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OCTOBER OPALS

October 20, 2019

OCTOBER OPALS

Fireworks, galaxies, and a shifting play-of-color are what make the opal so desirable. Opals are unlike any other gemstone in your jewelry box, beyond the myths and "supernatural" ways they form, you will never see two identical opals.
 
Opal, named from the Latin word "opalus" meaning "gemstone of many colors", was first known to mankind around 250 BC. Many cultures believed it possessed supernatural powers and carried or wore the gemstone as a prophecy and personal talisman. 
 
In 1829 the reputation of the opal changed forever when Sir Walter Scott published his best selling gothic novel, Anne of Geierstein. An "enchanted opal" bestowed with magical powers, worn as a hair accessory by the mysterious Lady Hermione, said to reflect her moods as if it sympathized with her emotions. On the day of her daughter's christening, accidental drops of holy water struck the opal, which "shot out a brilliant spark like a falling star, and became the instant afterwards lightless and colorless as a common pebble." Sir Walter pens Lady Hermione dying in his novel shortly thereafter and unbeknownst to him, changing the fate of the opal for centuries. 
 
To this day, you may have heard the myth that "opals are bad luck", but I assure you they are not. While opals May have experienced an unfortunate fate of negative, unfounded superstitions ever since the 1800's fictional tale was published, they are actually a somewhat soft and fragile gem, ironically, created by water. 
 
Opsl is created by seasonal rains that drench dry ground in semi-desert regions, such as Australia's "outback". Rain showers that carry dissolved silica soak deep into ancient underground rock and, once the water evaporates, it leaves solid deposits of silica in the cracks and sedimentary rock. These deposits form opal. 
 
Opals can be found in Australia (one of the worlds largest producers of opal), Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico and Peru. Opals sourced in different regions will differ in their unique background, patterns, translucence and of course, their extraordinary play-of-color. 
 
Opal is a birthstone for October and a lucky one if you ask me! 
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