October Birthstone – Opal
With it’s supernatural origins and alluring nature; it is very fitting that opal is the birthstone for October due to it holding the spooky holiday of Halloween.
Arabic legends say that opal falls from the heavens in flashes of lightning whilst the ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. This opulent gemstone is a beautiful addition to any jewellery collection with it’s variety of colours that display flashing rainbow shades that transform this gemstone once moved in the light!
9ct Yellow Gold Opal Bangle – £225
Europeans have long considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth; the perfect gift to bestow on a new baby or as a unique take on bridal jewellery! This beautiful 9ct yellow gold opal bangle is set with a polished oval opal gemstone which is framed by textured scrolls of yellow gold; delicately bringing out the stunning play of colour flashes that appear within the neutral tones of the opal gemstone.
It was in the 1890s with the opening of a large opal mine in Australia that opal really captured the interest of gem and jewellery collectors. Art nouveau designers broke the old Victorian jewellery conventions, using the organic shape of an opal cabochons to compliment elaborate insect and nature inspired motifs. Dazzling small diamonds were also set around the opal gemstones to emphasize the rainbow flashes of colour that the opal gemstone possesses.
18ct Yellow Gold 0.29cts Diamond And 0.84cts Opal Heart Stud Earrings – £525 RRP £913
Opal is known for its unique display of flashing rainbow colors called play-of-color. There are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opal displays play-of-color, while common opal does not. Play-of-color occurs due to the opals chemical make-up. Precious opal is formed of sub-microscopic spheres stacked in a grid-like pattern—like layers of Ping-Pong balls in a box. As the light waves travel between the spheres, the waves diffract, or bend. As they bend, they break up into the colors of the rainbow, called spectral colors. Play-of-color is the result.
Want to add a touch of opal to your existing jewellery collection? These 18ct yellow gold diamond and opal heart stud earrings have feminine heart cut opal gemstones which are surrounded by sparkling round cut diamonds; accentuated by luxurious yellow gold settings and claws. Pair these stunning earrings with a simple diamond pendant for understated glamour, alternatively match the earrings to an opal set pendant for coordinated style!
18ct Yellow Gold 0.20cts Diamond And 0.48cts Opal Ring – £395 RRP £704
Under the large umbrella of precious and common opal, we separate opals into five further categories; white opal, black opal, fire opal, water or crystal opal and boulder opal. Each of these sub categories has a unique appearance and mean that opals are much more interesting that you may have first thought! Many people think of white opal as this is the most abundant type of opal on the market but maybe the bright orangeish-red of a fire opal is more appealing to you or perhaps the deeper body colour of a black opal would suit your tastes?
This stunning 18ct yellow gold diamond and opal ring is a magnificent addition to the earrings above in this blogpost; the perfect pair to take you from day to night! The yellow gold band and setting compliments the silky shades of the opal, helping to intensify the flashes of colour within the opal!
The main thing to know about owning opal jewellery is how to look after it. Due to its chemical make-up opal is a vulnerable gemstone to scratches and chips. Wearing opals in earrings or necklaces will mean your opal comes into less contact with hard surfaces. Opals are also a porous gemstone and therefore need to be given special care when cleaning. Avoid strong detergents and opt for mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush to clean any opal jewellery.