“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars?”- Nora Roberts.
Have you ever wondered about the origins of opals?
Opals are unique, mysterious, and hold a rainbow of colours. Unlike the cooler brilliance of diamonds or sapphires, Opals are warm and inviting, shy one minute and alive with luminescence the next. The holder of this magical gemstone can gaze for hours, fascinated by the changing fire and sparks within the micro world to which they are looking into. This perhaps gives a clue as to why this beautiful gemstone is so popular, especially for those born in October (Opal is the birthstone of October). Most people born in October are Librans, a sign well known for charm, intelligence and extroverted personalities.
Opals receive their unique look from the way they are formed. Unlike the pressure and heat forming of ruby, emerald, or diamond, Opals are formed by rain water as it seeps into the crevasses of a rock collecting silica from sandstone. The uniqueness in their development explains why each Opal looks different as it evolves in the Earth. It can take over 5 million years to form 1cm of mature Opal!
Opals were known to the ancient Romans as the “Queen of Gemstones” and attributed to prophesy by the ancient Greeks. They had a reputation as a protective stone, keeping the wearer safe from harm.
The name Opal comes from the Greek word Opallius, which means “to see a change of colour”, this is a perfect way to describe the vibrancy of Opals.
Opals aren’t just found on Earth. Scientists have discovered areas of Opals on Mars as well, adding extra mystery of this magnificent gemstone.
But here on Earth, Opals are largely found in Australia, which actually produces 95% of the world's supply of this gem. The Australian Aborigines have a myth about opals, noting the creator descended to Earth on a rainbow and where he touched the ground the stones began to shine in every imaginable colour and so Opals were born.
From its unique structure of silica cells to its existence in outer space, Opals are an amazing gemstones, perfect to wear in any Jewellery piece. No discussion of the opal would be complete without noting its reputation as a lucky gemstone. The historic reverence and symbolism of this stone throughout the ages, in so many cultures worldwide, creates an even more profound mystery of this gem.
At Bijoux de Chagall we absolutely love and use natural Opals, but some of our Opal gemstones are Lab-created. Its because some natural Opal stones are very rare and have almost disappeared from our planet, while Lab-grown gemstones have less effect on the ecology.
Mining natural gemstones is an energy-intensive and ecologically invasive procedure, affecting fragile ecosystems across the world. Lab-grown gemstones are a victory for the environment, human rights and gemstones supply chain transparency.
So the Lab-grown Opal stones are amazingly beautiful ecological choice. The geological composition & all characteristics of Lab-grown Opals are the same as the natural Opals.
These Opals are the better choice for everyday wear and much more durable as opposed to natural ones and if you are thinking about own a magical Jewellery piece like ours - take a look!