Opals are some of the most complex and beautiful gemstones in the world. The opal is made from a hydrated, hardened silica with a water content anywhere from 3% to 21% by weight. Precious opals diffract light using their internal structure. The colors they take on depends upon the conditions in which the opal is formed. The colors in precious opals can range anywhere from clear and white, black and all the colors in the rainbow. Of all these the white against green are very common. The red against black are the most rare and consequently the most valuable.
97% of the world’s opals are produced in Australia. The majority of opal found is light opal, sometimes called white or crystal opal. The largest and most valuable opal in the world was found in Coober Pedy, in South Australia. The “Olympic Australis” was found in August 1956 and is about 17,000 carats. In 1938 the “Aurora Australis” was discovered in an old sea bed at Lightning Ridge. Weighing in at 180 carats, it’s the world’s most famous and valuable black opal. There are other countries where large deposits of precious opal found, Hungary, Turkey, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ethiopia to name a few. In 2008 NASA discovered opal deposits on Mars.
Black opals have body tone with an impressive tone play of color. These are often the most expensive stones. Common white opals do not reflect colors as well therefore are less expensive. Several factors help determine the value of opals like play of color, pattern, brilliance, color bar, body tone, and faults.
Opals the birthstone for October, are set in all types of jewelry such as rings, necklaces, pins, and brooches. Many people believe in the healing power of opals. The gemstone is said to heal depression and also can be instrumental in finding true love.About the Author:
Julia Lawrence thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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