Saturday, October 6, 2007

"Opal" The October Birthstone

Opals.......a beautiful gemstone that invokes all the colors of the rainbow. This lovely gem is also the official October birthstone. I must admit that opal really is one of my favorite gemstones because of their peculiar "Play of Color". Play of color in opal is the result of water being retained by silicon dioxide thereby producing a rainbow of different colors.

Opals come in many body shades, the one pictured shows a blue shade but you will also see white, black and gray body shades as well.

The more play of color or rainbow effect an opal has, the more sought after and valueable it will be. Black opals with lots of red flashes are highly sought after gemstones and fetch a nice price on the market. Opals are normally cut in what is called a cabochon or flat rounded type of cut. They may come in oval, square, round or most any shape a cutter desires but they are usually in flat cabochons. Some opals, such as the tangy orange mexican fire opal may be faceted like a diamond or other gemstones. This lovely gems are predominately found in Australia, and the US.

In caring for your opals or opal jewelry please remember to not wear them when you are being extremely physical as they are fragile & soft. Do not clean an opal in regular jewelry cleaner which could result in unrepairable damage to the stone. Opals should only be clean with soap and water and dried on a soft cloth. From time to time, it is also a good idea to rub your opal with a bit of baby or mineral oil to help it retain the moisture inside which makes it so pretty! Treat your precious opal jewelry as you would a baby, with love and care and you'll get many years of enjoyment!

I hope you have enjoyed the information provided on this gorgeous gemstone. Maybe it is or isn't your birthstone, but there is no reason you can't enjoy beautiful opal jewelry anytime!


Bill Warren, Registered Gemologist/Owner
The Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Inc.

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