Opal, White

Sweet Clarity

See the world accurately and act wisely.

Find your true calling and be guided by spirit. 

Be balanced within yourself and in relationships. 

Attract money and professional opportunities. 

Let White Opal sooth your heart and mind. 

 

$13.25

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Mineralogy of White Opal

common-opal

Common Opal, Black Flag Road Opalite Area, Western Austalia

Mineral Family: Tectosilicate

Chemical Composition: SiO2 nH2O
Cleavage: None
Color: Colorless, White
Crystal System: Amorphous
Form/Habit: Massive
Fracture: Conchoidal
Gravity:  1.9-2.3
Hardness: 5-6
Luminescence: Green (long and short wave)
Luster: Vitreous
Streak: White
Transparency: Translucent to opaque

Location: Opals are found in many locations around the world, however 90% of all Opals on the market are Australian in origin. Other deposits are located in Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, and the United States (Idaho and Nevada).opal-mine-locations

Mineral Family: White Opal is a type of Common Opal and a Silicate mineral. Silicate minerals form the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. 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.

Coober_Pedy_Opal_2

Multi-colored Precious Opal, Coober Pedy Opal Mine, South Australia

Formation: 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.

Mining: 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.

Opal Mine

Coober Pedy Opal Mine, South Australia

Enhancements: Lab created Precious Opals are available in the fine gemstone market. Common Opals, by contrast, are almost certain to be fully natural, regardless of the shade of color, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.

Map courtesy of TravelBlog
Photos: Common Opal, Precious OpalCoober Pedy Opal Mine

History of 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.

Black Opal

Precious Black Opal, Lightening Ridge, New South Wales, Australia

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.

RainbowThere are numerous myths associated with Opal, many of which are gruesome. According to one legend, Opal was created when the Storm God grew angry and jealous at the Rainbow God. The Storm God shattered the Rainbow God with his lightning, and cast his body down to the earth in a million little pieces. When the pieces landed, they petrified and turned into Precious Opals, which still sparkle with a rainbow of colors. In another story, Opals were formed by the Norse smith-god Volömer, who stole children’s eyes and used them to fashion the pretty gems.

Some of the stories associated with Opal appear to trace back to an allegory in Plato’s Republic (380 BCE). Once upon a time, a poor shepherd named Gydes from the kingdom of Lydia left his home in search of adventure. During his journey, Gydes survived an earthquake and saw a chasm opened up in the Earth. He went inside and saw a corpse wearing a ring with a precious stone. He stole the ring and returned to Lydia. He soon discovered that the stone could be manipulated to make the wearer invisible. He used the ring to sneak into the bedchamber of the Queen and make love to her, and then later killed the king. The Queen married Gydes and elevated him to the throne, and the two lived happily ever after. The purpose of this story in the Republic was to ponder whether or not an intelligent person would behave morally if they had no fear of being caught or punished for any misdeeds. While Plato did not name the stone specifically, later historians agree that that the stone was an Opal. Opal was widely believed to be able to confer invisibility and was also nicknamed, the patronus furum, or “Protector of Thieves.”

Cupid

Cupid and Psyche

Despite these unsettling stories, during the ancient and medieval period Opal was seen as a symbol of hope and purity. In one of the myths of Orpheus, the legendary Greek musician, Opal was described as “the delight of the immortals.” During the Roman Era it was sometimes referred to as cupid paederos, or “Cupid’s Stone” because of its bright color and flashing fire, as well as how it inspired love in all who beheld it.

During the nineteenth century, Opal became associated with bad luck, an idea which may have first been promoted by the jewelry industry as an explanation for why Opals fracture so easily, even when treated with care. As proof, the jewelry industry nodded towards a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Anne of Geierstein, (1829), in which an enchanted princess named Hermione wore an Opal in her hair, which mimicked her moods with its flashing colors. She married a man she loved and bore him a daughter. But when it came time for the christening, a drop of Holy Water splashed on the Opal, turning it into a dull pebble and sending Hermione into a coma. The next morning Hermione’s body was gone, only the dull pebble and a pile of ashes remained.

However, the reputation of Opal as a symbol of bad luck may also have been related to the Spanish Royal Family. During the summer of 1885, King Alfonzo XII (1857-1885) died during an outbreak of cholera. His mother, sister, and sister in-law also died. Queen Maria Christina (1858-1929) believed that these deaths were due to a “fatal gem,” an Opal that the King had given to her on their wedding day. She had the Opal made into a necklace, and hung it around the neck of the statue of the Virgin of Alumdena, the female patron saint of Madrid. No more deaths rocked the royal family, and the Opal necklace remains in place to this day.

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.

Coober

Sunrise over the Coober Pedy “golf course”

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.”

