The Bedouins of the Arabic desert believed that Opal fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning. The ancient Greeks thought that opals endowed their keepers the gift of prophecy, and protected them from ailments. The Europeans have regarded opal to be a stone of purity, hope, and truth. Is it the infusion of colors playing as rainbows, fires, volcanoes, galaxies, and fireworks that have captured people across the world, and through the times, or is it the regards to its metaphysical and supernatural powers that captivated humanity as so?
One sight of opal removes from our minds any doubt of the wonders of mother Earth. The “play-of-colors” is nothing short of fantasy caught mirrored in stone.
If you have experienced the wonders of Opal for yourself, I am certain you wouldn’t forgo it for any other stone of this world or another. We are after all creatures who dream of sacred worlds, fantastical dimensions, and seek to taste rainbows, and feel the hearth of foreign worlds. Then, how would we let go of a stone that carries the rainbow within, and mirrors our deepest emotions back to us?
If you have yet to experience Opal… I hope by the end of our discussion, you’d be curious to! As I say often, there are many things we can read and write about, but spiritual experiences are sacred and unique to the individual, and some things must certainly only be experienced to be truly felt, understood, and carried…
Let’s start off with what Opal is as a mineral(oid), and how it came to be, shall we?
Composition and Science
Opal is formed in a variety of colors ranging from: colorless, white, yellow, red, orange, green, brown, black, and blue. It’s surface luster is: vitreous (glassy), waxy, greasy, and some, dull. In the MOHS hardness scale, opal is considered to be 5.5 to 6.5; which is in-between a knife/glass plate (5.5) and a steel nail (6.5).
Why is it called “Opal?”
Although the accurate origin of the name, “opal,” is not certain, it is thought that maybe it has its roots in Sanskrit with the word, “upala,” which means “stone” or “precious stone” or from Latin with the root “opalus”, which is the term for gem.
Interestingly, while opal is addressed to be a mineral for historical and cultural reasons, opal is not scientifically considered to be a true mineral, since it is composed of cristobalite and/or tridymite or composed of amorphous silica. To be classified as a “true” mineral, a substance:
- Must be a solid and have a crystal structure and,
- Must also be inorganic, naturally-occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition
Nearly all (98.5%) of Earth's crust is made up of only eight elements – oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium – and these are the elements that make up most minerals.
Since Opal is amorphous, it is not a mineral but a mineraloid. Since Opal lacks a crystal structure that is needed to be classified as a mineral, it is not a “true” mineral.
Seasonal rains wet parched terrain in areas like Australia's semi-desert "outback," resulting in opal formation. The rains penetrated deep into ancient subterranean rock, transporting dissolved silica (a silicon-oxygen combination) downward. Much of the water evaporated during dry periods, leaving solid silica deposits in the fissures and between the layers of subterranean sedimentary rock. Hence, Opal was produced from the silica deposits.
Oh, the colors!
Opal is famous for its "play-of-color" display, which features flashing rainbows of color. Opal is divided into two categories: 1) precious, and 2) common. The play-of-color in "Precious Opal" is not present in common opal. Because "Precious Opal" is made up of sub-microscopic spheres piled in a grid-like pattern, it has the play-of-color effect. The waves diffract, or bend, as they pass between the spheres. They break off into spectral hues as they bend, which consists of the colors of the rainbow, and the outcome is the “play-of-color” phenomenon. The color observed in Opal changes depending on how big (or small) the spheres are. Violet color is produced by spheres with a diameter of about 0.1 micron, whereas red color is produced by spheres with a diameter of about 0.2 micron. The remaining rainbow colors are created by the sizes in-between.
While this is one way to categorize Opal, another way in which the experts of Opal categorize Opal is not as Precious or Common, but as several other ways. Five of the main types of experts’ categorization of Opal are:
- White (Light) Opal
- Black Opal
- Fire Opal
- Boulder Opal
- Crystal (Water) Opal
White or Light Opal is defined to be translucent (defined as the quality of being able to see light streaming through a translucent gem if it transmits enough wavelengths of light) or semi translucent; with “play-of-color” against a white or light gray background color (which is called as, body color). Black opal is defined as translucent to opaque with "play-of-color" when viewed against a black or dark background. Fire opal is defined to be transparent to translucent, and has a brown, yellow, orange, or red body color. This type of opal is classified as "Mexican opal,” and it lacks “play-of-color." Boulder opal has a "play-of-color" against a light to dark background and is translucent to opaque. Interestingly, the matrix, which is made up of fragments of the surrounding rock, becomes a part of the completed gem. Lastly, Crystal or water opal is characterized as having a clear background and being translucent to semi transparent. This type stands out because of its vibrant “play-of-color.”
Quick Composition Facts about Opal
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA):
Mineral Makeup: Hydrated Silica
Color: All Colors (both as base color, and as “play-of-colors”)
Refractive index: 1.37 to 1.47
Specific Gravity: 2.15 (+0.08, -0.90)
Mohs Hardness: 5 to 6.5
Size: 0.2 microns (grids of silica spheres of 0.2 microns in size create the “play-of-color” phenomenon, with the size of the spheres determining the respective ROYGBIV colors exhibited.)
Water Content: Opal holds up to 20% of water trapped in its silica structure
Transparency: Transparent, Translucent
Luster: Vitreous, Waxy, Greasy, Dull
How is Opal formed?
To put it succinctly: A mixture of silicon dioxide and water is what leads to the creation of opal. Water takes up silica from sandstone as it flows down the earth's surface, and this silica-rich solution is carried into cracks and holes created by natural faults or decaying fossils. A silica layer or deposit forms when the water evaporates. Over a lengthy amount of time, this cycle repeats again, which leads to the formation of opal.
Fascinatingly, Opal needs the perfect conditions to be formed, especially when “play-of-colors” is a desired result! To be a fit area for opal deposition, every local opal field or occurrence has to have voids or porosity of some kind. The opal seems to fill only vughs (a tiny to medium-sized cavity inside rock) and fractures in volcanic rocks and their surrounding areas, but the weathering process creates a variety of voids in sedimentary rocks. Carbonate leaching from boulders, nodules, and a variety of fossils, in combination with existing fractures, open cores of ironstone nodules, and horizontal seams, creates a plethora of molds for the deposition of secondary minerals like opal.
