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Boulder Opal

OCTOBER'S
BIRTHSTONE
OPAL

Jelly Opal
Yowah Nut Opal Hyalite Precious Opal Opalite

Opal is the modern birthstone for October; an alternate Zodiac stone for Aries, Libra, and Scorpio; and the gemstone gift for the 18th anniversary. Opal has been associated with hope, faith, and confidence.

Opal has been a popular gem for many centuries. It has the same chemical formula as quartz with the addition of 5 to 10 percent water. Structurally it consists of tiny spheres with water filling the gaps. These spheres in most Opals are irregular in size and inconsistent in concentration. Yet in Precious Opal, the variety used most often in jewelry, there are many organized pockets of the spheres. These pockets contain spheres of approximately equal size and have a regular concentration, or structure, of the spheres. This has the effect of diffracting light at various wavelengths, creating colors. Each pocket produces a different color, with a different intensity depending on the angle from which a viewer sees it. The multicolored flashes of light that Opal emits gives it a truly beautiful and valuable look, called a play of light.

The name opal probably is derived from the Sanskrit name for precious stone; upala. It has been mined for centuries, at least since Roman times when they extracted the opal from areas now within the Czech Republic. The Aztecs made use of local Mexican sources as did the Spaniards when they exported the material back to Europe. Today most precious opal comes from Australia with significant sources from Mexico and the Western United States.

Not all opal is so precious however. Common opal lacks a play of light, color or luster and is (after all) common. Opal is often imitated, forged and "enhanced".

While opal is generally white or colorless, it may also be pale yellow, pale red, gray or black when impurities are common. Diffraction can cause flashes of any color of the rainbow (opalescence).

Note that the water in opal's structure may be critical for the optimal play of color. Over time, a once beautiful opal may become dull, due to the loss of water. For this reason, opal miners store their "rough" in jars full of water. It may be wise to store valuable opal jewelry the same way!

For more information on the mineral opal, see the opal page.

For natural opal specimens, see our Opal specimens pages.

Opal Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
New World Opal Diamond Necklace, 20"L - Armenta
From the New World Collection. Platinum-plated sterling silver. Double-sided faceted opal stations surrounded by pave champagne diamonds. Round-cut peacock tourmaline stations. Cable chain necklace, 18inL. 0.16 total diamond carat weight. Necklace,...Only $980.00 at Neiman Marcus
no photoNew World Opal Diamond Necklace, 20"L - Armenta
$980.00
Neiman Marcus
Ross-Simons Opal, 1.80ct t.w. Multi-Stone Ring in, White Topaz Silver
A freshly picked flower for your finger, this ring cradles an oval opal in petals of 1.30 ct. t.w. pear-shaped tanzanite and .50 ct. t.w. round green chrome diopside. White topaz accents are sprinkled like shiny drops of dew. Sterling silver ring. Opal...Only $205.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Opal, 1.80ct t.w. Multi-Stone Ring in, White Topaz Silver
$205.00
Ross-Simons
1.30 CT Purple DiamonUltra Cubic Zirconia and Blue Lab-Created Opal Dragonfly Pendant
Rated by 25,000+ Customers. 1.30 CT Purple DiamonUltra Cubic Zirconia and Blue Lab-Created Opal Dragonfly PendantOnly $66.49 at PalmBeachJewelry
no photo1.30 CT Purple DiamonUltra Cubic Zirconia and Blue Lab-Created Opal Dragonfly Pendant
$66.49
PalmBeachJewelry
Ross-Simons Opal and 2.40 ct. t.w. Multi-Stone Ring in Sterling Silver
Cool colors bloom from this opulent oval ring, in petals of 1.80 ct. t.w. tanzanite and .60 ct. t.w. white topaz. Sterling silver ring. Opal birthstones are the perfect gift for October birthdays.Only $275.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Opal and 2.40 ct. t.w. Multi-Stone Ring in Sterling Silver
$275.00
Ross-Simons
Sterling Silver Rainbow Fire Solid Australian White Opal Ring Jewelry
This Ring was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $245.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Rainbow Fire Solid Australian White Opal Ring Jewelry
$245.24
JeGem.com
Sapphire, Ruby and Opal Earrings 7.5 Carats (ctw) in Sterling Silver
Sapphire, Ruby and Opal Earrings 7.5 Carats (ctw) in Sterling Silver #61CD6262MG. A striking combination of ruby, sapphire and opal form a beautiful 7.5 carat pair of earrings. These colored gemstones are crafted with sterling silver and a matching...Only $99.00 at MyJewelryBox.com
no photoSapphire, Ruby and Opal Earrings 7.5 Carats (ctw) in Sterling Silver
$99.00
MyJewelryBox.com
Ross-Simons Opal and .18 ct. t.w. Diamond Ring in Sterling Silver
Six glowing opals line up between .18 ct. t.w. dazzling diamonds for a fabulously feminine ring. Sterling silver ring. Opal birthstones are the perfect gift for October birthdays.Only $295.00 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Opal and .18 ct. t.w. Diamond Ring in Sterling Silver
$295.00
Ross-Simons
Sterling Silver Honduras Opal Hook Earrings Jewelry
This Earrings was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $85.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Honduras Opal Hook Earrings Jewelry
$85.49
JeGem.com
Sterling Silver Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal Inlay, African Amethyst Ring Jewelry
This Ring was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $138.74 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal Inlay, African Amethyst Ring Jewelry
$138.74
JeGem.com
Ross-Simons Opal Earrings With .25 ct. t.w. Diamonds in 14kt White Gold
Twinkle, twinkle! The sparkle of our delightful oval opal earrings glittering in a halo of diamond rounds totaling .25 ct. t.w. will zap you to the epicenter of the fashion universe! 14kt white gold post/clutch earrings. Opal birthstones are the...Only $371.25 at Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons Opal Earrings With .25 ct. t.w. Diamonds in 14kt White Gold
$371.25
Ross-Simons
3.04 carat Tanzanite Cubic Zirconia, Clear Cubic Zirconia and Blue Opal Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver
Rated by 25,000+ Customers. 3.04 TCW Tanzanite Cubic Zirconia, Clear Cubic Zirconia and Blue Opal Pendant Necklace in Sterling SilverOnly $75.99 at PalmBeachJewelry
no photo3.04 carat Tanzanite Cubic Zirconia, Clear Cubic Zirconia and Blue Opal Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver
$75.99
PalmBeachJewelry
.64 CT TW Citrine and Opal Ring in 14k Gold over Sterling Silver, Size 9, Size 9
Rated by 25,000+ Customers. .64 CT TW Citrine and Opal Ring in 14k Gold over Sterling SilverOnly $94.99 at PalmBeachJewelry
no photo.64 CT TW Citrine and Opal Ring in 14k Gold over Sterling Silver, Size 9, Size 9
$94.99
PalmBeachJewelry
Sterling Silver Pink Peruvian Opal Ring Jewelry
This Ring was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $118.49 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Pink Peruvian Opal Ring Jewelry
$118.49
JeGem.com
Sterling Silver Premium Grade Rainbow Fire Solid Ethiopian Crystal Opal Ring Jewelry
This Ring was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $167.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Premium Grade Rainbow Fire Solid Ethiopian Crystal Opal Ring Jewelry
$167.24
JeGem.com
Sterling Silver CZ, Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal Inlay, Peridot Ring Jewelry
This Ring was handmade by a master artisan and is one of a kind.Only $188.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver CZ, Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal Inlay, Peridot Ring Jewelry
$188.24
JeGem.com

