Opal Varieties

Modified: April 2011
by Jerry Sisk, GG; Co-Founder, Jewelry Television®

 

If you enjoy rainbows, you should consider opal. It is truly one of nature's most colorful treasures. While you may enjoy an entire assortment of individual colors ranging from white to creamy, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and a variety of shades in between, you may also regale yourself with one stone that contains every color of the rainbow within itself. Highly prized for its spectacular play-of-color in the precious varieties, opal makes a stunning centerpiece in any ring, pendant, or brooch.

Read up on the current state of the opal market here.

 

Black Opal and Crystal Opal

Black and crystal opals will dazzle your eyes with a kaleidoscopic array of colors and patterns, and each one is unique. Like snowflakes in winter, no two black opals are identical. They are yours and yours alone. If you like more subtle colors, look for a stone that exhibits pinfire. Opals that show this smaller pattern of color are amazing. As the stone moves to and fro, small points of color "blink" in and out to remind you of a starlit tropical night--but in this sky, every star is a color of the rainbow.

Fire Opal

If you prefer little or no play-of-color and warm, sunny hues, consider fire opals. Unlike the majority of opals that are opaque, fire opals can be as clear as crystal. With fire opals, you may enjoy a wide array of warm colors ranging from light yellow to cherry red and. Because they are often faceted, you can marvel at the individual facets that capture the surrounding light and bring a fire opal stone to life.

Peruvian Opal

Do you enjoy more subdued colors? Then consider one of the blue to green Peruvian opals. Their soft, soothing colors make a great contrast to the intensely warm and vibrant colors of fire opal.

Precious White Opal

If you prefer a creamy to white gemstone, then consider one of the Australian precious white opals. They are usually quite affordable and can round out your opal collection.

Opal Doublets and Triplets

If your tastes are more attuned to the intensely colored black or crystal opals that are so eye-catching but price is an issue, then consider a great alternative. Opal doublets or triplets, while substantially less expensive, offer the rich array of vibrant colors that you so highly desire at a fraction of the price. Doublets consist of a slice of opal backed with a matching slice of the stone's matrix or another material, which gives the opal slice strength. The opal is still real opal, just with extra enforcement to protect it. Doublets allow you to have the beautiful play-of-color that opals are known for at a fraction of the cost. Triplets are similar to doublets but with an added layer of protection on top of the stone as well. Learn more.

October's Birthstone: Opal

There is one other very special piece of information that I need to share. If you were born in the month of October, then you are one of a select few who have opal for their birthstone. While those born in other months may be limited to only one or possibly two colors for their birthstones, you are blessed with nature's entire rainbow in one magical stone. Alternative birthstones for October are pink tourmaline and pink zircon. Lovely!

The exciting news is that all of these opals have found their way into jewelry manufacturing and are available at Jewelry Television®. Indulge yourself with opals, or find that special piece of opal jewelry for a loved one. Enjoy nature's special gift to man as we celebrate the beauty and majesty of opal.

 

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