I ‘heart’ all things beading (except counting seed beads) and love to share what I come across when surfing the net for new ideas. After stumbling upon a few rather interesting articles about this October birthstone (Gah! I wish I knew more Libras!) I decided to dedicate a series of posts strictly to the chameleon-like mineraloid which; because of its versatility, can be used so many different ways to make awesome jewelry!
According to GIA:
“Opal’s flashing play-of-color is caused by diffraction of light by silica spheres stacked like tiny Ping-Pong balls in a box. When opal formed, silica gel filled crevices in rock. As water evaporates, the silica is deposited in the form of tiny spheres.”
Over 90% of precious Opal is mined in Australia. Other deposits of note: the U.S., Mexico, Ethiopia (Menze Gishe), the Czech Republic, Slovakia (Dubnik), Hungary, Brazil (Piaui), and Honduras (Gracious O Dios). Incidentally, opals have a lot of baggage: One myth involves soaking them, which, like toes in a hot tub, does nothing for them; another myth about opals is that they are bad luck, which was start by jealous diamond merchants. My latest creation is dedicated to a friend, who, while not born in October still loves pretty things.