If you want something unique for your engagement ring, Opal can be the gem for you. This beautiful stone has many centuries old tales of magic and mystery. His gem is truly unique because of its characteristic appearance and vibrant colours. The ‘Play of Color” is a beautiful feature to see as the gem change color and flashes beautifully as you turn the gem in your hand.
How Opal got its name
What makes it more unique is the fact that no two opals are exactly the same. As for the name the word ‘opal’ comes from the Greek word opallos. This word opallos means to see changes of colour an identifying characteristic of this gem. Another theory of the name has it that the Romans have based their name opalus inspired by the Sanskrit word for the precious stone, upala.
How was opal formed
Coming to the classification Opal is a precious gemstone and a formation of non-crystalline silica gel. According to experts the Opal gemstone is formed when millions of years ago, silica gel trickled into cracks in sedimentary layers of the earth. After years of natural heating and molding processes, this Silica gel hardened to take the form of brilliant opal.
If you get to hold a precious opal, you will be amazed by the flashes of rainbow-like colors changing with the angle of viewing. Experts say that these colors are created by an arrangement of silica spheres within the opal. In fact common opal does not have a flash of color.
Colors of Opals
Opals usually have varying body color and can be either translucent or transparent. However, in the jewelry we generally see opal gems which have a milky-white base with varying flashes of color. The other popular color of Opals is black but it is one of the most rare and expensive opals. Usually all opals that have a body color that ranges between dark grey and black, and has fiery flashes of color are valuable.
Precious fire opals are another choice, and here the base colors of the Opal gem range from yellow to orange. Fire opals can be transparent to translucent, with fiery flashes.
Which Color is the Best
It is a matter of personal choice every gemstone has its own beauty and it depends on the wearer which color appeal to them the most. The most interesting thing for anyone when choosing this gem is that no two stones are the same making your engagement ring really unique and special.
Hardness and durability of the opal gem have a significant impact on its usability. Here we have to mention that opal does not rank high on the hardness scale and the hardness of the stone ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.Which is considerably less as against diamond, which is rated at 10, and is the hardest gemstone. So, the care of Opal gem is really important.
Avoid harsh cleansers for cleaning opals and never place opals in ultrasonic cleaners. Also never rub oil on an opal. Rubbing oil may make it shine brighter but it can cause damage. According to some jewelers it is better to soak opals in water at regular intervals to help them reabsorb lost moisture.