As we had discussed earlier, Opal’s "play-of-color" display, which features flashing rainbows of color, is classified as “precious” opal, whereas the Opal lacking in “play-of-color” is classified as “common” opal. The majority of the opal deposit isn't “precious.” Because it does not display a "play-of-color", it is referred to as "potch" by miners and "common opal" by mineralogists.
The many different kinds of opal are determined by a variety of variables. The climate, in particular, needs to alternate rainy and dry seasons that result in a rising or, more crucially, depositing water table that concentrates any silica in solution. The silica is created either by volcanic activity or by extensive weathering of Cretaceous sediments, resulting in both silica and white kaolin. In order to produce the unique environment for the formation of its own type of opal, certain conditions must also exist to slow down a lowering water table. However, the chemical conditions that cause opal to develop are still being studied, although some believe that acidic conditions must exist at some point throughout the process to generate silica spheres, which might be caused by microorganisms.
Opal is an amorphous mineral that does not form within crystals unless it develops as a pseudomorph after another mineral. Massive, botryoidal, reniform, stalactitic, earthy, nodular, veins, crusts, and accumulating mounds are all examples of opal behaviors. Organic materials such as wood, shell, and bone are frequently specimens that Opal pseudomorphs after.
Throwin’ Stones’ Welo Opal Specialization:
With much of the Opal we specialize for sales at Throwin’ Stones taking origin in Ethiopia, it’s interesting to discuss a bit about it, too!
Wegel Tena (a town in Ethiopia's north-east) is famed for its Welo opal, which has also been spelled Wello or Wollo. In this mountainous environment, this opal is mined 2500 meters above sea level in the Ignimbrite/Rhyolites layers. Welo opals' reputation has risen dramatically, and they are now considered superior to opals mined in Shewa (Shewa Province, Ethiopia), which are regarded to be less stable than Welo opals. The dark opals are the debris from the volcanic black ash clouds, and all Ethiopian opal comes from volcanic origin.
Between 1900 and 1928, the well-known Australian fields of Lightning Ridge, Andamooka, and Coober Pedy were all founded. The Ethiopian opal wasn't discovered until 1990, and commercial manufacturing began in 2008. Ethiopian opal is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative due to its low cost crystal opals, and demand for patterned opals such as honeycomb, snake, and many more that are unique to Ethiopia is increasing.
Earlier in the discussion of Opals, we explored a bit on what causes the “play-of-color” in opal. To understand Opal, we must understand its depth of colors, so let’s recap and expand on this phenomenon.
Some Opals have an unrivaled grandeur and mysticism because of their amazing color play. Opal is one of the most interesting and legendary gemstones because of this.
Many ideas have been proposed to explain the origins of Opal's color play. The explanation for the color play was found using an electron microscope in the 1960s, when it was revealed that Opal is made up of microscopic silica spheres that may be organized in an ordered manner. The light that enters the stone is diffracted into a spectrum of colors as a result of this. A color sheen or scintillation in the Opal is caused by a light wave diffracted through it. The various hues refracted in the Opal are caused by the density and arrangement of aligned silica spheres. Because the spheres in “common” opal are disorganized or too dense to allow light to refract, it lacks this effect, whereas this effect is seen in “precious” opal.
Certain Opals develop internal and exterior fractures due to a phenomenon known as "crazing." Crazing is a fascinating phenomena since it is unexpected and lacks consistency. Although it may happen at any time, it generally happens when an Opal is removed from wet circumstances and allowed to dry too rapidly, or when an opal is exposed to bright light, dramatically and hastily (or a combination of these factors). When an opal is subjected to vibration, such as during the cutting and polishing of a specimen, "crazing" can occur. The degree of crazing and the length of time it takes to "craze" differs amongst specimens. The specimen's origin is frequently a decisive factor in its susceptibility to crazing. In certain circumstances, a very slow drying procedure over months or even years can successfully stabilize the stone and allow it to be cut and polished with less chance of crazing.
Opals that have not been cut are frequently kept in water to prevent crazing. The susceptibility of a specimen rises as it is removed from the water. When storing opal in water, it should not be removed from the water for more than a few minutes at a time. Cutting or polishing Opals, especially those from crazing-prone areas, is a dangerous procedure; whether the Opals craze or not is a question of luck. Opals should not be cleaned with chemicals or detergents, and they should not be exposed to abrupt temperature or lighting changes to avoid crazing.
Types of Opal and their attributes
Natural opals come in a variety of forms. Black opal, white opal, crystal opal, and jelly opal are all varieties of opal. Fire opal, hyalite, water opal, hydrophane, and honey opal are some of the other varieties. Some, like Hyalite and Fire Opal, are generally recognized, whereas others are well-known but not standardized. Dealers have also come up with a lot of names, and Opal has a lot of prefixes, which is undesirable, because it is thought to create confusion in the market.
The most valuable Opal is Black Opal, which is mostly found in Lightning Ridge. High-quality stones are extremely difficult to come by. The phrase 'black opal' does not refer to a stone that is totally black (a frequent misunderstanding); rather, it refers to a stone that has a darker body tone than a white opal. The darkness of the backdrop "body tone" or body color makes it easy to spot. Light opals are white opals with a base tone ranging from colorless to medium grey. Some people call them "white," although that term should only be used when the body color is exceedingly milky. White opal is more prevalent, however it does not display color as well as black opal due to its body tone. White opals, on the other hand, may be beautiful in color if they are of excellent quality.
