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Opal Stones: Types, Properties and Meaning

Note: Crystals cannot be an alternative for medical attention nor can they be a substitute.

Opal stones are among the visually most attractive gemstones. Due to the relative rarity of some of the variations of opal and because of their bad reputation in the past, they are not extremely popular in the new age metaphysical community. Nevertheless, the special properties of opal can make this stone of great value to the crystal healers and new age practitioners who are ready to experiment and include it in their collection of healing and meditation crystals.

Color and Other Physical Properties of Opal

The colors of opal are white, pink, red, blue and violet, but opal stones can also be brown or orange. Usually opals are rather small, and possess a glassy glow. The characteristic color of opal comes from the interference of transmitted light. The rarest and therefore most valuable are the black opals. Some transparent opals can match the beauty of the black opals (see the video below). The black opals are not totally black, as the name might suggest, but they simply have a darker tone when compared to a typical white opal. The pure white milk opals can be relatively inexpensive.

The darkest backgrounds with red or pink spots across the stone can have intense brightness and a dance of light that no other stones, even diamonds, can match. The gemstone quality opals are usually always accompanied by unusual flash patterns. Their price can match the one of the most expensive diamonds, emeralds, rubies, or other precious stones. The best quality black opal stones are mined in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. Notable occurrences are in Australia, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Canada and Honduras.

Opal is a low temperature mineral that is often found in cavities or cracks within the Earth's crust. There has to be water around the localities of this gemstone, since water enters its chemical composition. In essence, opal is a form of silica, SiO2, mixed with certain fraction of water molecules. The name opal most probably comes from the Latin expression for precious stone – opalus. When using this stone one should keep in mind that it can easily get dehydrated under the influence of heat, or if exposed to chemicals. It is also very porous.

Man Made Opal

Creative commons 2.0, Attribute to Opals-On-Black at http://www.flickr.com/photos/opals-on-black/3308078961/

Opal stones can be man made (either synthesized or altered in some way) and indeed one can find many types of opal which are artificially produced on the markets today. Therefore be careful when selecting opal stone jewelry. The man made opals are sometimes called doublets or triplets. A doublet is a paper thin slice of genuine opal glued on a black backing, sometimes for example on a piece of black onyx stone. Triplets are essentially doublets with a transparent glass, or quartz capping. There are, of course, lab synthesized opal stones, which are difficult to spot with an untrained eye, as they can be really close to the natural opal. Apart from that, one can also find several minerals that can mimic the appearance of natural opal.

Fire Opal

A special type of opal is fire opal. The name originates from its typical fire red color, and not from any flash patters or interplay of light. The fire opal stones can have all the possible nuances from yellow, through orange to deep red color. Most of the fire opals today come from Mexico, and they are usually not as expensive as the other types of genuine opal, while the other characteristics can be more or less equal.

Metaphysical Properties and Meaning of Opals

Opal is a stone of protection, faithfulness and loyalty. It is said that it can enhance super sensible vision and creativity. Not unlike the malachite stones, opals are mystical gemstones of high vibrations. As such, they can have a wide spectrum of application on the physical as well as on the higher levels of existence. Some say that opal is able to absorb thoughts and feelings, to enhance them, and sent them back to the source.

Opal Jewelry

The meaning of opal in the past was not positive. Mostly due to superstition, opal was considered bad luck. It was believed that opal can grant its bearer a power of invisibility - therefore it gained bad reputation as an amulet for the thieves. In medieval times opal was generally disliked due to its similarities to the eyes of some "evil" animals. Thus, this beautiful stone used to provoke fear of the “Evil Eye”.

Despite these negative connotations, opal is an excellent stone to disperse either positive or negative energy, but it requires careful handling during the metaphysical practice. Learning how to meditate with this stone can also be a challenge. That means choosing a suitable stone that can integrate energy, as well as proper programming, cleaning and charging. Opal stones can be used as a tool to explore the unresolved emotional problems from the past. Opal is a birthstone of October.

In crystal therapy, the opal metaphysical properties can be very useful in dealing with problems of the digestive organs. This stone can also stimulate the proper functioning of the stomach.

Transparent Opal — Very Nice video







Comments:

Patti says:
05-05-2009


Excellent! I have heard about the opal being bad luck and I stopped wearing a beautiful opal pendant. I will now start wearing it again.

sunny says:
05-10-2009


Hi Patti. Thanks for the comment and yes, many of these beliefs are based on superstition. There is no reason to stop enjoying your jewelry items just because of some false notions that prevailed in the past.

Karen says:
01-18-2010


My husband bought me a white or fire opal (I'm not sure which) ring, sometime back. It wouldn't have been what I would have chosen, but I figured if it came to me, It must be the stone I need. I love it, because he gave it to me (and it has grown on me). It's a very pretty white stone with a lot of colors within it as you look closely.

