Precious Color Play Opal.
See more Opal offers.
What is Opal?
Opal is the most colorful of all gemstone. Precious opal reflects light with a play of brilliant colours across the visible spectrum, red being the most valued. Its splendid play of color is unsurpassed, and fine examples can be more valuable than diamond.
The play of colours in precious opal arises from the diffraction of light from submicroscopic layers of regularly oriented silica spheres. Opal usually contains 4 to 9 percent water, but lower and much higher values have been observed. When heated, opal may lose as much as 20 percent of its weight of water, fracture, and then crystallize to one of the silica minerals.
Depending on the origin of the opal, the durability and stability of the gemstone is variable. Mexican, Brazilian, and Australian opals appear to be quite stable. Chocolate colored Ethiopean opals from the Mezezo deposit are quite attractive but crack easily as a result of even the slightest temperature variations.
The most important and exciting new discovery of opal is in Ethiopia near Wegel Tena, 200km north of Mezezo and 550km north of Addis Abba. Unlike opals from Mezezo, these gems are remarkably tough and resistant to crazing. The body color is typically brownish orange to white, transparent to white, and with or without play of color. Perhaps the most unusual feature of the material is its hydrophane (water absorbing) character. When soaked in water, many of the stones become transparent.
Looking for one of a kind custom opal jewelry piece?
Please find your Opal and visit our online jewelry workshop. Our approach to custom jewelry highlights the qualities of each individual gemstone to create a personalized design that enhances and respects the integrity of the stone.
Ask a Certified Gemologist
Site design and maintenance by NetComposite ®.