6 interesting facts about opal

▪️ Because opal has the colors of other gems, the Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all. The Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms.

▪️ Opal is an October birthstone.

▪️ There are three main aspects of an opal’s quality:

  • Color—Background color and play-of-color
  • Pattern—Arrangement of play-of-color
  • Clarity—Transparency and quantity of inclusions

▪️ An opal might display a single color, two or three colors, or all the colors of the rainbow.  No two opals are exactly alike. Opal displays background color in addition to play-of-color. 

▪️ Pattern describes the arrangement of an opal’s play-of-color. Like the shapes you see in the clouds, play-of-color takes many forms.

▪️ With an opal, clarity is its degree of transparency and freedom from inclusions. An opal’s clarity can range all the way from completely transparent to opaque. Experts prize different levels of clarity for different opal types. For example, in crystal opal, experts admire transparency, while in black opal they prefer an opaque background. Each provides the best background for displaying play-of-color in its individual opal type.