Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Australian Opal, one of the most fascinating gemstones in the world. As a leading gemology and lapidary arts expert, we are proud to share our knowledge and insights about this amazing gem with you. Our goal is to help you appreciate the beauty, rarity, and spiritual properties of Australian Opal and provide you with practical advice on how to choose, care for and wear this gem.
History and Geography
Australian Opal is a type of precious Opal exclusively found in Australia, mainly in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia. The first recorded discovery of Australian Opal was in 1849 by a German geologist Johannes Menge, who recognized the potential of opal deposits in Queensland. Since then, Australian Opal has become one of the most important sources of Opal in the world, accounting for over 95% of the global production of precious Opal.
Types and Colors
Australian Opal is a highly diverse gemstone with a wide range of types and colors that vary according to the origin, composition, and structure of the Opal. The main types of Australian Opal are black Opal, white Opal, boulder opal, crystal opal, and matrix opal, each with unique appearances and characteristics. The most valuable and sought-after type of Australian Opal is the black Opal, which has a dark body tone that enhances the play of color or the rainbow-like flashes of light for which Opal is famous. Other popular colors of Australian Opal are white, blue, green, yellow, and red, as well as combinations of these colors.
Characteristics and Quality
Australian Opal is valued for its unique optical properties due to the presence of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light and create the play of color. The quality of Australian Opal is evaluated based on several factors, including the body tone, the play of color, the pattern, the clarity, and the size. The ideal body tone for black Opal is dark or black, while for white Opal, it is light or white. The play of color should be bright, intense, and evenly distributed over the surface of the Opal. The pattern can be anything from a random scattering of color to a distinct shape, such as a harlequin, a ribbon, or a straw. The clarity should be free of cracks, pits, or inclusions that can affect the durability and beauty of the Opal stone. Finally, the size of Australian Opal can range from a small chip to a large specimen, depending on the mining location and the cutting technique.
Uses and Care
Australian Opal is a popular gemstone for jewelry, especially for rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. Due to its relatively low hardness and sensitivity to heat, Australian Opal requires special care to avoid damage and enhance its longevity. Some tips for caring for Australian Opal are:
- Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, high temperature, chemicals, or abrasive materials that can cause cracking, fading, or discoloration.
- Clean it regularly with a soft cloth, mild soap, and lukewarm water, and dry it gently with a hairdryer or a towel.
- Store it separately from other jewelry in a padded box or a soft pouch to prevent scratching or rubbing.
Spiritual Properties and Folklore
Many cultures have cherished Australian Opal for its mystical and healing powers. In ancient times, it was believed to symbolize hope, purity, and protection and was used as a talisman for good luck and healing. In Aboriginal mythology, Australian Opal is associated with the Dreamtime. In this spiritual realm, the ancestors and the spirits reside and Australian Opal is considered a sacred stone that connects the living and the dead. In Hinduism, Australian Opal is linked to the Sahasrara chakra, or the crown chakra, the highest and most subtle energy center in the body and is said to represent spiritual enlightenment, cosmic consciousness, and divine unity.
In modern crystal healing, Australian Opal is believed to have a range of beneficial effects on the mind, body, and spirit, such as:
- Enhancing intuition, creativity, and self-expression
- Calming and balancing the emotions and the nervous system
- Strengthening the immune system and the aura
- Stimulating the metabolism and the circulation
- Facilitating past-life regression and spiritual journeys
We hope you have enjoyed and learned from our guide to Australian Opal. We have tried to provide you with a comprehensive and engaging overview of this amazing gemstone. If you are interested in buying Australian Opal or any other gemstone, please feel free to contact us for a professional and personalized service. Remember that Australian Opal is not just a gemstone but a window into the fascinating world of nature, art, and spirituality. To get more detailed information, you can visit our online store at Navratan.com.