Listed below are many of the various categories and varieties of Opal, according to mandate.org and minerals.net:
- Alumocalcite: A variety of Opal with alumina and lime impurities
- Amatite: Opal formed of thick mounds deposited from hot slice-rich springs
- Amber Opal: A yellowish-brown variety of Opal, resembling Amber
- Andamooka Opal: From Andamooka, South Australia
- Andean Opal: A greenish-blue Opal from Peru
- Andenopal: German name for pink Opal variety from Peru
- Banded Opal: Opal with color bands
- Black Opal: “Precious” Opal with black, dark-blue, dark-green, dark-gray or dark colored background/base
- Blue Opal: Translucent blue opal with no "play-of-colors.” Cause of color can be light scattering effects or occasionally microscopic admixture of chrysocolla or other minerals
- Bone Opal: Opal replacing fossil bone
- Boulder Opal: “Precious” Opal from Queensland, Australia; are found in the crevices of, or as coatings on ironstone or sandstone boulders
- Cachalong Opal: Opaque and highly porous type of “Common” opal
- Cat’s Eye Opal: A rare chatoyant form of opal showing a thin link of fire
- Cherry Opal: Orange-red to bright red variety of “Mexican Fire Opal”
- Chloropal: Opal that is similar to “Prase Opal” but has a lighter green hue
- Chrysopal: Opal that is similar to “Prase Opal” but has a golden green hue
- Claro Opal: Transparent Opal from Mexico with an intense red, green, blue, and yellow "play-of-color"
- Common Opal: Any Opal without “play-of-color”
- Contra Luz Opal: Opal where the “play-of-color” is visible only when a light source is behind the stone
- Coober Pedy Opal: High quality Opal from Coober Pedy, South Australia
- Crystal Opal: Transparent to translucent Opal where "play-of-color" is visible on the surface and in the interior of the stone
- Diatomite: Opal replacement of microscopic shells of diatoms (a type of microscopic organism) that are clustered together in a rock-like formation. It is white, opaque, and chalky in texture. Synonym of “Tripolite,” “Fuller's Earth,” and “Diatomaceous Opal”
- Fire Opal: Yellow-orange to red Opal
- Flash Opal: Opal with large schillers that abruptly appear and disappear as the stone is rotated or turned
- Forcherite: A yellow to orange variety of opal, owing its colour to microscopic inclusions of orpiment and realgar. Originally reported from Holzbrücken mill, Ingering valley, Knittelfeld, Styria, Austria.
- Geyserite: Opal formed from deposition of hot water springs. It is also called Perlite, Fiorite, or Geyser Opal.
- Girasol: A bluish-white translucent opal with reddish reflections. Name dates back to at least 1837. Compare with Girasol Quartz which is named after this material.
- Gold Opal: A name for yellow or gold colored opal
- Harlequin Opal: Opal in which the "play-of-color" is arranged in a consistent harlequin, diamond-shaped, or rectangular-shaped pattern that is very vivid. Harlequin Opal is one of the rarest and most prized forms of Opal
- Honey Opal: Transparent to translucent Opal with an orange to orange-brown, honey-colored background. It may or may not display “play-of-color”
- Hungarian Opal: Describes Opal from the old sources in Hungary (as well as other places in Europe such as the Czech Republic). This term has become corrupted and is sometimes used to describe White Opal from other locations as well
- Hyalite: Colorless, light yellow, or blue transparent variety of Opal, lacking “play-of-color”
- Hydrophane Opal: White, opaque, highly porous form of Opal, that when placed in water allows the water to seep into it. This causes the stone to become transparent and almost invisible while in the water
- Isopyre: An impure dark-red opal
- Jasper Opal: a bracciate Jasper cemented by opal
- Jelly Opal: A transparent "Precious Opal" with a gelatinous appearance and a bluish sheen. Jelly Opal may also refer to a colorless, transparent Common Opal
- Lechosos Opal: a variety with a milky-white background color
- Lemon Opal: Opal with a lemon-yellow color
- Levin Opal: "Precious Opal" with long thin lightning-like flashes
- Liver Opal: A traditional name for a dark-brown variety of opal. Also used as a synonym of menilite
- Lluvisnando opal: a pale yellow opal
- Lightning Ridge Opal: Opal from Lightning Ridge (New South Wales), Australia. Although different forms of Opal are found at Lightning Ridge, this term often represents the high quality Black Opal found there
- Mascareignite: A form of opaline silica, from a vegetable origin. Primarily siliceous remains of grasses and diatoms. Originally reported from Réunion Island
- Matrix Opal: Thin layer of Opal on host rock (matrix)
- Menilite: Opaque, grayish-brown form of Opal. Also known as Liver Opal.
- Mexican Fire Opal: Is a form of transparent Opal from Mexico, usually with an orange or red color, used as a gemstone. Mexican Fire Opal usually refers to the form without "play-of-color". If it exhibits a "play-of-color", it is known as Precious Fire Opal
- Milk Opal: Opal with a milky-white color
- Moss Opal: Opal containing inclusions resembling moss
- Mother of Opal: Opal with dendritic inclusions, usually green silicates
- Mountain Opal: Unnecessary name for Opal from an igneous origin
- Nevada Opal: Opal from the Virgin Valley (Humboldt Co.), Nevada
- Onyx Opal: Opal resembling banded Onyx
- Opal Matrix: Thin layer of Opal on host rock (matrix)
- Pineapple Opal: Opal pseudomorph after Ikaite that resembles a pineapple. It is found only in White Cliffs (New South Wales), Australia. The pseudomorphed mineral was originally thought to be Glauberite, but studies now prove it to be the rare and unstable mineral Ikaite
- Pinfire Opal: Opal with very small, pinhead-size color flashes
- Precious Fire Opal: Yellow-orange to red Opal with "play-of-color"
- "Precious Opal": Any Opal with a "play-of-color"
- Seam Opal: Opal found in the seams or large cracks of rock
- Shell Opal: Opal pseudomorph after a shell
- Tabasheer: Opal occurring as an organic byproduct. It forms by the hardening of a secretion issued from certain bamboo, forming a porous, rounded mass of Opal
- Virgin Valley Opal: Opal from the Virgin Valley (Humboldt Co.), Nevada
- Water Opal: Synonym of Jelly Opal
- Wax Opal: Yellow to brown Opal with a waxy luster
- White Cliffs Opal: Opal from the White Cliffs, New South Wales, Australia
- White Opal: "Precious Opal" with a light colored body color, such as white, yellow, and beige.
- Wood Opal: Any Opal that formed a pseudomorph after wood from a tree, and retains the original shape and appearance of the wood
- Yowah Nut: Small, rounded form of Opal from Yowah (Queensland), Australia in a nodule embedded in ironstone. Closely related to Boulder Opal, it occurs most often as walnut-sized ironstone nodules containing pockets, veins, or sprinklings of vivid Precious Opal.
