Opal is the birthstone for October, and it is a beautiful and unique gemstone that is often used in various types of jewelry. Opals are found in different parts of the world. Some of the most renowned sources for opals include Australia (notably the Lightning Ridge region), Ethiopia, Mexico, and Brazil. They are formed from silica gel that seeps into cracks and cavities in rocks. Over time, this gel hardens and becomes solid, creating the opal. The play of colors in opals is a result of the way these silica spheres diffract light.
Opals have been prized for thousands of years. The word “opal” is believed to have originated from the Sanskrit word “upala,” which means “precious stone.” Ancient civilizations, such as the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, were familiar with opals and appreciated their beauty.
The Romans, in particular, held opals in high regard. They believed opals symbolized hope and good fortune. Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist, described opals as having the “glowing fire of the carbuncle, the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea-green of the emerald, all shining together in incredible union.”
Opal gemstones have held various symbolic meanings and associations throughout history and across different cultures. The symbolism of opals often revolves around their mesmerizing play of colors and their captivating beauty. Here are some common symbolic meanings associated with opal gemstones:
1. Hope and Purity: Opals have been historically associated with hope and purity. Their milky and iridescent appearance is thought to represent innocence and optimism. Opals are believed to bring a sense of calm and peacefulness to those who wear them.
2. Creativity and Inspiration: Opals are often associated with creativity and inspiration. The play of colors within opals can be seen as a source of artistic inspiration, stimulating the imagination and encouraging creative expression.
3. Love and Passion: In some cultures, opals are considered symbols of love and passion. The fiery and vibrant colors found in some opals, such as Mexican fire opals, are associated with intense emotions and desire.
4. Protection: Opals are believed to provide protection against negative energies and harm. They are thought to shield the wearer from evil and negative influences.
5. Healing and Emotional Balance: Opals are said to have healing properties, both physically and emotionally. They are believed to help balance emotions, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.
Opals are relatively soft gemstones, with a hardness rating of around 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. They are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, so it’s important to take care of opal jewelry. Avoid exposing opals to harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
For more tips on how to care for your piercing jewelry, consult our Body Jewelry Care Guide.
Opals are prized for their individuality and captivating colors, making them a popular choice for those looking for distinctive and eye-catching gemstones. When purchasing opal jewelry, consider the type of opal, its play of colors, and the overall quality of the stone to ensure you get a piece that suits your style and preferences.
Looking for some gorgeous opal piercing jewelry? Our collection includes everything from nose rings, belly rings and labrets, to cartilage earrings. Check out some of our favorites. Shop the opal collection here
Opals are beautiful as stand-alone pieces, but when paired with other gemstones, its benefits and attributes amplify. We suggest combining with amethyst, garnet, and tourmaline.