Red opal of course is the most valuable but often times opals of other colors can have features that render them unique in their own right. If you know your opals then you surly know that synthetic opals are now being manufactured and marketed. They are commonly referred to as “imitation” or “synthetic” and the fact is that they can look fantastic.
The problem is that you can bet your last dollar that synthetic opal are being marketed as real opals by someone online right now and this is a person that you don’t want to do business with. Since determining what it is that makes a unique opal ring unique in the first place can have so many variables it is suggested that you do a lot of looking around online before you do any buying.
Beware of any deals that sound too good to be true and if you find a someone that seems stupid and doesn’t know what they are doing watch out. This is because, after the deal is done, it often times will turn out that you were the one that was stupid and didn’t know what they were doing.
One idea is to visit jewelry related chat rooms and talk to like minded shoppers that may be able to point you in the right direction. Also, bear in mind that your first priority should be to find reputable people to buy from. Running around looking franticly for a good “steal” will most often lead to the type of steal that you don’t want.
Opal – The Color Changing Stone
Also known as the October Birthstone and the 14th and 18th anniversary stone, the opal is one of nature’s greatest splendors. The colors can vary in any color of the rainbow. The most striking quality of opal is its ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light. The interplay of different wavelengths of light gives opal its unique visual appeal, and makes it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. It is definitely one of the world’s most beautiful and precious Topas gemstone. The word opal derives from various languages: in Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone”, in Latin, the opalus and Greek opallios, both meaning “to see color change”.
The earliest known opal artifacts was discovered back from 4000 BC in Ethiopia. These artifacts were discovered later in a cave in Kenya by famous archeologist, Louis Leakey. Opal was stated to have magical qualities and also to aid its wearer in seeing unlimited possibilities. It was also thought to loosen inhibitions and promote impulsiveness. Opal has been said in medieval times to be a cure for diseases of the eye. Opal is also stated to be cure for blood disorders, depression, apathy, helpful with reproductive organs, filter red and white corpuscles, and brain disorders.
Opals: How are they formed?
Opal is formed from silica-bearing waters and can be found inside any type of rock. Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water (SiO2 + nH2O). As water runs down through the earth, it picks up silica from sandstone, and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and voids, caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time, and eventually opal is formed. Though the water evaporates, the opal gemstone still contains 13% water.
The Opal can come in many different colors. In its fundamental form the opal is colorless, but this is rarely found. The difference in color comes from the formation process of the water forming tiny spheres, all of which are usually uniform in size and order diffracting light within the stone thus creating various colors of the rainbow. The more uniform the size of the spheres, the more intense, brilliant, and defined the color will be. If the spheres are random in shape and arrangement, common or colorless opal is formed.