Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, and is nicknamed “Queen of the Gemstones”. It has a rich history of being beloved by cultures across not only our world, but is one of the only gemstones to be found on Mars.
Opal is created from rainwater. When it rains water seeps into the crevasses of large rocks, the water then evaporates and leaves behind silica, which dries and hardens to become Opal.
Though Opal can be found almost everywhere across the globe- Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, Madagascar, Peru, Turkey, and the US- Australia actually produces 95% of the world’s Opals. The majority of it is white Opal from the fields of Coober Pedy in South Australia. The indigenous Aboriginal people call Opal “the creator’s footprint” and say it touched Earth at the base of a rainbow bringing peace and harmony.
Once, in 1970, at a function in London an Australian artist named Laurence Hope showed artist Andy Warhol a prized Australian Opal pendant. After that Warhol formed an obsession with the gem, and collected as many Opal pieces as he could until his death in 1987. He even held an exhibition at the ICA in London called "Opal the Rainbow Gem" that featured photographs of Opals taken through a microscope.
Metaphysically it is a protective stone that keeps the wearer from harm. Archeological records of Opal from Ancient Greece and Rome also regarded Opal as a symbol of peace, good fortune, hope and purity. It is said that Opal encourages creative freedom, and personal independence. The ancient Greeks said it contained prophetic powers, and even today is of common belief that Opals enhance your cosmic consciousness.
At Zart, we value beauty in protection, and have Ethiopian Opal in our protective eye pendant and bracelet.