Opal has ignited man’s imagination for more than 2,000 years with the flashes of fire that magically burn within its depths. Opal’s multicolored flame makes it unique in the world of gemstones – giving it more variety of color and versatility of wear than perhaps any gemstone.
Opals symbolized hope, innocence and purity to the Greeks and Romans and were mined in what is now Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Today’s supplies of Opal come primarily from Australia, Mexico and the United States. Most Opals are not faceted but cut into rounded or free form cabochons that enhance their play of color.
The October birthstone is found in several different colors including black Opal, whose blue, gray or black body color enhances the play of fire; white Opal with a lightish or white body color; and crystal Opal, a transparent version with bright color flashes. Boulder Opal has color flashes intertwined with rock matrix. Different in appearance is Fire Opal, a transparent or transluscent gemstone of brilliant yellow, orange or red, often cut with facets.