Opal is widely known as the birthstone for the month of October and is traditionally used as a gift for an anniversary in a couples’ 14th year of marriage. The known existence of Opal dates back as far as 4000 B.C. Opal obtained its name from the Latin word "opalus" which translates to "precious stone." An opal is composed of hydrated silicas and is found to have about 20% of water. If an Opal is to be left out in a warm environment the stone can in fact dry up and become damaged. An Opal is formed when silica is moved down the crevices of a rock due to heavy rainfall. After all the rain has evaporated, the silica gel leftover begins to harden over the course of years into what we know today as Opal.
Opals can be found in a variety of colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, black, brown, beige, and grey. In fact, the rarest Opal is deemed to be the Black Opal. Not only can this enchanting stone come in various colors, but Opal can also be found in various parts of the world. Opal can be found in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Australia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Hungary, New South Wales, Nicaragua, Queensland, and even in the United States. The leading source of today’s Opal comes from deposits located in Australia. In fact, Australian Opals are considered to be the finest stones in the world.
In metaphysical belief, Opal is said to be an emotional stone and is a mirror for the mood of the wearer. It is believed to intensify emotions as well as encourage feelings of independence and spontaneity. Opal is also said to aid in the ability to release feelings such as anger. Not only is Opal a healing stone but each individual color possesses its own healing ability, such as pink being associated with being a stone of love and kindness.