Opal is a hydrated silica (SiO2.nH2O) with a water content within the mineral structure. Precious Opal contains 6% - 10% water and consists of small silica spheres arranged in an orderly three dimensional structure. It is created by percolating water in or near sedimentary volcanic ash that dissolves silica of shells, bones and woods, "fossilizing" them into opal.
Opal is not a particularly hard stone so care must be taken to preserve the natural beauty of this gem .
The Opal is truly the "Queen of Gems" and the Eve of the Gods. A stone of hopes, positive actions and achievements. It has always been one of the most popular and esteemed gems, known to absorb, carry and pass enormous amounts of energy.
A mysterious gem, as each one appears different in its delicate beauty. Promotes psychic stability and the capacity to share. A stone of love and romance and a stone to grant wishes and personal happiness.
The Romans first popularised Opal about 100 BC and gave it the name opalus (to see a change of colour). They prized Opal above all other precious stones and believed the holder to be charmed with good fortune. The only European source of this rare and prized gemstone prior to the sixteenth century was the volcanic deposits of Czechoslovakia . Later the Spaniards brought back fine examples of Aztec Opal from the New World. Beautiful Opals have featured in many of the Crown Jewels of Europe and they remain popular with heads of state and the rich and famous.
Notable Occurrences include Western USA, Mexico, Australia and many other localities around the world. Australia produces approximately 95% of the world's precious opal. Other deposits occur in North, Central and South America, and Indonesia.