Friday, August 20, 2010

Understanding Opals at Their Origin

Shrouded in mystery, the undulating color schemes of natural opal lends it to stories woven in ancient intrigue. This natural gemstone with its many varieties needs little intervention by man to wow the connoisseur.

Early inhabitants of Australia, the aborigines, tell of the Creator descending to earth on a rainbow bringing a message of peace to all mankind. The very spot where his foot alighted became infused with rainbows hues--and thus opals were born.

Still today, it's said that 95% of all opals are mined in Australia. Their story began millions of years back when water and silica covering a vast area of that continent created the perfect storm in which to develop these silica rich natural gems.

Opals are in fact a silica gel, and depending on the specimen, its water content can range from 3 to 10% of the total stone. The mechanism behind Opals' rare and shimmering play of color is traced to the crystal configuration. Remember the multi-hued soap bubbles that fascinated you as a child? Precious opal is structured by microscopic spheres packed closely together. This results in opal breaking up light into its various rainbow colors, a completely different way than how transparent gemstones glisten.
The result; a spectacular light show.

Yael Designs knows a thing or two about spectacular light shows. Take a look at their chic double drop opal pendant. The coup is how they manage to find such exquisitely matched vibrant blue opals to pair into one splendid pendant.

Image Courtesy: Yael Designs: Opal 4.10ctw, white diamonds, .59ctw, MSRP: $4908.00 US

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