Metaphysical Properties of Opal
We explored above what Opal, as a stone, entails, in its creation in the Mineral Kingdom, and as fascinating as that is in and of itself, its magic lies in its Spiritual gifts (hey, I’m biased, I know, but who wouldn’t be after experiencing it for themselves?)
Opal functions as a prism inside the aura, bringing a whole spectrum of Light energy into the system, calming and cleansing the emotional body, and enhancing the will to live and the joy of one's earthly existence, in the metaphysical context. It rekindles hope, excitement, and inventiveness, as well as allowing inhibitions to be released, culminating in love and desire. Opal is a protective stone for deep inner contemplation, meditations, and deeper world shamanic trips, since it improves cosmic consciousness and generates flashes of intuition and insight. The power of opal to bring one's qualities and attributes to the surface for analysis and transformation is well-treasured.
Opal absorbs and reflects light in the same way that it gathers up thoughts and sentiments, desires, and repressed emotions, magnifying and returning them to the source. While focusing on one's negative characteristics might be unsettling, it helps to recognize how damaging these feelings can be and Opal aids in the process of letting them go. Opal also enlightens the self's virtuous behaviors and feelings, increasing the good and genuine, and encouraging one's full potential. It's a karmic stone that serves as a reminder that what one sends out comes back to one.
When turned in the light, “Precious Opal,” also known as “Rainbow Opal,” exhibits beautiful flashes or streaks of iridescent color, a phenomenon known as “play-of-color.” It is mined in a restricted number of sites worldwide. As discussed earlier, the color is due to optical phenomena generated when tiny spheres of silica solidify in an ordered grid-like pattern, rather than any pigment in the stone. Light waves flowing through Opal's interior structure refract and split up into the colors of the spectrum due to the gap between the spheres. The color and quality of the diffracted light are determined by the size of the spheres and their geometric packing. "Common Opal," sometimes known as "Potch," is a kind of opal that is found in various parts of the world and forms with spheres of varying sizes or stacking, with no "play-of-color." Opalescence is the term for a milky or pearly sheen. The third variety, known as "Fire Opal," is a clear to translucent Opal with a brilliant red, orange, or yellow body color that is most often found in Mexico. It usually has no color play, however it may have a faint display or intense green flashes on rare occasions.
The following are some of the most common Opal types, along with brief explanations and a synopsis of their metaphysical properties:
Andean Opal or Peruvian Opal:
A “Common” Opal from the Andes Mountains of Peru, transparent to opaque, delicate pastel blue, blue-green, or pink with a pearly sheen, with the black or beige matrix sometimes tinged into the more opaque stones.
It is thought that the Andean Opal is a gift from Pachamama, the first Inca Goddess of Fruitfulness and Mother Earth, and is beneficial to children, animals, and adults who are feeling overwhelmed by life. It's considered to be particularly useful for healing old emotional scars from this or prior lifetimes, as well as providing inner peace to assist people get through hard times. Andean stones encourage appropriate action for the greatest good, as well as connection with people and heartfelt interaction. They raise awareness of the need to mend the Earth and are beneficial to individuals who create and transmute vibrational changes via their own bodies. Andean Opal is a wonderful journeying stone since it is extremely responsive and induces a slight hypnotic state that aids divination and metaphysical abilities. These stones are ideal for stimulating the Heart and Throat Chakras since they harness Water energy.
Black or “Precious” Black Opal:
Opals with a dark body color, generally black or dark gray, deep blue or green; the dark body color distinguishes the kaleidoscopic “play-of-color” from light Opals. The bulk of Black "Precious Opals” are mined at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia, and are the most well-known and sought-after Opals on the planet.
Black Opal is said to be highly fortunate and the most uplifting of all the Opals, since it brings Light into the aura. It helps relieve worry and dispels sadness and pessimism, allowing one to confront their deepest fears and let go of what is keeping them back. Black Opal, which connects the Root and Crown Chakras, is a strong magnifier of intention and manifestation, connecting one's greatest spiritual desires with one's physical body. It may be used for "gazing" into the past, present, or future, and is a protective stone for deep inner work, soul retrieval, or previous-life recollection. It is highly valued as a power stone for magical rituals and may be used for “reading eyes” to determine a person's honesty or purpose. Black Opal is a Storm element stone representing death and rebirth that harnesses the power of fire.
"Precious" Opal that develops inside cavities or fractures of its source rocks, generally ironstone or sandstone, and since the veins are relatively thin, is cut with the stone left on the back for support or as layers of Opal within the matrix stone. Each final item is unique and distinctive, having been mined in Queensland, Australia.
Boulder Opals, as close-to-nature talismans, contain not just warm Earth energies, but also the illuminating energy of Fire. They help practical individuals develop their spiritual sides and spiritually inclined people flourish in everyday life. Boulder Opals are excellent for harmonizing conscious and unconscious thought, providing clarity and emotional security, and assisting individuals who struggle to build a secure home environment without abandoning their adventurous spirit. Use these stones to help you persevere when things become rough, and keep them in earthy locations to connect with earth and plant spirits.
Common or “Potch” Opal:
This type of Opal is found in various parts of the world, and is typically opaque and lacks color play. It develops in virtually every color, has a glossy sheen, and may be cut into gemstones that can be polished to a high shine.
Common Opals are wonderful for spiritual reasons since they vibrate at a lower frequency than transparent or fiery Opals and give soothing, caring assistance for the emotional body. They relieve tension, chronic distress, and sadness, and are excellent remedies for insomnia and nightmares, as well as mending unconsciously repressed pain. Common Opal combines Earth and Water aspects and may be utilized to balance male/female energies in the body as well as to align and balance the chakras. Common Opal fosters connection with the higher self and the ethereal realm by stimulating the correct flow of energy through the physical body, providing a quiet, concentrated mind for prayer and meditation. These beautiful stones can attract celestial beings and are excellent gifts to place for them in an inconspicuous area.
Translucent to semi-transparent "Precious Opal" with a remarkable “play-of-color”; the “see-through” body hue can be colorless, bright, or dark.