TUKARAM says:
05-29-2010


ALL WAS VERY GOOD TO ME ....

SUDDENLY JOB LOST/WIFE LOST ...BOTH OBJECTS WAS LOOKING AT ME AS EVIL EYE...

SO TOLD THEM I DON'T WANT YOU BOTH ...

NOW IAM USING OPAL WHETHER THINGS WILL BE ALLRIGHT TO ME.

A NEW LIFE IS EXPECTED TO ME. PLEASE SUGGEST AND SEND MAIL

THANKS

TUKARAM

sunny says:
06-11-2010


Thanks for your comment and I am very sorry for your loss.

I do not believe, however, that crystals and stones can be inherently good or bad. It is the energy that people put in them which makes them positive or negative. Therefore, it is up to us how we use them. That said, they should always reflect our greatest ideals and noble thoughts.

Shahid says:
08-01-2010


I have been advised to wear white opal in silver ring by an expert....my details are as follows...

Date Of Birth: 29-05-1980

Time Of Birth: 14:00 P.M

plz advise me...

sunny says:
08-11-2010


Hi Shahid,

While Opal is the official October birthstone, I have been always skeptical about associating stones with astrological signs just like that. Some deeper insight is needed (for example, take a look at Olga's Mysical Birthstones ebook), and this association should be done on a personal basis, since each of us is unique and with specific needs.

One of the possibility is of course to be advised by an expert. This should work OK. The other option is to try to listen to your needs, to intuitively select that stone which is currently most needed for you in order to balance your energy field, possible energy deficits, etc. Sometimes we are intuitively drawn to a stone, not knowing why, but that stone can be exactly what is needed at that particular moment for us.

HmH says:
09-20-2010


I bought a Australian Opal Boulder and i can't find any information about it! i can only find opal information.

Hassan says:
09-25-2010


Hi,

This is hassan

Date of birth 01/01/1975

stone expert advised me to wear opal stone bcz i lost my job n its too hard to get the job.

Please advise me.

Australian Opals says:
10-05-2010


Really nice hub about Opals.

You really covered a lot here.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

I will post this on my Blog (solid Opals)

http://solidopal.blogspot.com/

Australian Opals

sunny says:
10-14-2010


Thanks Australian,

I really appreciate your re-posting.

luy says:
11-03-2010


my birthday is in september

my friend thought opal was my birthstone and he bought a necklace with the opal gemstone

i've heard many things on the internet about how the opal is bad luck to those not born in september...i'm not sure if i should wear it..

any ideas as to what i should do? thanks

sunny says:
11-19-2010


@luy,

I see no reason why you should not wear it. The only thing that matters is how harmonious is the energy of that opal stone with your own auric (energy) field. You should be able to judge that on your own; just use your inner senses and intuition and observe the impact of the stone on your thoughts, emotions, moods, etc.

Every person is unique — therefore I do not believe in those general statements about the absolute incompatibility of certain stones with astrological signs.

Julia says:
12-13-2010


nice, and even thats' my birthstone!

Opal Higgins says:
12-15-2010


My name is Opal and i am no bad lucky..............i got a Opal as a gift and things have been good.

komal says:
12-18-2010


Birth Date : 13th Oct 1983 at 10.25 , Suggest me which one is the best stone for me on my id : komalsaini1383@yahoo.co.in

sohail says:
01-20-2011


i am libra

sunnycat says:
01-25-2011


my B'day's on 11th October. in another web site I saw OPAL is notion of LOVE and LUCK

opal says:
02-05-2011


hi my name is opal!!!! i am three years old.

gajanis786 says:
06-24-2011


Very informative article.....good researched hub....very useful.Thanks.

Jolly Gems says:
07-11-2011


Opal stone is October birth-stone. Nice article thanks for sharing.

Jolly Gems International

jitendra kumar says:
08-26-2011


MY NAME IS JITENDRA KUMAR SINGH. DATE OF BIRTH 03/05/1971. TIME 03.36 A.M. PLACE CALCUTTA (WEST BENGAL )INDIA CAN I WEAR OPAL. WHICH OPAL CAN I WEAR IN MY FIRST FINGER?

ChristinS says:
09-01-2011


I have loved opals since I was a child - not only because they are a birthstone for me, but because I have always been incredibly drawn to them. I lost the opal ring my mother gave me :( still broken hearted about that - eventually I will have to replace it.

