Opal, a beautiful gemstone that for a long time was shrouded in mystery, is also a birthstone
for October. Science has explained the mystery of their colours, but they are just as fascinating as ever.
The common commercial grade opal one normally encounters in standard Jewelry stores is blah, lifeless and boring, compared
to these beauties that I offer you here.
1) Hover mouse on above photo to find number of opal. 2) Click here for prices. 3) Hover mouse over
selected opal image on bottom of this page for the opal's dimensions and carat weight.
What's more, these are unusual hydrophane opals, the first I have ever seen; this means that if soaked, they will absorb water easily,
which temporarily changes their appearance, frequently for better, and then as it begins to dry out again,
it goes through a phase where it becomes cloudy, before returning to its original clarity. These opals can absorb up to 10% of their weight.
Allowed to slowly dry out at room temperature, they return to their original appearance. Never put a hydrated opal on heat
to dry it out, as it could crack.
Wetting one takes 5 - 15 minutes, and if you look at it every minute or so, you will notice the gradual change in appearance
from the outside in, as the water is absorbed progressively further inside. These opals are hard and shiny, and under high
magnification the surface does not appear porous. But somehow, on a molecular level, it can absorb water quickly. Drying one
slowly takes longer, a few hours to a couple of days. Doing this repeatedly does not damage the stone, nor does the stone expand when it absorbs
water, which seems to penetrate only empty spaces in the spherical crystal structure, like water poured
into a glass that is filled with marbles.
To best show their colours, these opals need to be set over a blackened background, and viewed in light, since
their flashes of colour are not from pigments, but from the prismatic action of its internal structure, which breaks
up white light into a rainbow of colours.
Although opal is not as hard as some gemstones, these hydrophane opals are about as hard as opal ever gets, and are remarkably
durable. Set in a pendant, brooch, or earring, they would be spectacular, and not show any wear at all over many years. An opal
worn every day in a ring might get a little scuffed-up over the years, but that depends on the design of the ring, and
the lifestyle of the person wearing it.
I offer these opals as I received them, indirectly from the mine, cut and polished for maximum size, and they are not
all symetrical. On some of them, the bottom needs further polishing, and perhaps reshaping to fit a particular
Jewelry setting. I cut and polish stones, and can do this for you if you wish, for an extra
As beautiful as they are in my closeup photos, a camera's single lens cannot capture
their true beauty, which can be seen only with your two eyes. This is because they throw off their
prismatic colours at all different angles; your two eyes, spaced apart, each pick up different reflections, combined by
your brain into one image. This is easy to test, for closing one eye very clearly shows you less beauty
than is apparent using two eyes. If we had 6 eyes, they'd be three times as beautiful!