Crystal Opal is a remarkable stone of health and healing that supports the complete being. It raises one's spirits and instills a profound sense of excitement and enthusiasm in one's life. Using the element of Fire, it encourages intelligence, originality, creativity, and helps one comprehend what will remain when one's "stay" in the physical body is over. Crystal Opals can be used to inspire visions from the depths of eternity.
Hydrophane Opals develop as nodules inside volcanic ash in seams between rhyolite layers. It comes in a range of hues and arrangements, with bright bursts of color. The new Opals found in Ethiopia's Welo area in 2008 have shown to be highly stable despite their porosity, able to absorb water and change transparency or opacity, then revert to their previous form with no adverse response or cracking.
These stones are fantastic for channeling Water energy, which is associated with calm, peaceful power, and cleansing. Metaphysical healers may be more familiar with the original red or brown-based Ethiopian Flash Opal found in 1994 at Yita Ridge, the high-vibration Fire energy stones of ancient knowledge that burn off past karma and open the door to rebirth. These stones contain a soul template and provide access to the past, present, and future, boosting all of one's metaphysical abilities. These joy-filled stones activate the Base and Sacral Chakras, bringing all the subtle bodies into balance so that the entire body operates smoothly. Ethiopian Opals have positive dragon energy that may be used for both personal and global purposes. The Dragon energy represents primeval strength. The Dragon rules over all four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. With its wonderful healing and potent powers, it becomes a great ally in our daily lives as an energetic influence.
Fire Opal or Mexican Fire Opal:
Fire opal is a clear to translucent Opal characterized for its intense red, orange, or yellow body color, which is typically devoid of opalescence or display of color; the most important sources originate from Mexico. Precious Fire Opal, often known as "Firmament Stone," refers to specimens with iridescent flashes.
Fire Opals harness the elemental force of Fire to arouse one's passion, from physical cravings to spiritual bliss. They stimulate the Base and Sacral Chakras, energize one's chi, and can cause Kundalini energy to ascend. In acupressure/acupuncture, they are ideal for activating the triple-burner meridian. Fire Opals are attuned to the Universe's creative energy and encourage the expression of one's feelings via art. Fire Opals are excellent business stones because they attract money, encourage change, and herald in development.
Shyness, fear of action, and defeatist thinking may all be overcome with the help of fire opal. It can assist you in becoming more upbeat, socially extroverted, and self-assured in your skills. It infuses your life with a lively and inquisitive spirit. Fire opal can let you surrender completely spiritually to the frequency of creative energy that pervades the Universe. Its energy encourages artistic expression, etheric manifestation, sexual pleasure, fertility, and physical vitality.
An authentic Girasol Opal is a blue-white transparent Opal with reddish resonances and a bluish glow or sheen that follows the light source when the stone is turned; because of its gelatinous look, it is also referred to as "Jelly Opal." It is not a "play-of-color" as seen in "Precious Opal", but rather an effect caused by microscopic inclusions. The two most notable sources of this Opal are Oregon and Mexico; when from Mexico, it is sometimes referred to as Water Opal.
Girasol Opal is an emotionally soothing stone that improves communication and brings answers to problems. It assists in bringing falsehoods to light, particularly when they could not previously be talked about. Girasol strengthens soul family connections, communicating helpful assistance for one's current existence, and removes imprints on the etheric blueprint, restoring cellular memory. It helps one separate psychic impressions from one's own sentiments, establishes boundaries, and teaches one how to be confident in one's own skin.
Green Opal and Prase Opal:
Are two green variants of Common Opal, the first of which is a combination of Opal and nontronite, and the second of which contains nickel.
They are purifying and renewing stones that offer vitality and speedy recovery from disease, weariness, or emotional anguish. Green Opals have the power to filter information and realign the mind, offering purpose to everyday life and presenting a spiritual perspective, whether it is to help one unburden the heart or to provide support in relationships. Green Opals stimulate the Heart Chakra and use Wood energy, which is associated with family, health, wealth, and abundance.
When submerged in water, this milky type of Opal becomes translucent or transparent (hydrated). The name “hydrophane” is derived from Greek words that mean “water-loving,” and it refers to their capacity to absorb water and transform from opaque or semi-translucent to translucent or even transparent. As they get clearer, they may produce streams of bubbles and even characteristic noises. This sometimes emphasizes the color play inside the stone, but in uncommon situations, it may obscure the "play-of-color". Depending on the stone's physical structure and shape, size, and environmental circumstances, the Opal will dry and revert to its natural state in a matter of minutes to more than a week after being removed from water. Because hydrophane opal differs greatly from source to source, it is critical to study the peculiarities of gems from a certain mine rather than assuming they are all identical in look and tolerances for this technique.
Water energy, the energy of calm, peaceful power, and cleansing, is amplified by Hydrophane Opals.
"Precious" Opal interspersed within a host rock, generally ironstone or sandstone, where the Opal appears as a network of veins or as an infilling of pore spaces; often shows "pinfire" color in its natural condition. The most well-known Matrix Opal originates from Australia, namely Andamooka and Queensland, and includes “Yowah Nuts” from the southwestern Opal fields near Queensland.
Matrix Opal, on a metaphysical level, heightens all sensations, deepens emotions, and provides consolation during times of dread or sadness. It helps one stay focused during decision-making and gives clarity to difficult situations. Matrix Opal is a wonderful stone for soothing the inner soul. It promotes emotional equilibrium, allowing one to appreciate their body and earthly existence, as well as identify and strive for one's genuine wishes, aspirations, ambitions, and dreams. Matrix Opal, which uses both Earth and Fire energies, may be used to contact one's spiritual guides and animal guides, and it can also be utilized in medicine wheel rituals to stabilize energy and facilitate communication.
Common Opal, however the term is sometimes given to milky-white "Precious Opal" or hazy Opal with a light backdrop.
Milk Opals, also known as the milk drops of the Mother Goddess in some cultures, are particular talismans of protection, caring, and support. They calm and cleanse the emotional body while also stimulating hope and optimism, increasing one's joy and will to live. Milk Opals promote open-mindedness and acceptance of oneself and others, improves communication attempts, and fosters friendship. They contribute to the creation of a warm, safe environment and are perfect for people who care for newborns, children, distressed moms, or anybody who is vulnerable. Milk Opals are useful in the workplace for soothing furious employees, particularly in customer service, support, or hotlines.
