WHAT IS OPAL MEANING
Name of the mineral rises from the Latin word “opalus” to Sanskrit “upala” – “gem”. From a physical point of view opal gemstones are hydrogels of silica. In other words, opal is an amorphous quartz, containing from 6 to 10% water.
Opals are painted quite differently – all the colors of the rainbow, there are dark gray and even black stones. There are over a hundred varieties of this mineral, a variety of shades, which are caused by impurities of iron, manganese, nickel and other elements.
Depending on the color, some opals have their own names, although the situation with them like the case with agates – a variety of both minerals are too large to be made consistent classification. Opals with a colorful mosaic of red, green, yellow and blue specks of light called Harlequin . The pale milk stones with bluish or reddish highlights vague name “girasole” (from the Italian “girare” meaning “rotate” and sole meaning “sun”).
It distinguished white milky opal, red and yellow fire opals. The Royal opals called stones with dark red center and bright green. Hyalite gemstones are transparent opals, resembling the color of the glass (Greek “nyalos” meaning “glass”). The curious peculiarities have hydrophane (Greek. “hydor” meaning “water” and “phaneros” meaning “visible”) – placed in the water, they become translucent.
The most prized so-called precious opal (or “noble opal”) with a rainbow play of colors on the surface. Its properties of these stones can lose as a result of loss of water or contact with fats and oils. Therefore, owners of opals should prevent them from contact with cosmetics and periodically lowered into the water.
Opals mined in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Gandurasa and Guatemala. Opal deposits exist in the USA, Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, Russia.
Opals has long been treated fairly expensive stones. History brought us information about the disgraced Roman senator Ionniya, this stone was valued at 2,000,000 sesterces.
Nowadays, large gem-quality opals are back in vogue. Precious opal usually not faceting. They give form cabochons and inserted into rings and pendants, brooches and earrings .
Many people ever seen, both inside opal , like lightning flashing multicolored spots. The more saturated and brighter the colors, the more expensive is a stone, especially if the background color is dark gray or black, as in “black” opal. In black opals dominated blue and green areas, but if there is no other shades, the cost of the stone will be small. Highly valued shades of red and gold, in the ideal color “zones”, or “lands” shall be placed evenly across the surface of the stone. Black opals are mined in Australia since the late XIX century.
Opal stones with the background color which tends to white or salad, are cheaper, obviously because the play of colors on them are not so impressive. A transparent variety of the mineral called “water” opal.
Mexico produced a small amount of amazing transparent orange gems, known as “fire” disgrace.
Opal usually granite cabochon or in the form of a flat oval. To him, rarely used refractometer (refractive index – 1.54), except that in case of fire opal, which may be simulated crystals. Unfortunately, the surface of the opal is rarely completely flat, making it difficult test, since it is difficult to read the testimony refractometer.
Customers should very carefully check whether or not an opal doublet, which happens quite often, especially in jewelry from the Far East, in this case, the stone will be very smooth surface.
Opals are very sensitive to temperature changes (even from the lighting). The surface of the stone is easily covered with cracks and scratches, so often sell opals immersed in oil, to hide minor injuries.
In France, the production of artificial opals successfully engaged in the laboratory of Pierre Gilson. Quality black opals are extremely rare, and artificial so beautiful that the buyer should be careful. Gilson synthetic opals are often “too good to be true”, colored areas on them are distributed very evenly, but under a magnifying glass to the edge are expressed too much – this phenomenon is referred to as “lizard skin”.
Opals also subjected to treatment: kept in the sugar solution, burn, causing acid. All these actions are intended to make the background darker, and the color “lightning” – more visible. In practice, the treated stones are easily distinguished from natural, because the game they have different colors. To simulate the opal glass is used (its main producer is John Slocum, USA) and synthetic materials, such as latex.
OPAL HEALING PROPERTIES
Perhaps because of its diversity of color opal in ancient times was a symbol of impermanence. Opals represent the shifting fate. They help sharpen intuition and inspiration.
In the East, especially in India, has long idolized noble opal gems, starting them with stones of love, faith and compassion. Opals enlightens the mind play of light on its surface, scatter the dark thoughts and fears. Looking for Opals, Indian magicians recalled its previous incarnation.
The same properties it endowed opals in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany. In other European countries opals were symbols of happiness, hope and tenderness. These stones were associated with pure thoughts and sympathy.
In “Ayurveda” says that opal gemstone contains three elements: water, fire and heat and may be useful as a healer for the people. The Indians believed that opals help to grow the children. In the XVI century Boetius de Boot – Bohemian court physician of Emperor Rudolph – wrote that opal “calms nerves, helps with heart disease, depression, fainting, remains from the stormy passions and irritations, returns visual acuity and eye-shine.”
In India believed that opal jewelry promote communication between people and build friendships. It was felt that the opals lose the shine, predicting illness of its owner.
Modern lithotherapists believe that opals possess a projective energy Yang. These stones develop intuition and beneficial effects on the nervous system, pituitary, pineal. It is believed that opals harmonize all the functions of the organism and protect it from infectious diseases.
Through the misty glitter and high water content, opals are stones of the Moon and consistent sign Pisces in the zodiacal circle.