What is an opal - Opal House Jewellery 292 OH

What is an opal
Where does opal come from
How Australian opal was formed
Colour in opal
Opal is from the Greek “Opallos” meaning to see a change of colour”. Each Australian opal is unique and the different varieties offer a spectacular choice of colour, shape and size. When rotated, the opal displays a constantly changing interplay of fiery colours. The finest quality stones can command prices similar to the finest emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

Opal is not only one of the world’s most beautiful precious gemstones; it is also one of the worlds rarest. Opals rarity has made it a desirable and at times divisive part of many cultures over thousands of years.

Technically, opal is non-crystalline silica (in a rigid gel form) containing approximately 5% to 9% water. Non-crystalline silica is similar to quartz and sand. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, a scientific scale of the relative hardness of minerals, opal rates at around 5.5 to 6.5. As a comparison, diamonds rate at around 10, sapphires 9, quartz 7 and pearls 3 - 4.