Moss Opal or Dendritic Opal:
are milky white to brownish in color Opal with dark-green moss and fern-like inclusions (or dendrites) of different silicates, hornblende, or manganese oxides; no “play-of-color."
Dendritic Opals are good for connecting with nature spirits and connecting with the environment. They encourage physical and spiritual development and can give assistance when entering partnerships and group dynamics, helping one to stay open and accessible in the face of adversity. Dendritic Opals are used to heal previous wounds or prior incarnations, as well as to bring the capacity to encounter others without prejudice. They are excellent for boosting personal objectives and bringing plenty and success into one's life.
is a distinct kind of transparent to translucent Opal found exclusively in Opal Butte, Oregon, that is shockingly clear and flashes dark blue-violet or yellow-orange opalescence when faceted; it should not be mistaken with Common Opal or other varieties mined in Opal Butte.
Oregon Opal contains Fire energy and is a highly spiritual stone, allowing one to travel between realms and explore previous lives for karmic healing. It is a truth stone, looking for falsehoods and delusions from others as well as self-deception, and it aids in the discharge of past grief, trauma, and disappointment. Oregon Opal softly stimulates the Solar Plexus Chakra and enhances the joyous side of emotional release, encouraging self-expression, decisive action, and trusting one's own direction and intuition, whereas other Opals can intensify the experiences of unpleasant emotions. It encourages people to appreciate the process and discovery of life, breaking away from restrictive perceptions of what is possible.
Oregon opal instills in your emotional body a sensation of enthusiasm, upliftment, and exhilaration. It aids you in overcoming negative self-talk and the pessimism that results from it. Oregon opal instills in you the delight of following your ambitions and desires, even if they don't come true. It is a stone of discovery and progress rather than acquisition and finish. It can assist you in appreciating life's processes of development and experience.
Owyhee Blue Opal:
This Common Opal was discovered in 2003 near the holy Indian springs of Owyhee, Oregon. It has a deep sky blue hue and is frequently translucent when initially retrieved from the ground, but can gradually turn opaque when exposed to air and drying begins.
Owyhee Blue Opal has a high, heavenly vibration that connects you to the highest angelic assistance as well as your own spirit guides. It awakens metaphysical powers, heightens intuition, and enables kything (a two-way contact with the spirit realm) as a dream stone. It is a protective stone for shamanic journeys and multidimensional inquiry, and it uses the peaceful, tranquil strength of Water energy to strengthen oneself. It aids in the removal of shyness, uncertainty, false concerns of failure, and indecision. This stone, which combines the pure Blue Ray of the Throat Chakra with the Third Eye Chakra, aids in drawing on one's own ability to see, speak, and act with clarity, authority, and confidence, without being arrogant or aggressive. It is infused with the tenderness that comes with assurance and the capacity to achieve one's own aims.
Owyhee blue opal helps you to be fearless without being irresponsible. It will aid you in accomplishing your goals without succumbing to worries, suppositions, or imaginations about what may go wrong. It can assist you in being concentrated and maintaining that attention throughout a task. The Owyhee blue opal is an excellent stone for connecting with angels. It aids in the incorporation of higher frequencies into your aura and facilitates connection with celestial entities.
Water Opal or Hyalite:
Is a colorless, water-clear Common Opal with no color play; it is produced in botryoidal masses or other odd shapes; its structure is more network-like, akin to silica glass, rather than distinct gel spheres; it is also known as Muller's Glass.
Hyalite is a unique Opal that embodies all of the mystical properties of Opal while also allowing the wearer's uniqueness and inner brilliance to show through. It is an excellent stone for releasing a distorted body image or self-consciousness about one's physical appearance that inhibits social connection. It is also a stone of attraction for gathering everything one requires, whether resources, money, or friends. Water Opal links the Base and Crown Chakras, balancing mood, improving meditation, and increasing connection with the spiritual realm. Its aquatic depths may be used for scrying and can help individuals transitioning out of the body, the temporary vehicle for the soul.
White or Precious White Opal:
"Precious Opal" with a light body color, generally white, yellow, or cream, with a rainbow flash of color; the most well-known and commonly used Opal in jewelry. The bulk of White "Precious Opal" originates from Australia, namely Coober Pedy, dubbed the "Opal Capital of the World.”
White “Precious” Opal is the happiest of the Opals, exuding optimism and levity, excitement, inspiration, and creativity, and energizing anybody who comes into frequent contact with its energies. Using the components of Fire and Light, White "Precious Opal" illuminates and amplifies all areas of the emotional body, assisting one in identifying and releasing past wounds, anxieties, and rage, as well as other negative patterns that hurt the self and eventually others. It then floods the aura with a frequency of joy and nutrition, as well as manifesting the Divine Light into one's energy field. It is fantastic for connecting with heavenly beings and feeling more deeply connected to one's spirit guides. On a deeper level, white opals are a sign of everlasting love and are usually shared between twin souls who have existing love tasks to fulfill. White "Precious Opal", as a rainbow gem, is a wish stone, elevating individuals who have endured many failures to restore their confidence in life; it is also useful for reversing a run of ill luck. If there is a rainbow in the sky, it is very auspicious to make a wish on an Opal.
White opal cleanses and rebalances the chakras of the etheric body and supports their connection to your physical self, purifying your energy field. It is said to attract celestial creatures and to aid in the anchoring of Light in the aura. Its energy is both soothing and instructive, softly highlighting emotional difficulties that need to be addressed. White opal is an excellent stone for individuals healing from any form of trauma. It calms the emotional body and encourages a good attitude. It also aids with the clarity, serenity, and focus of the mind, allowing for the reception and processing of more subtle spiritual messages.
Wood Opal and Opalized Nature:
Is a ""Precious Opal"" that has fossilized by replacing organic parts of tree, plant, or animal remains in part. These Opal formations have been discovered in dinosaur bones, marine animals, bogs, limb casts, and timber constructions, with some of the trees' original growth rings still visible.
These Wood energy talismans are attuned to the energy of growth, expansion, new beginnings, sustenance, and health, and are excellent for providing the push to action that is required to get one closer to one's destiny. Nature Opals are grounded and strong stones that guide one to the peace that is inherent in all existence. They're great for getting rid of little annoyances by motivating you to take the steps necessary to resolve the problem, and they may help you let go of anxiety over insignificant matters.
