Oh, mighty opal of October. There's not much that needs to be said about its beauty. Flashes of color dancing in a glimmering stone. This birthstone is as versatile as it is colorful - use it for playfulness and strength, tenderness and truth, to amplify your karma and keep your cool all at once. Now keep reading for the good stuff.
Opals aren’t shy about the magic they carry, and that’s part of their charm. From rainbows dancing in jelly opals to the flashes of color that light up black opals, opal refuses to be mundane.
It all goes back to how opals were formed, you see.
the Sanskrit upala, meaning ‘precious stone’, and later the Greek derivative Opallios, meaning ‘to see a change of color’
Opals are the earth’s capsules of bygone days, with water as its magic wand. The elixir of life that can start civilizations, grows seeds into lush forests, and gives opals its cacophony of colors. Water is where it all starts.
Time creates layers of dust and stories over, captivating age-old wisdom. Settling into the nooks and crannies between dinosaur bones and secret voids the earth forgot. Time and pressure eventually eliminate the water, but the memory remains.
Birthstone for: October
Opal zodiac sign: Libra (23 September-22 October)
The fourth chakra - the Heart or Anahata chakra.
A balanced heart chakra keeps your well overflowing with love. It helps you gain the ability to forgive and love yourself and others, even when you think you’ve reached the limit.
The seventh chakra - the Crown chakra or the sahasrāra chakra.
The crown chakra is the bridge to the Cosmos (or the ‘umbilical cord’ to the divine). Located above our head (our crown), the Crown chakra keeps your heart and head open to any divine wisdom coming your way. Activate it whenever you feel spiritually jaded or losing out your sense of focus.
How opal fits into your life:
Birthstone for October | Libra | Your partner of 14 years.
The innocence of youth
Slowing down the restless mind
Letting go of the one who doesn’t deserve you
Getting 20/20 vision of your inner self
Fixing broken bones or broken spirits
Summoning fertility by placing under a pillow
Filling an empty nest
Saying goodbye to your toxic imaginary friend or bad dreams
Being here now
Opals are mined around the world, from Australia to Ethiopia to Peru, but Australia is our favorite source of opal!
Our opals are sourced from: Lightning Ridge, Jundah, Coober Pedy, Yowah (Australia) and America
Tough Love level:
5.5-6.5 Mohs scale of hardness with ‘very poor’ toughness. It’s best to use opal as earrings or necklace, especially for daily use. When used as a ring, make sure to take it off anytime you’ll be in contact with perfume, soaps, detergents, or the likes. Keep it off when you’re working out or doing anything laborious with your hands as opal is considered fragile.
Smoking may be done on white or transparent opal to turn it black, which will fetch higher value. The black smoke will literally permeate into the opal’s pores, turning it black. It’s more common on Ethiopian opals, which unscrupulous sellers may market as natural black Australian opals.
Oiling is done to fill cracks in the opal, and to increase its durability. Beware that this isn’t the most effective treatment to hide cracks and fissures.
Resin treatment is done on thin slices of opals to give it more durability and size. When a thin slice of opal is assembled with a base and/or a clear top, it’s called doublet opal or triplet opal. These are sold for a fraction of the price, but are actually not a solid opal. To check whether or not your opal is a composite, look from the side and find any visible layers. Composite opals aren’t difficult to spot. Resin treatment is also done to seal moisture inside the rock and smoothen the pits, giving it a shinier appearance.
Synthetic opal is often made from plastic. It can be indistinguishable from natural opal, but synthetic opal might not have the hardness and properties of a real opal. Any trustworthy jeweler should disclose this information before selling it to you.
Cleaning, care, and caution:
Since opal loves water and is a soft stone, avoid ultrasonic cleaners and harsh chemicals. If you really need to clean your opal, use warm, soapy water, preferably made from natural ingredients, like our lerak jewelry wash! Read more about caring for your opals here.
Different regions inevitably produce different kinds of opals.
Yowahand Koroit nuts are caramel brown “nuts” with veins of precious opal matrix inside, found in Australia.
Jelly opals is transparent and looks like wobbly jelly
Fire opal is known for its distinct orange color, mostly found in Mexico.
White opal is milky - some may have rainbows in it
Honey opal is a warm yellow opal.
Crystal opal is translucent with more colorplay than jelly opal
Welo opal is from Ethiopia .
Black opal has a very dark body tone which really brings out the color.
Pink opalis soft pink with milky-white swirls. Commonly found in Peru.
Butte opal is mined in Oregon, USA. It’s famous for a range of large opals with aqua-blue bodytone and pink, lavender clouds inside.
Fossil opal are bones, teeth, and parts of dinosaurs fossilized as opals.
Boulder opal are ironstone boulders which contain thin seams and patches of precious opal, think veins of color in spectacular patterns.
Solid, doublet and triplet
Don’t let yourself get carried away by composite opals - these aren’t solid opals, but a thin layer of opal on wood, obsidian or ironstone. It’s like what veneer is to wood. They’re much less valuable than solid opal.
Psst. we only stock solid opals for our designs.
In the industry, opals are graded based on their bodytone (N1 for black all the way to N9 for white), brightness (how vibrant the colors are), color and patterns (with exotic names like harlequin, pinfire, floral and peacock tail).
WHO SHOULD GET OPALS?
October babies and Libras for sure!
TAKE AN OPAL HOME
Check out our full collection of opals and see if any of the flames in our opal collections sets your heart ablaze!