in clearing debts and litigations.

  • It ensures the prosperity of the owner's business, especially in the travel and tourism sector and the export and import sectors. It also supports a good reputation in the society

  • It helps in clearing marital misunderstandings, leading to marital bliss. It's also thought to provide suitable marriage partners.

  • It helps in keeping away nightmares and providing peaceful sleep to their wearers. This is mostly applicable to children who have trouble sleeping.

  • Wearing the stone can help you calm the mind and have a peaceful life. This is mainly for people who are having troubles with their past relationships and have no idea how to deal with them.

  • The stone is also said to cure various illnesses. These include stomach problems and intestine issues like indigestion and acidity complications.it also cures pancreatic and hormonal problems.

  • It cures eye-related problems and provides good eyesight to the owner. It also grants the beholder an excellent immune system.

  • By improving the owner's self-confidence, the stone helps them create an appealing personality by utilising their abilities to the maximum.

  • Its emotional healing properties are associated with heroism, desire, passion, sexuality, and love. Wearing this crystal will help you achieve your desires in life, become more seductive and even help you fall in love with life.

  • It absorbs the vibrations of people around you and reflects the harmful ones to their source. In this sense, it becomes a highly protective stone.

  • It inspires originality and boosts creativity, mostly for artistic fields such as music, painting, theatre, and dancers.

  • The gemstones are said to be miraculous cures to the kidney. This highly becomes beneficial to persons with kidney-related problems such as kidney failures and kidney stones.

  • The gems tend to benefit people in fashion, jewellery, artefacts, expensive cars, and clothes business.

  • It can help you identify your health status. When the owner is sick, the crystals become dull, and when the owner is in a good mood, the crystal brightens up. Additionally, a sick yellow colour of the Opal indicates severe ailment or an accident to its wearer.

  • The gems create neuro-stability to their wearer by creating a good balance between the brain's right and left hemispheres.

  • By improving a person's decision-making skills, the stone enables the free flow of thoughts in one's mind.

Final Word

Nowadays, like in the past, a lot of people still use precious stone for healing and to attain other benefits to their general wellbeing. Opals are some of the most sought after precious stone as they are believed to provide numerous benefits as explained above.