Published January 2021  •  Updated September 2022  •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Purple Opals are very rare.  The color is occasionally found in Precious Opals in Australia and Ethiopia, but most of the Purple Opals on the market are Common Opals for Jalisco Mexico.  Nicknamed “Grade Opals” these pretty gems range in color from dark blue to pastel lavender, and are often mixed with pure White Opal.  Purple Opals invite us to release our inhibitions and to start enjoying life to the fullest. Their energy is confident, sensual, and above all joyful. They are a great choice for anyone who has had their heart broken in the past, but now feels a desire to be open to love again.

Purple Opal purple opal meaning

Purple Opal Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Purple Opal awakens us to our natural birthright for joy and freedom. It encourages us to let go of our inhibitions and to live more vibrantly and colorfully. It reduces the power of our ego, which can place far too much value on “what other people think”, and instead invites us to consider what will truly make us feel happy and spiritually healthy. Purple Opal reminds us that when we are in alignment with our natural joy, the whole world’s vibration raises accordingly. Purple Opal is a wonderful meditation stone, particularly if one’s practice includes mantras or other holy sounds.

Metaphysical Properties Purple Opal
Chakra Throat and Third Eye
Element Earth and Water
Numerology 3, 8 and 9.
Zodiac Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Scorpio and Pisces

Emotional Healing Properties

All Opals has a relaxed, sensual and confident vibration, that can help us to take care of our most important relationships It assists us in clearly expressing our wants and needs, and to be open to hearing and understanding what other people want and need from us. This is particularly helpful in romantic relationships where one or both people have been hurt in the past and so are scared to express their true heart’s longings. Purple Opal helps us to be brave enough to love again and to trust that we are worthy of our own happily ever after.

Mental Healing Properties

Purple Opal helps us to stay focused in the present moment and not dwell on the past. It encourages us to be hopeful, creative and more spontaneous. It is particularly useful for writers, poets, musicians, and anyone who uses words and sounds as their artistic medium. Purple Opal reminds us that art is powerful and useful. It encourages us to make art that lifts the spirit and encourages viewers to think and to feel more connected with the larger world. Purple Opal is also a very good stone for students, especially those who are auditory learners or anyone focused in the humanities and fine arts.

Physical Healing Properties

Purple Opal is used by metaphysical healers primarily to treat respiratory illnesses and lung damage, as well as asthma and allergies, and some eye conditions. Purple Opal is said to strength a person’s will to live, and so is also used to treat the emotional side-affects of chronic or serious illness.

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Purple Opal Mineralogy

Where does Purple Opal come from?

Opals are found worldwide, but 90% of all Opals on the market are Australian in origin.  Purple Opals are quite rare and most of the ones on the market come from Jalisco, Mexico.  They have also been found in Ethiopia and the United States (New Mexico and Nevada).

Mining and Treatments

Most Precious Opals are found in thin layers embedded in sandstone and are the primary focus for many mines. Some of the mines are small affairs, while others are huge operations that create vast tunnel systems through the sandstone. Precious Opals are found using UV lights. Common Opals, by contrast, are secondary stones found in a wide variety of mines and mining conditions.

Lab-created Precious Opals are available in the fine gemstone market. Common Opals, by contrast, are all fully natural, regardless of the shade of color, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.

Purple Opal Placeholder
Purple Opal

Mineral Family

Opal is a type of Common Opal and a Silicate mineral. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspars. Opal comes in two main varieties, precious and common. Precious Opals have a fiery play of colors sparking across their surface. Common Opals, by contrast, lack this fire and have an opaque, flat color.

Purple Opal’s energy works well with its family – other Silicate minerals.  Try it in combination with Agates, AmethystAventurineChalcedonyCitrineClear QuartzJasperPrasioliteRose QuartzSmoky QuartzTigers Eye.  It also blends perfectly with other types of Opal such as Green, Pink, White, and Yellow.

Purple Opal Formation and Crystal Associates

Common Opals are fairly widespread and can be found in most types of rocks, wherever silica-bearing waters are found. Opals are especially abundant near hot-springs and Opal often is part of the fossilization process for Petrified Wood as well as fossilized seashells and bones. Precious Opals, by contrast, are much more rare and can only be found enclosed within a rock, where over time the water is slowly removed from the silica gel, a process which can take thousands of years. The silica left behind settles down and, if it settles in the correct formation, it results in the iridescent color which plays across the gem’s surface.

Purple Opal’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Amethyst and Rainbow Obsidian.

Mineralogy Purple Opal
Chemical Formula SiO2 nH2O
Cleavage None
Color Purple
Crystal System Amorphous
Form/Habit Massive
Fracture Conchoidal
Hardness – Mohs Scale 5-6
Luminescence Green (long and short wave)
Luster Vitreous
Mineral Family Tectosilicate
Specific Gravity 1.9-2.3
Streak White
Transparency Translucent to opaque

History of Purple Opal

Opal is included in virtually every known lapidary, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. Most of the legends associated with Opals refer specifically to the Precious Opals that contain a flashing “fire” of color inside them. Tumbled Opals, by contrast, are known as Common Opals, and have a flat color. The name Opal most likely derives from the the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.” It has also been suggested that the name may also come from Ops, a Roman Earth Goddess associated with fertility and the harvest.

At one time, Opals commanded a higher price than any other gemstone, far higher than Diamonds or Rubies. Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist, and philosopher described Opal in his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones. He related that a generation before him, there had been an enormous Opal, as big as a hazelnut, which was worth more than a villa. It was owned by a Roman Senator named Nonius. Marc Antony, the most powerful man in the Roman world at that time, demanded that the Senator give the gemstone to him. Nonius refused and fled, leaving all his worldly possessions behind, taking only the Opal.

Today, the vast majority of Opals come from the outback of Australia. The “Opal Capital of the World” is the small desert town of Coober Pedy, in Southern Australia. Opals were discovered in the desolate Stuart Mountain range in 1915, by a 14-year-old boy named Willie Hutchinson. He and his father were searching for gold but instead found a mother-lode of pale white sparking gems.  An Opal Rush began, and hundreds of men seeking their fortune poured into the “Stuart Range Opal Field.” This name was deemed too boring, and was replaced with kupa piti, Aboriginal words that meant “the boy’s watering hole,” a nod to Willie Hutchinson. In a bizarre turn of events, Willie died in 1920 while swimming in a water hole. Kupa piti gradually become Coober Pedy, which local residents now claim means “white man in a hole.”

Australia occasionally produces Precious Purple Opals, typically these are White Opals that have a soft lavender iridescence, usually the iridescence is mixed with hues such as blue, green or pink.   Precious Purple Opals also come from Ethiopia, once again they are White Opals with a rainbow glitter, in which the lavender hues can be seen dancing with neon-green.

Coober Pedy, Opal

Sunrise over the Coober Pedy “golf course”

Common Purple Opals are mainly from Jalisco, Mexico.  They are sometimes marketed as Purple Opals, Blue Opals, or Grape Opals.  The shade of color ranges from dark blue to vibrant purple to soft lavender.  These colorful sections are surrounded by white Opal, with a matrix of reddish-brown Rhyolite encasing it.  Most of these Opals are sold to collectors, particularly in the healing crystal industry.  Sometimes the Opals are pure purple, but most are mixed with white.  The mines are small scale, dug into the side of a mountain.  Rainbow Obsidian is often found nearby.

There are numerous myths associated with Opal, some romantic and others gruesome.  For more information, please see the longer history article on White Opal.