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Opal Gemstone

Opal Gemstone, Opal Birthstone Opal is an amorphous form ofsilica related to quartz, a mineraloid form, not a mineral. 3% to 22% of the total weight is water, but the content is usually between 6% to 10%. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found withlimonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl and basalt. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia,it covers 97% of the world's supply.

Opal's internal structure makes it diffraction light; depending on the conditions in which it formed it can take on many colors. Opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the reds against black are the most rare, whereas white and greens are the most common. It varies in optical density from opaque to semi-transparent.

Opal occurs in two distinct varieties - precious and common opal. Both are fashioned as gemstones, but only precious opal shows a vivid play of iridescent colors for which this gem is prized.

By far the most important sources of opal with a play-of-color are New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland in Australia. The first recorded find of opal in Australia was made in 1872 at Listowel Downs in central Queensland.

Chemical Composition Silica, sio2 n h2o Si02with up to 1
Structure Precious opal consists of regular arrays of tiny spheres of silica and the play of colour depends on the uniformity of size and arrangement of the spheres. The overall structure is amorphous
Hardness 6
Specific gravity Black and white opal about 2.10.
Fire opal about 2.00.
Colour and varieties The most important gem varieties are those showing a play-ot-co/our. The background in opal, regardless of any play-of-colour, may be almost black, to grey, translucent white or transparent colourless; it also occurs in many colours, notably orange, yellow, brown or blue. Descriptions such as 'black' opal or 'white' opal refer to the background against which the play-of-colour is seen. blue and dark green; 'white' opal is the term for light hues. Yellow to orange opal is called 'fire opal'; this variety mayor may not show play-of-colour. Some white opal displays a translucent milky appearance and it is this, not the play-of-colour, which is properly termed 'opalescence'.
Lustre Vitreous.
Optical effects Transparent to opaque.
Refractive index Ranges from 1.44 to 1.46;singly refractive.
However, fire opal may have an RI as low as 1.40.
CAUTION - RI liquid may damage porous opals.
Optical effects Play-of-colour.
Luminescence White and common opal may show a white, greenish, bluish or brownish Fluorescence in LW and SW UV light. Phosphorescence may occur and is sometimes prolonged. Black opal is Usually inert. Fire opal may show a greenish-brown glow. Most natural white opal phosphoresces green after exposure UV, to LW whilst the 'synthetic opal' does not (see simulants later).  
Fashioning Most varieties are cut as cabochons, beads and carvings. Fire opal may be faceted, often with a slightly domed table. Composite stones made with Naturalopal are also common (see later).
Occurrence Opal is deposited in cavities and fissures in rocks from low temperature, Silica-bearing water. Opal may also fossils or soluble minerals.  
Localities New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland in Australia. Brazil and the USA are also producers of opal showing a play of colour. Fire opal is obtained mainly from Mexico. From Roman times until the discovery of the Australian fields at the end of the 19th Century, opals were mined in an area of Hungary. Small quantities have also been found in Nigeria and Somalia.
Precious opal Shows irregular iridescent color patches or p;ay of colours on a pale or dark background. Under the 10x lens these patches show a satiny lustre with parallel striations which vary in orientation from patch to patch. The iridescent colours usually change as the stone is tilted. This is known as the 'play- of-colour'. The range of colours seen varies according to the size of the silica spheres of which the opal is composed.
Boulder opal Consists of rock containing seams of precious opal that are too thin to cut without retaining a backing of the brownish matrix. Opal sold as 'matrix opal' is usually rock with pores or cavities containing precious opal.
Water opal An almost transparent, colorless or light yellowish opal with a play-of- color.
Fire opal Transparent to translucent brownish-yellow, to orange, to reddish-orange. It is most desirable when it shows a play-of-color in addition to its attractive body color. Fire opal is occurred mainly from Mexico, where it has been found in several states including Queretaro, Jalisco, Chihuahua and San Luis Potosi.

Synthetic Opal :
As well as occurring naturally, opals of all varieties have been synthesized experimentally and commercially. The discovery of the ordered sphere structure of precious opal led to its synthesis by Pierre Gilson in 1974.The resulting material is distinguishable from natural opal by its regularity; under magnification, the patches of color are seen to be arranged in a "lizard skin" or "chicken wire" pattern. Furthermore, synthetic opals do not showFluorescence under UV light. Synthetics are also generally lower in density and are often highly porous.

Two notable producers of synthetic opal are the companies Kyocera and Inamori of Japan. Most so-called synthetics, however, are more correctly termed "imitation opal", as they contain substances not found in natural opal (e.g., plastic stabilizers). The imitation opals seen in vintage jewelry are often foiled glass, glass-based "Slocum stone", or later plastic materials.

Astrological Effects of Opal Gemstone: 
Opal is a strange gem, as each one appears different in its delicate beauty, solidity and the capacity to share. Opals gemstone supposed for further improve the positive characteristics for people born under the zodiac sign of Taurus .Its leading Planet is Venus. There are various varieties of opal gemstone, each attractive in its own way. Opal gemstone is sensitive stone that is receptive to the wearer's needs; opals increase your traits & thoughts allowing for the release of inhibitions. Opal gemstone allows for true and natural actions. Opal birthstone helps to wake up the psychic or mystical attributes that lie within. Opal gemstone is good for communication. Opal gemstone is the stone of great success. Opal stone is a good for writers. Opal gemstone is said to be the stone of love, but only to true lovers. Opal stone is the most powerful of healer. Opal gemstone is a good for memory aid. Opals gemstones are said to heal depression. Opal birthstone helps with diseases of the eye.

Opal Gemstone, Opal Birthstone

Substitute For Diamond
Comments Natural Opal with good fire


Substitute For Diamond
Comments Natural Opal with good fire



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