The colorful hues of the rainbow are all present in this one gemstone -the
All the colors seem to sparkle and shine together. The unique play
of colors of the Opal is a natural phenomenon, which is fascinating
as well as intriguing.
The phenomenon as was discovered by scientists is due to the
interference of silica gel, in the small spheres, in the stone that
caused refraction which resulted in the brilliant colors of the
stone. The spheres are arranged in compact structures in the stone.
When light passes thought the spheres in the stone, it gets
dissected which resulted in the reflection of the different colors
on the gemstone. This process is known as opalising.
There are numerous legends surrounding the origin of this gemstone.
One such is the legend of the creator coming to earth on a rainbow,
to spread a message of peace. As soon as his feet touched the
ground, the stones on the ground sparkled in the colors of the
rainbow. This is how opals were believed to have originated.
The origin of the opal is Australia which is the largest producer of
Opals. Significant deposits of Opal are also found in Hungary,
Turkey, parts of Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico
Opal is believed to have been derived from Sanskrit word “upala“,
meaning ”valuable stone“. This was probably the root for the Greek
word “opallios” which means “colour change”. Opallios commonly came
to be termed as Opal.
- The most important criterion for
determining the value of an Opal is the play of color and their
- The largest black opal in the
Smithsonian Museum comes from the Royal Peacock opal mine in the
- Opals are Australia's national
- The most famous source of fire
opals is the state of Queretaro in Mexico.
- Andamooka is the place where the
largest Opal was found, with a weight of 6, 843 kilograms.