Most opals are more than 60 million years old and contain about 10% water. They are typically found where hot springs once flowed. The silica in the springs lined the walls of cracks, vents, and cavities in the bedrock. When the hot springs dried up, the silica hardened into opal. An opal has an extraordinary ability to refract light and reflect specific wavelengths of light. This capability is so unique that the term "opalescence" was coined to describe it. Each tiny sphere of silica within an opal refracts a single pure spectral colour depending on the size and spacing of the sphere. Looking at an opal can be like looking at water droplets in a rainbow.The types of opals include white, black and fire opals. Both white and black opals have the play of colour, however fire opals do not. Opal is the birthstone for October and the suggested gift for the fourteenth wedding anniversary. Opal jewellery is believed to have some metaphysical energy with which it can boost the inner beauty of the wearer.
Did you know…?
A few years ago in 2008, NASA announced the discovery of opal deposits on Mars! Since opal is made up of mostly water this means that Mars may have been wet for billions of years than previously thought which indicates it may have supported life!