Few birth stones are as lovely, varied, and interesting as October’s birthstone, the Opal. With its mysterious play in colours and wonderful unique variety, gifting an Opal to a loved one in October or adding this lovely gem to your collection is sure to bring endless enjoyment to the owner.
Opal has long been a prized and rare gem, often worn by royalty in Europe and famed for the unique nature of every stone.
There are three types of Opal classification, all with unique and delightful characteristics that can be set into beautiful pieces.
The precious Opal displays a play in colour or an iridescence that produces the illusion of flashes of colour from mineral deposits within the stone as it is turned in white light. The internal mineral structure of a precious Opal is the cause of this diffraction of light that gives the Opal its famed ever-changing nature.
The Fire Opal is a translucent to transparent Opal with flashes of yellow, orange and sometimes even green colour. Cut and set correctly, these rare and exquisite gems provide a stunning array of colour that almost seem to flicker much like the flames in a fire.
The common Opal is a milky gem with hues of blue or green in it. While not all common Opals are gem quality, there is a great variety of colour in this range of Opal including resin Opals which have a rich honey lustre with a resinous sheen. Wood Opal is where petrified wood has been naturally overlaid with Opal resulting in extraordinary opalized petrified wood. Wood Opal makes for a delightful jewellery piece that is sure to be the talking point of any event you might attend.
Now that we’ve shared a little of the variety of Opal available for jewellery creation, we thought we’d share some of our favourite Opal settings. Above all else, Opals need plenty of natural light to make the most of their unique and exquisite colours. With this in mind we’ve put together our top 3 Opal setting ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Setting #1: Engagement Ring Settings
There is an otherworldly beauty about Opals that makes them the perfect gem for an October bride. We particularly like an oval setting in a mixture of white and yellow gold with a delicate sprinkling of diamonds to highlight the sparkle in the Opal. We are also partial to his and her Opal wedding bands, where the flashes of brilliant, banded colour make an eye-catching statement.
Setting #2: Drop Earrings
We are often drawn to the glamour of drop earrings. For a modern twist we like drop earrings where the Opal is the shining star of the piece set in the tiniest sliver of white gold and falling just below the ear to catch the light perfectly.
Setting #3: Pendant
One of our favourite Opal settings has to be the classic pendant. Whether the Opal is set in a traditional oval or round setting or a semi-polished Opal is set within a frame of gold, pendants allow a flood of light through the Opal showing off the iridescent nature of the stone to perfection.
Opal Care Tips
To keep your Opal jewellery in tip top condition, make sure to:
- Check the jewellery often for claw damage.
- Wash your Opal jewellery in warm soapy water.
- Avoid ultrasound or chemical cleaning detergents.
- Avoid exposing your Opal jewellery to harsh conditions such as dishwashing detergent.
In this month where the weather is becoming drearier wouldn’t it be lovely to add that flash of fire from your very own October Opal! Regardless of whether it’s the array of colours you prize most or the individual nature of this beautiful gem, we’re excited to source and set the perfect October Opal piece for your collection.