Opal Birth Stone of October
The name Opal comes from the Indian Sanskrit word for stone. In some cultures Opals were considered a gift from the storm gods who sent rainbows to earth and where the rainbows landed Opals formed.
Opals, the unusual gemstone
Opals are made from a hardened silica gel unlike most other gemstones like Diamonds and Sapphires which have a crystalline structure. Opals fill cavities and veins in rocks and replace organic material in wood, fossils and shells.
Opals are made up of a regular arrangement of tiny silica spheres. The larger the spheres the more they are able to play with light and create the rainbow iridescence effect which Opals are loved for.
Well known places for Opals are Ethiopia, Australia and Mexico. At ANPA we love working with Ethiopian Opals mined near the edge of Africa.
The Welo Amhara region of Ethiopia is an incredible mix of manmade and natural wonders with its towering mountain ranges and the Blue Nile Falls. It boasts many of the UNESCO world heritage sites from the ancient palaces of Gondar to The 12th century Rock-Hewn churches of Lalibela. All of this collides in the stunning Welo Ethiopian Opals, drawn out from the side of the mountains at 2500 m above sea level. These volcanic formed Opals with their intense orange lighting flashes and cooling blue and green hues are fast becoming famous around the world.
Opals have been admired throughout history in all corners of the globe. They represent hope for those born in October and are used to celebrate the 14th year of marriage. Wearing Opal Earrings is believed to protect against memory loss and Opals when worn as a pendant or necklace enhance opportunities. Opals are said to inspire peaceful dreams and these mysterious gemstones are considered to be incredibly lucky. It is believed that they hold all the virtues of all the other gemstones which colours can be seen in the rainbow like Opal.