When most people consider an opal, they imagine a milky-colored stone with pieces of rainbow-colored flecks peering out from below the surface.  As the birthstone of October, the opal is reminiscent of the colors of Fall.  Due to its subtle, but colorful appearance, an opal ring or opal necklace is an inexpensive and adaptable item of jewelry that can be worn with just about anything.

A Quick History Class on the Opal

As with any other gem, the opal has a mystical past that goes back even before written history. Early relics have been discovered in Africa, adorned with opals that are thought to be over 6,000 years old. As time progressed, the Greeks and Romans utilized the opal for trade and also as a magical charm for healing and overall protection.  Afterward, the British royalty - particularly Queen Victoria - had an extensive collection of opal jewelry that she seen wearing often.

Throughout part of the 18th century, the opal was believed to be a gemstone that contained evil forces as a result of its lack of singularity of color. Giving an opal to someone was to bestow on them bad luck. King Alfonso of Spain for instance, presented his wife with an opal ring and she was dead within just a few days. Thus it grew to become generally known as the death stone. Today of course, there are no longer any such connotations and women of every age the world over get pleasure from sporting the gem for its furtive beauty.

The Various Types of Opals

Along with the standard white opal, there are different varieties obtainable today in jewelry pieces. The rarest is the black opal which comes in varied darkish shades together with black, gray, dark blue and brown. Boulder opal is so named as a result of the veins of opal set inside natural rock - this sort of opal can make for some breathtakingly lovely pieces of jewelry. Fire opal is attractive and looks like a sunset captured in time. These opals are produced in volcanoes located in Mexico, but may be harder to find and thus costlier than traditional opals. Water opal is comparable in makeup to fire opal, but is nearly colorless.

As one of the birthstones, the opal is a common present for those with birthdays in October. Nevertheless it can definitely be given for any occasion as it is a cheaper alternative to other gems, but no less special for its distinctive coloring.