OPAL - GEMSTONE FOR OCTOBER - Eleanor Grace
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OPAL – GEMSTONE FOR OCTOBER

While its multicolored nature is enough to make the October birthstone, opal very appealing and interesting, it’s not what made the stone so popular. What really managed to set it apart from other gemstones is the interaction of those colors and the prismatic flashes they produce when illuminated.

The presence of those interactions and flashes is known as play-of-color and is what differentiates precious from common opals. If the stone fails to produce rainbow-colored iridescence when you hold it up to the light, it is of common, or even synthetic variety.

Translucent or opaque, most opals can be said to have one base color, interspaced by a smaller or larger variety of others. These colors range from yellow and red, across turquoise nuances, all the way to milky white. Due to the specific way it is formed, it’s not uncommon to encounter opals that are completely unique to a single location or region and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

One of the most popular stones of this kind is the black opal, most of which comes from the town of Lightning Ridge in Australia. As their name implies, these stones have a dark background, ranging from black to dark blue or grey. They are somewhat opaque, with broad, rainbow-colored patterns on the surface. While it might be expected to soften it, the dark background actually accentuates the play-of-colors and gives this birthstone for October, opal, a dignified, solemn gemstone.

While its multicolored nature is enough to make the October birthstone, opal very appealing and interesting, it’s not what made the stone so popular. What really managed to set it apart from other gemstones is the interaction of those colors and the prismatic flashes they produce when illuminated.

The presence of those interactions and flashes is known as play-of-color and is what differentiates precious from common opals. If the stone fails to produce rainbow-colored iridescence when you hold it up to the light, it is of common, or even synthetic variety.

Translucent or opaque, most opals can be said to have one base color, interspaced by a smaller or larger variety of others. These colors range from yellow and red, across turquoise nuances, all the way to milky white. Due to the specific way it is formed, it’s not uncommon to encounter opals that are completely unique to a single location or region and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

One of the most popular stones of this kind is the black opal, most of which comes from the town of Lightning Ridge in Australia. As their name implies, these stones have a dark background, ranging from black to dark blue or grey. They are somewhat opaque, with broad, rainbow-colored patterns on the surface. While it might be expected to soften it, the dark background actually accentuates the play-of-colors and gives this birthstone for October, opal, a dignified, solemn gemstone.

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