Great info on all the stones I am really enjoying reading them :)

simi says:
10-23-2011


My DOB is 24.010.85 time 10.052 am. I have been suggested to wear opal but now i want to discontinue wearing the same. Will it anyhow effect me?

ratna kumari says:
10-30-2010


mine is libra. can i wear opal stone? please give me advise.

my personal life is very bad with full of credits.

sunny says:
11-11-2011


woooow opal right for my class homework at a high school

Puss says:
01-14-2012


Opal is never bad luck when given as a gift or found, as it is meant to be yours. I have heard that only librans can purchase it for themselves as it is their birthstone. I believe that if you give bad luck stories power, then they will be true. I love opals.

sunny says:
01-18-2012


I don't know about the Libra compatibility issues, Puss, but you are certainly right about the necessity to adopt the right mindset when working with stones and crystals.

KnittinBLonde says:
02-12-2012


This is a great article, especially dispelling some bad superstitions about these gorgeous stones. I was engaged once, and I got an opal ring (man made, but I didn't care). People told me how they were such bad luck. I did some research and found out they were not originally seen as good luck! People stopped saying that to me. I recently purchased a fire opal ring. I love it. I wear it almost every day. I've heard they are too soft to wear daily, but with proper care and the proper protection from moisture/temperature fluctuations, I've found they're just as strong as any other stone.

sunny says:
02-20-2012


So very true, KnittinBLonde. Thanks for sharing your experiences with these beautiful stones.

anna gad says:
03-01-2012


I was born on 10/05/99, idk the time. I was wondering wat opal is good for me to be wearing. Please suggest which opal is best, at my email, a.gadomski99@gmail.com

Samantha says:
03-05-2012


Awesome article! I had suggested opal to my partner as a stone for an engagement ring, as I have always loved them :) I thought I'd read up on this "bad luck" thing, and I'm pleased to find that not only is it not true, but that opals are perfect as a symbol of fidelity! My question is, what would you need to do to protect an opal ring from damage and external conditions etc?

sunny says:
03-10-2012


Thanks for the comment. In general, you should be careful not to scratch the stone or damage the polish. Exposing to very intense heat sources, or to intense light could also potentially damage the opal, so some common sense measures in that direction are needed. Cleaning with water should be okay. If you have doublets or triplets, try not to leave them soaked in water for too long, as the cement or adhesive bonding the opal layers may be affected.

Didge says:
03-20-2012


What an excellent info: Thanks for sharing.

nishu says:
04-11-2012


hi, i like white opal stone , can u plz tell me i can wear this in gold ring ? my birth is 3/12/1983 at 11.30 pm . please suggest me white opal is suitable for me or not ?

sunny says:
04-21-2012


Hi nishu, yes you can, why not? Gold can be combined with opal very well.

KEnquist says:
05-07-2012


Hi Sunnyray, I have a question that I am finding hard to be answered. My grandmother was a lover of fine stones. Yet I found a strand of what must be imitation pink opal. It is about 80 years old and is mostly clear yet potchy. The silica is very close to the same as the potchy edges of some Mexican Fire opal I have... looks convincing. But, instead of colors, it seems to have an almost 'metallic like' pink, 'flake like' flash to it. They are not plastic or resin, and they are quite interesting... Does this sound like anything you ever heard of?

Samten says:
07-04-2012


The opal stones are associated with chinese astrology of snake year. I heard if people born in snake year, opal gem will favour them in many ways.

Is this true? Anybody... any suggestion...???

sunny says:
07-15-2012


Hi KEnquist, it is a difficult question to answer, especially without seeing the stone. In any case I am afraid my gemological expertise is not sufficient to give you a good advice.

@Samten

Yes you are right. The birthstone of people born in the Year of the Snake is Opal.

rakesh kumar says:
02-08-2013


my date of birth is 26/11/1963 and birth time 8.20a.m. what is my lucky stone?

Paula says:
10-22-2014


Can you combine white opal and moss agate in the same piece of jewellery or would this be a disbalance?

sunny says:
10-22-2014


Hi Paula,
Thanks for the comment. I haven't tried this particular combination, but I don't think there would be any disbalance. Both stones, in essence, are silica-based stones.

shaa says:
11-22-2014


Hi. Can I combine fire opal and rose quartz on the same gold ring? And is there a specific finger that I should wear it on?

sunny says:
11-22-2014


Yes you can. The exact location of the ring is not that important.

raj says:
05-19-2015


I was born in January. Diamond is moon sign stone, whereas Opal is sun sign stone. May I wear opal & diamond together ?

kindly advise, Thank you.

sunny says:
05-19-2015


Hi Raj. It is not so common a combination, but I certainly can't see why you shouldn't wear them together if you feel like it.

Waqas Ahmad says:
05-22-2015


Hi
My Name is Waqas Ahmad and my date of birth is October 1990. Tell me can I wear Opal stone plz plz

sunny says:
05-22-2015


Hi Waqas Ahmad,
I don't see why you shouldn't wear it if you are drawn to it.

romit says:
05-25-2015


In which finger should I wear my opal ring...?? Index or middle..?? Confused...!!

sunny says:
08-02-2015


Romit, you may want to check this post with respect to wearing opal ring, and any other gemstone ring for that matter.