Photos: OpalRainbow, CupidCoober Pedy

Healing Properties of White Opal

Spiritual: White Opal gives us a cool, clear-sighted perception of the world and our place within it.  It can point us towards our “calling,” whether it is something we are suppose to do “forever” or simply something that we are meant to do at this moment in our lives.  It purifies our own energy field and attracts Angels and other Spirit Guides to us. White Opal deepens meditation and can also be used to align the Chakras and balance male/female energies. It stimulates our natural psychic abilities and encourages us to use them in alignment with integrity and discernment. White Opal is attuned to the Crown Chakra and linked to the astrological signs of Cancer, Libra, Scorpio and Pisces. It is connected to the elements of Earth and Water; and vibrates to the numbers 8 and 9.

Emotional: White Opal lightens the heart and shares with us its relaxed and sensual energy. It has a very soothing vibration, which helps us to build and maintain healthy relationships in all areas of our life.  Whit Opal is particularly good for enhancing our relationships with coworkers, business partners, and other professional ties.  It reminds us that each person we encounter is playing a vital role, and needs to be treated with respect and dignity. When used in regards to romantic relationships, White Opal encourages us to stay in balance with our partner, to be gentle with them, and to give them healing touches.

Mental: White Opal amplifies our discernment, helping us to sort through complex information and correctly identify the parts that require our attention. It attracts good business partners and encourages us to make wise financial choices. During times of stress and chaos, White Opal helps us to keep a clear head and to act wisely. When placed in an office, White Opal improves business relationships and creates a more effective and pleasant environment to get things done.

Physical: White Opal is used by metaphysical healers to clear the flow of energy through the physical body. It is often used during detoxes, spa treatments, and while fasting. White Opal is believe to reduce insomnia and to provide a deeper and more restful sleep.

Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.

Earth to Pocket

Earth to Pocket is the Moonrise Crystal business mission. It’s the promise that any stones purchased here will be consciously sourced and the journey of the stone, from the Earth and into your Pocket, will be as transparent as possible.

These White Opals were mined in Australia and tumbled in Hong Kong.

I first met the Hong Kong tumbling company at the 2014 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Despite their beautiful tumbled stones, I was reluctant at first to buy from them. A particular concern was their tumbled Coral, which I feared was illegally harvested from the wild. When I asked them, they told me their Coral was actually grown in an aquaculture. After our conversation, I purchased from the tumbling company with confidence.

It would be my pleasure to hand-select a beautiful White Opal for you.

Your Stone

This price is for one stone. You can buy a single White Opal or several, depending on your individual needs. Each Green Opal measures approximately 1 inch at its longest length and has a unique shape with soft edges. Tumbled stones are natural products and variations are part of their beauty. 

The stone I choose for you will be smooth and free of chips and have a beautiful white with occasional grey matrix. If you buy multiple stones, I will choose stones that look and feel particularly good together. Stones will be cleansed and smudged with sage before being shipped to you.

With their beautiful color and clean energies, these White Opals are perfect for crystal healing. Add them to a medicine bag, place them on an altar, use them in a crystal elixir, fashion them into jewelry, or simply carry them in your pocket.

Safe Handling of Opal

Good To Know:

Tumbled Opals are physically durable stones. As long as they are rounded and without thin edges, they can be carried in a pocket or medicine bag, or worn as jewelry on an everyday basis, without significant danger of the stone chipping or breaking.

Opal can be physically cleansed with water or a dusting cloth.

Opal can be energetically cleansed using any method. They will appreciate being soaked in fresh water, set outside to absorb the moonlight, and/or being smudged with smoke or incense. Use your own intuition to determine the best method.

Tumbled and fully smooth Opals can be safely used to make direct-infusion “Opal Water” for drinking or bathing. Before making any direct-infusion elixir ALWAYS check the mineralogical properties of the stone to ensure it is not toxic. Only use fully tumbled stones or natural Quartz points in direct-infusion elixirs, never rough stones. When in doubt, make an indirect-infusion elixir instead.

White Common Opals can be left in sunshine for extended periods of time without losing their color. However, it is always considered a “best practice” to keep your stones and crystals out of direct sunlight as much as possible.

Reviews

  1. Alisa K. (New Jersey)

    Yours is the one store I always return to time and time again.

  2. Crystal G. (Nevada)

    Thank You and Thanks for the Tea. 🙂

  3. Mary T. (Virignia)

    Beautiful stone. Accurately describe. Customer service is superb

  4. Karla M. (Tenneessee)

    Arrived early. Exactly as described. Would buy from seller again.

  5. Karla M. (Tenneessee)

    Great seller. Have ordered from before and will again.

  6. Jonathan L. (New York)

    Absolutely fabulous stone. Very fast shipping. Well packed with nice lavender bag as a bonus. Million fold thanks. Great shop and excellent customer service.

  7. Rechel B. (Hawaii)

    Person I gave it to loved it. Great energy.

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