Opal Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
no photoRoss-Simons Oval Opal Roped Stud Earrings in 14kt Yellow Gold
$168.75
Ross-Simons
no photoRoss-Simons .20 ct. t.w. Diamond and Three-Stone Opal Ring in Sterling Silver
$325.00
Ross-Simons
no photoDiamond And Created Opal Engraved Pendant Necklace: I Am With You Jewelry
$119.00
The Bradford Exchange Online
no photoBlue Lab-Created Opal Peace Sign Drop Pierced Earrings In Sterling Silver
$75.99
PalmBeachJewelry
no photo"14k Yellow Gold Ladies 12.5mm Wide Opal With Clear Cubic Zirconia Ring"
$250.00
Sarraf Jewelry
no photoSterling Silver Rainbow Fire Australian Black Opal Doublet (Boulder Opal) Ring Jewelry
$122.99
JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Rainbow Fire Solid Australian Crystal Opal Ring Jewelry
$209.99
JeGem.com
no photoLab-Created Opal Bracelet 14K Plated, Womens
$100.00
jcpenney
no photoRoss-Simons Oval Opal and .15 ct. t.w. Diamond Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold
$595.00
Ross-Simons
no photo"14k Yellow Gold 13mm Wide by 15mm Mens Opal and Cubic Zirconia Ring"
$678.00
Sarraf Jewelry
no photoCreated Opal and White Sapphire Heart Ring 1/2 (ctw) Carat in Sterling Silver
$59.99
MyJewelryBox.com
no photoOpal Ring with Diamonds in 10K White Gold
$269.00
MyJewelryBox.com
no photoOpal Cushion Earrings in Sterling Silver (8mm)
$99.00
Blue Nile
no photo"14k Yellow Gold Ladies 12mm Wide Opal With Clear Cubic Zirconia Ring"
$237.00
Sarraf Jewelry
no photoSterling Silver Ocean Green Fire Australian Black Opal Doublet (Boulder Opal) Ring Jewelry
$212.99
JeGem.com