INTRODUCTION TO OPALS
Welcome to our introduction to the incredible world of Opal and thank you for your interest in discovering Opals I cannot wait to divulge some well kept secrets about what is the #1 most precious, most valuable of all commercially available gemstones. I am very excited about opal and as Opal is experiencing a “Renaissance”. All around the world gem lovers are being drawn to the enigmatic opal. The only gem on earth where you can literally ‘hold a rainbow in your hand’. Precious opal supplies are diminishing. They are a resource that we don’t expect it last much longer, in fact Boulder Opal has nearly all been mined out already! This is a gemstone that is a true investment and (like people) each opal is absolutely unique!
The Rainbow is an eternal, mystical symbol that has captivated our hearts and minds from the beginning of recorded history. Symbolizing the eternal link between earth and the heavens with a Rainbow representing ‘an eternal promise’.
Incredibly rare, beautiful and captivating Opals are the #1 most valuable commercially available gemstone on earth, Australia’s National Gemstone and the state emblem of N.S.W.
Opal has been revered throughout the ages and across the continents with Opal deposits in the Middle East. In the first century it is believed that Hungarian Opals (from Cervenica or Cenowitz) were cut in Idar-Oberstein in Germany and traded back through the silk road (so that the Romans would not invade Hungary and plunder their wealth). Opals have also found their way (through mining or trade) to Mexico, Honduras and Aztec Peru.
Set with translucent White Opals the “Crown of Charlemagne” once adorned the head of the Holy Roman Emperor in the 10th Century. Albert Magnus described the incredible “Orphanus” Opal centrestone: “None like it has ever been seen.. Its hue is as though pure white snow flashed and sparkled with the colour of bright ruddy wine...it is a translucent stone, and there is a tradition that it shone at night-time”.
Mark Antony loved Opal and it is said that he so coveted an Opal owned by Roman Senator Nonius that Mark Antony banished the Senator after he refused to sell the almond sized stone, reputed to be worth 2,000,000 sesterces. Mark Antony is said to have coveted the Opal for his lover, Cleopatra.
The great Roman historian Pliny the elder wrote of the Opal as:
"Having the fire of the carbuncle (ruby or garnet), the glorious purple of amethyst, the sea green of emerald, and all those colours glittering together mixed in an incredible way."
The name “Opal” is derived from the sanskrit Upala “Precious Stone” and the Latin Opalus: “to see a colour change”.
More: Where to Buy Opal