If you haven’t noticed the rise in opals when it comes to fashion jewelry, you’re probably living under a rock. They’re everywhere!
Opal is a mineral that forms inside the fissures of almost any kind of rock. Precious opals boast almost every color of the spectrum produced by light refracting off of the stone. The quality of the opal depends on the amount of mineral deposits.
Any deposit not thick enough to be carved into its own stone is combined with a layer of dark material (such as onyx) to make sure that the wide array of colors still show. Of course, as with any precious gem, there are variations. The more pure minerals found in the stone, the higher the price.
Studying the way the light refracts in opal has come in handy for developing ways to produce synthetic or imitation gemstones with that same appeal. Taking things a step further, a dominant color can be added to the stones to create a different look than the traditional, “milky” opal. Opalite is a variety of translucent glass or stone that possesses the rainbow effect of opal.
The world of body piercing has benefited greatly from this discovery. Synthetic opal provides for a colorful aesthetic that other gemstones just can’t match!