It’s Opal Month!

This is our month, so let’s celebrate!
If you have subscribed to our eNewsletter (in time), you will see we have a special offer on all* of our items listed online (*excluding already discounted pieces). So now’s the time to grab that special order for the October-born person in your life, or stock up for Christmas… or hey, treat yourself.

But also, let us look at our favourite gem a little closer, with some interesting facts and tips about Australian Opal and Opals Down Under as well.

1. Contrary to popular belief, Solid Natural Australian Opal is non-porous.  Everyday we have people asking if it’s ok to wear the stone in water.  Yes. Yes it is.  Opal consists of a combination of silica and good ol’ H2O.  Though we don’t recommend wearing opal jewellery in the water all the time (it’s not good for the jewellery), it is ok for the opal to be wet.  You do not, however, have to immerse Australian Opal in water all the time (as one Old Wives’ Tale leads many to believe). 

2. When Lightning Ridge Black Opal was first imported to the UK over a century ago, London Jewellers were sceptical, even so far as to claim that these opals were treated, due to their darker body tone.

3. Often we have requests via email, facebook or online chat, asking to value someone’s opal.  It usually goes something like, ‘Hi, I have a large white opal… what is it worth?’
So, to get straight to the point, we don’t know, as we actually need more information. Yes, opals are valued on a dollar per carat basis, but there are plenty of factors that help to define the overall value of the stone – rarity (opal type), colours, pattern, clarity, size, and brilliance.  So for future reference, if you’re going to ask for a quick valuation online, best to send through some photos (clear ones, please!), along with your question.

4. No, it is not bad luck to wear opal if it is not your birthstone.  Notice how many people out there are wearing diamonds (birthstone for April)? They can’t all seriously be all born in the Diamond Month.  If you like opal, wear it and enjoy it.  We do (and only one of our staff members is actually born in October here).

5. One of the very cool things we love about our opal is how the display of stunning colour that you see in the stone is merely a diffraction of white light into the colour spectrum. And pending on the size of the microscopic silica bead, depends on the colour that is diffracted out. Nature is amazing!

6. We love how quite often, you can see images appearing in the opal, just formed by chance.  We have stones here that have displayed eagles, castles, even a skull! It’s like cloud watching, but in a magnificent gemstone instead.

These are only just the tip of the metaphical iceberg, when it comes to our love for Australia’s National Gemstone.
But what about you? What is it that you love about Opal?  Leave a post on our Facebook page.