October’s birthstone, the Opal, comes in varying shades of deep blue, to orange, to white, and is known for it’s distinct sparkle. Opals form when silica gel flows in between rock crevices. As the water evaporates the silica is deposited in the form of tiny spheres. The flashes of color, or “play of color” that opals are known for come from light hitting these tiny silica spheres.
Some tips when working with opals
While they are very beautiful in jewelry opals are naturally a very soft stone, about a 6 on the Mohs Scale, so be extra careful not to chip them when you set them!
Because opals can contain up to 20% water it’s important to wear your opal jewelry rather than storing it away where it can become dry and crack.
A common way to keep your costs down when working with opal is to purchase opal doublets or triplets. A doublet is simply a slice of opal glued to a black backing, and a triplet is the same thing, but with a clear glass or quartz dome glued to the top. It’s super important that if you’re wearing or working with doublet or triplet is to not get it wet! This can loosen the backing and cause it to fall apart.
Opals are such a uniquely beautiful stone… we kind of wish it could be Opaltober all year round!