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In the beautiful world of opals, not all rocks are created equal. “The Virgin Rainbow” is a lovely little specimen valued at just over $1 million! It was found in Australia in 2003 by John Dunstan in an area of desolate desert laid waste by countless years of earth-scorching heat – sound familiar? While opals can be found all over the world, experts agree that 95% of the world’s opals come from Australia.
How do they get their color? Opals come in a variety of different colors, and they can reflect every single color of the rainbow! White opals are the most commonly found, and black ones are the rarest. “Play of color” is a term coined to describe the unique multidimensional color display of more precious opals. Those with the most intense and diverse “play of color” are also the most expensive and prized.
How are they formed? Opals are formed when water from rain seeps down into crevasses in the rock. After the water evaporates, the silica that is left behind dries out and hardens into precious opal (of course, this process takes about five million years). The colors you see in an opal are due to millions of tiny silica spheres of different sizes. These spheres refract light and cause the beautiful spectral colors. The spheres have to be just the right size and of a uniform nature to create enough color for our eyes to see. As one of the most beautiful gemstones in the world, these unique gems look beautiful on rings, pendants, earrings, brooches, as well as watches in many different settings.
Opal is October’s birthstone: Are you aware that, metaphysically, opal symbolizes purity and hope? It is also regarded as a protective stone and rumored to keep the wearer from harm while bestowing prophetic powers. September is a great time to consider an opal for yourself or a loved one born in October.
Okay, so how do I get the jewelry? Well, that’s the easy part. All you have to do is come to the Sun Lakes Rock & Gem Club’s first meeting of the 2018/2019 season on Monday, October 15, at 10:00 a.m. in the Navajo Room of Sun Lakes Country Club (Phase 1).
There you’ll meet many new friends from our over 200 members and you’ll discuss one on one with each of the professional instructors who teach our classes. Be sure to meet Ron DeAngelo (phone 883-9715, email [email protected]) who will tell you all about his classes for cutting and polishing opals. And soon you’ll be fabricating your very own opal rough into a lovely cabochon which will become the centerpiece of your newest jewelry design, handmade in .925 sterling silver or solid 14-karat gold if you’re really flush!
We look forward to welcoming YOU as our 201st member to join the Sun Lakes Rock Gem & Silver Club!