October's birthstone is a good one...opals! My mother's birthday is in October so I grew up over her various opal pieces in her jewel box. Did you know...Opal is a hardened silica gel, usually containing 5-10% water? It is therefore noncrystalline, (unlike most other gemstones) and may eventually dry out and crack. That's why it's often recommended to keep opal in water when not in use.
Photo by Diamonds in the Library. Opals by Parle Gems
Opals come in lots of different colors like orange, blue, white, pink, black and brown. There are two kinds of opals: precious, which shows flashes of iridescence and potch which are more common and often opaque, showing no iridescence. The iridescence of precious opals is the result of the arrangement of tiny silica spheres within the stone and how they refract light. The larger the spheres, the greater the range of colors.
Australia has been the main producer of opals since the 19th century. Other mines include Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Mexico, USA and Southern Africa. It was believed that water, fire and heat are enclosed in opals so it is a remedy for many diseases. Opal helps against heart disease, calms nerves, guards against melancholy, and restores visual acuity. Because of the fiery appearance, it is a favorite stone of magicians and alchemists and has been the source of many superstitions.
Opalescence doesn't have to be relegated to your jewel box, they have made their way into fun makeup choices, furniture, decor and art. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to opals and everything opalescent follow for more Inspo!
How about this image of the Bilbao Guggenheim that covered the Frank Gehry designed building in holographic panels? Incredible!
Are you a fan of opals? Tell me below in the comments!