RJ says:
09-05-2015


Hi Sunny,

I appreciate your posting this information for us to read and even being proactive with your replies to the posts here. I had a question for you, if I may.

I have my Venus Mahadasha going on and even, though I have observed others in the same Mahadasha opting for White opals, I am drawn to wearing a Black one. Will the result be any different owing to the difference in colour, even though it is an Opal? Kindly let me know. Thank you.

sunny says:
09-07-2015


Hi RJ
In Vedic astrology the color matters a lot. That said, I'm no expert in this field, so you should probably consult a professional astrologer. I can only say, follow your heart and use what you are drawn to.

Silvia says:
09-23-2015


I have shunned opals for years because throughout my childhood and youth I have been told they are bad luck. But sometimes I come across pieces of jewelry with opals in them and I sort of regret not paying more attention to them or even buying them. After reading this article and the comments, I might reconsider that attitude. Especially milky yellow opals often seem very attractive to me and feel as if they have a friendly, warm energy to them. I might one day get myself an opal after all!

sunny says:
09-25-2015


Hi Silvia
Thanks for the comment and I wish you a lot of positive and friendly energy with your future opal.

jegatheeshraj says:
09-30-2015


My vedic star is Simma and Rasi is Maham.I tried using ruby but the result was not good. English star is Libra and opal is the gemstone for Libra. I am now using in my middle finger right hand is this correct. Let me know..TQ

sunny says:
10-02-2015


Thanks for the comment. I'm no expert in Vedic Astrology, so you would be better off if you consulted someone with more knowledge on that subject. As for the relationship between ring stones and fingers, maybe this post would be useful to you.

Kathryn says:
10-18-2015


Thank you for the extensive information on all the gemstones.
I've just started investing n wearing some of these healing crystals.
My birth month is October. Does wearing our own birthstone has a higher significance compared to others who belongs to other months. Does it matter how frequent we wear the gemstone for it to have the effect?

sunnyray says:
10-20-2015


Hi Kathryn. The birthstone matters to a certain extent, but not that you should forget about the other months. Depending on how spiritually advanced we are, we all go through a number of Zodiac signs in our lives.

My name is Rechol Kissumo says:
01-21-2016


My name is Rechol date birth 10,10,78 which the best Opal to me with ring and what the colors best luck and get me rich pls

Mohammed Imran says:
02-03-2016


Hello Sunny, I have recently bought Ethiopian Opal my date of birth is 28 Sep 1980 could you please tell me if this gemstone would be beneficial for me. Thanks

Malik awais says:
03-08-2016


14 0ctober 1993 is mine date of birth Plz tell about stone...

nitin says:
05-26-2016


My dob is 17 Aug 1982.at 6.50 am.plz advise me Wt type of stone is wearing is benifitable for me.

INCHARA says:
06-15-2016


Hi some astrologer asked me give opal as a gift to some people, to clear out marriage problems.

what is the reason.

erynne says:
06-24-2016


crytsals i love you

Hayz says:
12-10-2016


Hi awesome site. I've been trying to find out if anyone else has had the same things occurring with their opals... So I bought myself and my partner little lightning black opals, we made femo necklaces out of them, overtime they started to go a faint grey around the edges and my partners actually turned quite silver/white. I left mine out in supermoon for night and it went back to being as black and awesome as when it bought it, my partner tried the same over next few nights with not much change so I buried it in soil and after 30hrs or so it was black again, he wore it but it faded out quiet quick so he soaked it in spring water overnight and again back to black, mine had a slight gray tinge to outer edges but has held its darkness till now. Just wanted to know if anyone else had this or any thoughts on it. Thanks very much

Ruchira says:
07-28-2016


Opal stones are good, when you are honest and speak truth and a good practitioner of life. it will give immense benefits. but if you are a dishonest guy you not touch the vibrant of magical opal powers

sunnyray says:
07-28-2017


Thanks Ruchira, for your comment. Indeed you are right. All the best.

Sudhir Kalsulkar says:
08-07-2017


My D.O.B is 21/10/1968 and time is 11am.
I am wearing Yellow sapphire, Rubby and blue sapphire. Is this ok? Pls guide

Sam says:
12-09-2017


My step mum gave me an opal ring, I wore it often and lost it as a teenager in my home country, looked everywhere. Now 12years later I threw my husband out due to abuse, I went into a box I searched a million times and it was there i have moved 3 times and now live in a different country. My cousin called me and said why are you so level headed and ok. The ring brought me hope. That nothing is truly lost and is only waiting to be found. It symbolises that I am now found.

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