Opal’s Connection to Humans
Opal enhances sexuality, erotism, and desire. It makes us feel passionate, alluring, out of the ordinary, in love with life, and optimistic. If other people's energy is impacting your well-being and you've been emotional or on the point of crying, it is likely you are an empath in the metaphysical sense, If you're a highly sensitive person, take a bath, go swimming, or take a walk along the water's edge to help sweep out unwanted energy and refill your energy field. Opal's high water content aids in the transition from emotion to self-awareness. This stone also protects you from taking too much of another person's energy, feelings, or ideas. Allow opal to run interference for you when facing tough people, situations, or things that impact your emotions or harm your feelings, because opal generates its hues through interference and diffraction.
Black "Precious Opal" is a stone that may help you face your deepest fears. It can help you conquer phobias, anxiety attacks, persistent concern, and other manifestations of fear energy. White "Precious Opal" will bring any emotional patterns that need to be cleared to the surface of your consciousness. When you initially start dealing with this stone, you may experience a period of great emotional sensitivity. It will, however, aid you in being more optimistic and loving after this initial phase of purification.
Opal makes us happy, even if it does leave us a little light-headed. It promotes fluidity, artistry, and a fascination with the Muses' arts. When it comes to mental challenges, opals are a great ally. This stone can help you get the perspective you need to go from distraction to action. Opal enhances qualities and brings them to the top for transformation. It boosts self-esteem and helps you realize your full potential.
Opal brings happiness into your life. It raises the need for diversity and diversion by drawing attention to the more colorful aspects of life. The watery vibration of opal makes it an ideal stone for interacting with water's devic powers. Connect with the energy of opal to aid in interspecies communication with aquatic spirit animals, resulting in increased spiritual awareness. The ancient Greeks thought that the opal could give its possessor insight and prophesy illumination.
Uses for Opal Stones
With Opal acting as a nexus of rainbow energy, it hardly lacks any colors in the spectrum of colors to lack area of effect within our Chakras and our physical systems. So its uses and areas of innervation within our energy zones are perhaps limitless!
Opal provides a sense of peace and security, reducing stress and sadness and helping people to quit pondering so that their thoughts and energy may be properly directed. They are antidotes to rushing brains and restless thoughts that relive the past or predict the future. Opals calm the mind and bring joyful dreams, making them especially calming for youngsters and individuals who have always had trouble sleeping or experience nightmares for no apparent reason. "Precious Opal" may help a child deal with any difficulties he or she may be having with an invisible or imaginary friend, and is especially useful before night if the youngster wants the friend to leave.
Opal is a protective stone that acts as a buffer from absorbing other people's negative thoughts and energy. It may run interference around difficult individuals or events that impact your mood or harm your feelings, just as it utilizes interference and diffraction to generate its hues. Opal may also be used to create a "veil of invisibility" in situations where one does not want to be seen or needs to blend in. It comes in handy when venturing into dangerous areas or doing shamanic work that necessitates stealth.
Opal is a fascinating stone that has been linked to love, passion, desire, and sensuality. It may be used to enhance feelings and remove inhibitions, but it can also split and disperse energy, so it's important to be grounded before utilizing Opal to explore or amplify sensations. Have other healing stones on hand to help in the integration process. Opal may be used to restore the Earth's energy field by restoring depletions, re-energizing, and regulating the system.
Opals are excellent work stones because they promote humanitarian compassion and service, as well as lightness, spontaneity, and dynamic inventiveness. They're ideal for individuals who operate in or around water, such as physical therapists who use hydrotherapy. All who write, dance, play music, or sing, as well as those who teach or organize creative or performing arts, are inspired by White "Precious Opals” and Fire Opals. Channels, mediums, psychics, and instructors who convey higher direction through voice and sound might benefit from Owyhee Blue Opals. Hypnotherapists, past-life regression counselors, shamans, and those who heal by accessing the deepest regions of the self and mind benefit from Black "Precious Opals.”
Spiritual practice, such as shamanic journeying and dream recall, frequently use opal. It's a good mineral kingdom ally to have if you're doing past-life regression work since it's quite protective. Many people think that opal is a captivating stone that enhances emotions of emotional bonding while also releasing inhibitions.
Opal and Chakras
As we discussed above, since opals come in such a wide range of hues, they've earned the reputation of being an all-purpose crystal for chakra therapy. When doing a chakra balancing, opal is a strong stone to use, but it's worth remembering that your purpose is more essential than the color of the stone you're using. While certain stones have a distinct frequency that naturally connects them with a single chakra, Opal appears to carry the vibrations of all chakras, depending on the hue of the stone you pick.
The most coveted opals have a wide range of hues, making them perfect for chakra therapy or chakra balancing/healing, particularly if you want to balance all seven chakras. Let's say you want to focus on one chakra in particular. In such a scenario, selecting a crystal or variation of Opal that matches the recognized color designation for that chakra could be a good idea. The lighter colors of Opal, with the palest being most closely connected with the Crown, are often ideal options for usage on the upper chakras, while darker colors work better for the lower chakras, with black or red being ideal for the Base chakra.
Here are some suggestions of the color of Opals to consider using when hoping to address certain Chakras or Concerns for spiritual healing:
- Root Chakra: consider using black opal or boulder opal, as they help enhance feelings of confidence, safety, and security
- Sacral Chakra: consider using fire opal, as it helps boosts sexuality and perhaps even fertility
- Solar Plexus Chakra: consider using yellow hued opals, as they resonate with will power and reflect Sun energy, in increasing vitality and bringing forth success
- Heart Chakra: consider using green or pink hued opals, as they may aid with relationships, heart based communication, and may lessen jealousy, grudges and negative emotions
- Throat Chakra: consider using blue hued opals, as they aid communication and coordination
- Third Eye Chakra: consider using purple or violet hued opals, as they help connect, increase decisiveness, and foster oneness
- Crown Chakra: consider using white hued opals, as they help with psychic development and enhancement, and connection to Source
How to Work with Opal
Given that Opal has several physical and metaphysical advantages, there are a number of ways to work with Opal. When Opal is placed in an Earth Chakra grid and concentrated for its force to penetrate into the earth, it may be utilized to heal the planet. Personally, Opal can assist you in making sense of your past experiences and integrating them into your current life in order for them to benefit you rather than hamper your growth. Some of the other ways you can utilize Opal are:
- Jewelry: Wear Opal jewelry, such a necklace or a pendant, and keep it close to your heart. This stone's energies will make you feel light and free, allowing you to release any bottled-up feelings. This, as you all know, is my favorite method of working with stones, as a simple pendant or ring of the stone is so handy to wear easily and for the stone’s energy to be within your etheric body for long periods of time without having to “work” with it in any active manner.
