Opal, the birthstone of October, is one of the most captivating of gemstones.
Quite unlike any other gemstone, opal can display flashes of spectral colours, which may change continuously depending upon which angle you view it. The range of colours displayed can be from predominantly blues and greens to the full ‘rainbow’ spectrum of red to violet.
There are many different forms of opal, the most common having a pale, milky whitish background to the striking Mexican ‘fire opal’ which is orange in body colour and the rare and dramatic ‘black opal’ from Australia. Black opal has a darker blue/black body of colour which can intensify the flashes of colour.
Her Majesty the Queen has an astonishing opal within her collection weighing 203 carats. The South Australian government wanted to present their new Queen with a stone that their region was famous for. They decided upon the Andamooka Opal, from opal fields of the same name. It was the finest opal to be discovered in the fields. The opal was set into an ornate diamond set scroll detailed necklace and was presented to The Queen in Adelaide in March 1954.
Unlike most other gemstones opals are not crystalline but similar to glass in their formation and contain a small percentage of water. Care needs to be taken not to let opals dry out and crack by leaving in direct sunlight or near a heat source. They are also delicate in their nature and should be stored separate from other jewels that could scratch them and should never be subjected to any impact. Great care is taken when setting an opal given these considerations however little can compare the pleasure of owning such a unique and stunningly beautiful precious gemstone. At G Collins and Sons we pride ourselves on our ability to source some of the very finest quality Opals to suit our clients needs.