- Carry as Pocket Stone: You may take it with you everywhere you go for further protection, mental clarity, vitality, or good fortune. Cabochons or polished stones are especially nice for this purpose, as polished stones have a more “accessible” energetic quality, and can also act as a worry stone, provide comfort through the day as you hold them, and touch them. This is especially useful for an Emotion based stone like Opal!
- Opal can also be used into a healing or manifestation grid. Opal is an excellent aura cleanser, especially if you want to strengthen your energetic defenses and attract only loving energies into your electromagnetic field. I love working with grids. We don’t need anything fancy, even! Look up a simple grid formation, and draw it on a piece of paper, while you are present in what you are doing and are actively setting your intentions. Then, you can place stones accordingly, from inside to outside, and then tracing your finger on top of them three times to activate. There are several ways to activate a grid, and more on that in a future discussion!
Which Stones work well with Opal?
Opal is a versatile stone that may be used with an array of diverse stones. Because the vibrations of Opal are mainly supportive and protective, and it is predominantly a water energy stone, with its uses great for deep shadow work and emotional work; pair with more action oriented stones if a particular physical effect in life is desired. Though, Opal may, on its own, assist you with your own goals if you are clear about what you want to create or achieve.
Citrine: pair Opal with citrine if you hope to supplement the emotional healing powers of Opal to improve action-taking, attracting abundance, and strengthening will power.
Garnet: Opal is a powerful protector. You will be able to fend off bad energy and unwelcome attention if you program this stone correctly. The effects are amplified more stronger when you combine it with Garnet.
Black Obsidian and Hematite: pair darker hued opal with these stones if grounding is desired, as well as being in better communication with gut-instincts. Additionally, if you need to get rid of bad notions or actions, combine Opal with Obsidian. It's possible that you'll need to be reminded that focusing on the things that aren't good for you will simply increase their appeal and impact in your life, so consider making an active decision to let go of negative patterns, and allowing for Opal to transmute and then release all the old and stagnant, with the help of powerful Obsidian, which actively takes person into deep shadow work (protectively), is a great asset!
Black Tourmaline and Red Jasper: pair opal with these stones if feeling Root Chakra imbalance, and if you hope to have more success in the material world.
Carnelian and Sunstone: pair yellow hued opal with these stones to stimulate Sacral and Solar Plexus chakras.
Lepidocrocite: Any qualities and attributes that need to be revamped will be brought to the surface by Opal, allowing you to decide whether or not to work on them for your personal advantage. It will help you focus on your perceived weaknesses so that you may transform them into strengths if you combine it with Lepidocrocite.
- Sodalite, Sapphire, Herkimer Diamond, Quartz, Blue Lace Agate: pair opal with these stones if stimulation to Throat, Third Eye, and Crown Chakras is desired; as well as, the ability to cleans and balance the respective chakras.
It’s worth remembering that Opal is a karmic stone that will show you that whatever you put out into the cosmos will come back to you in some manner. When you give negativity, you will receive only negativity in return. When you sprinkle love on the earth, love will return and find you. Opal will assist you in realizing your greatest potential. It will increase your desire to achieve. This stone greatly promotes personal development. It will bring about important transformations that will provide significance to your life. It will, above all, increase your resolve to live a true and beautiful life! Opal is a comforting stone, kind of like a rainbow after a horrid storm… call upon its gifts to set yourself free from the past, and to embrace the present with positivity, love, abundance, and prosperity!
How to Cleanse Opal
My sentiment around cleansing crystals may be a bit out of the norm. Given stones, crystals, minerals are of this world and have been around for much longer than us, and have perhaps endured great manifestations of the earth with rain, storms, fires, floods, drought, etc., and have felt the cosmic energies in whichever depths they were found— I don’t often cleanse my crystals in any physical method. Cleaning a crystal, physically, is different; but, energetic cleansing may not be needed for all crystals, or often, even.
Some people use Holy Smoke, with Sage or Palo Santo, or other sacred plants, to cleanse crystals, some use water, and others sound. And a rare few use intention, alone. All of these methods work, and if you feel this is something that is necessary or important to your spiritual practice, it all comes down to choosing one or a combination of them based on what type of stone you have, in how it may respond to heat, water, sound vibrations etc.
Because opals are created in water, they are nearly unique among crystals. As a result, it's critical to understand that Opals should never be washed by immersing them in water for an extended period of time. They are fragile crystals that should be handled with caution. Clean your Opal by holding it under clean, running water for a few seconds before drying it on a soft towel. Charge it with intention or by leaving it in the moonlight, if so desired.
Thank you all for joining this discussion on the wonders of Opal. I hope somewhere along these words your interest to experience the gifts of Opal was stirred. Opal is a stone with strong energies that may help you in a variety of ways, if so desired. Opal will inspire you to live a life that is cheerful, calm, and loving. It will assist you in achieving a happy temperament by decreasing or eliminating tension and anxiety in a manner similar to Rose quartz’ therapeutic properties. This stone's energies will assist you in accepting your life's trials and overcoming your difficulties. It's a soothing emotional and mental experience that will help you reconnect with your life's mission. Opal will lift your spirits and free your emotions. It will assist you in identifying and manifesting your life's mission. Its powers will awaken your spirit and help you discover your own path in life. It's a stone of human compassion, as well as courage and noble intentions. If it so pulls you, as it did humanity for so long; if its colors mesmerize you, as it did mine… I hope you pick up a piece of this treasure for yourself to hold and cherish!
Until next time,
Sherley Jennifer of Throwin’ Stones