Published March 2015  •  Updated September 2022  •  Read Time: 8 minutes
Yellow Opals are also nicknamed Canary Opals.  This nickname has a double-meaning, because canaries are yellow birds and Yellow Opal also comes from the Canary Islands!  They are usually common Opals without the glittery iridescent of Precious Opals, but sometimes a white Precious Opal can be found with happy golden sparkles.  Yellow Opal has an exceptionally joyful energy.  It invites us to dance with the Divine and to have an optimistic view of the world and ourselves.  It is also one of the most sensual and creative stones, making it a fabulous choice for lovers, artists and anyone who believes – if you’ve got it baby, flaunt it!

Yellow Opal

Yellow Opal Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Yellow Opal inspires joy and invites us to dance wildly, drunkenly, and sensually with the Divine Beloved! It helps us to be more open-minded and willing to invite all people, both those who are like us and those that are very different, to come to the Divine Party and celebrate together. Yellow Opal asks us to pop our comfort bubbles and instead embrace all the different colorful sides of life. It helps us to find joy in our religious/spiritual life and to support the dogma which makes our hearts glad and lightens our souls.

Metaphysical Properties Yellow Opal
Chakra Solar Plexus
Element Earth and Water
Numerology 2, 8 and 9
Zodiac Libra, Leo, Cancer, Scorpio, Sagittarius and Pisces

Emotional Healing Properties

Yellow Opal lightens the heart and shares with us its happy and sensual energy. It encourages us to openly embrace our own sexuality and to be accepting of others. It inspires optimistic, happy-go-lucky thoughts and helps us to believe the best of people and to give them the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong. It is a wonderful stone for exploring self-love, gently reminding us that when we take care of ourselves and nourish our own hearts, we are stronger and more capable of taking care of the rest of our world and the people we love. After suffering heartache and romantic disappointments, Yellow Opal can help us to climb back in the saddle and be willing to fall deeply in love all over again. It reminds us that being open to love does NOT have to be mean being open to being hurt. Those are two completely different ideas and Yellow Opal helps us to keep them strictly separate in our emotional body. Yellow Opal helps us to become amazing openhearted lovers and attract wonderful romantic partners and friends.

Mental Healing Properties

Yellow Opal teases us whenever we get too serious and gently reminds us that life is fun and meant to be enjoyed. It encourages us to be more spontaneous, creative, and willing to show our true selves to the world. Yellow Opal actives a keener interest in all areas of the arts, both as creators and as appreciative audience members. It calls in the muse and keeps writer’s block and other artistic blocks at bay. Yellow Opal helps us to make wise financial decisions, saving up for “sunny days” rather than rainy ones, and helping us to realize that money can be used to buy happiness, if we spend it in the right way.

Physical Healing Properties

Yellow Opal is encourages us to enjoy physical pleasure in all its forms.  This includes sexual pleasure, with or without a partner, delicious foods, spa treatments, joyful movements such as dance, and anything else that makes us smile in pure delight.  Yellow Opal teaches us that our body is a temple where we celebrate the glory of being alive!  It invites us to let go of illogical guilt and shame.  Instead it encourages us to truly listen to our body and learn what feels good and what is holy.

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Yellow Opal Mineralogy

Where does Yellow Opal come from?

Opals are found worldwide, but 90% of all Opals on the market are Australian in origin.  Yellow Opals are also found in Austria, Ethiopia, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and United States (Oregon).

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.

Yellow Opal Placeholder
Yellow 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.

Yellow Opal’s energy works well with its family – other Silicate minerals.  Try it in combination with Agates, Amethyst, Aventurine, Chalcedony, Citrine, Clear Quartz, Jasper, Prasiolite, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Tigers Eye.  It also blends perfectly with other types of Opal such as Green, Pink, Purple, and White.

Yellow 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.

Yellow Opal’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Fluorite, Snow Quartz, Topaz

Mineralogy Yellow Opal
Chemical Formula SiO2 nH2O
Cleavage None
Color Yellow
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 Yellow 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 Yellow Opals, typically these are White Opals that have a brilliant golden iridescence, oftentimes the iridescence also has pink hues.   Precious Yellow Opals also come from Ethiopia, once again they are White Opals with a rainbow glitter, in which the yellow hues can be seen dancing with pinks and neon-green.

Coober Pedy, Opal

Sunrise over the Coober Pedy “golf course”

Opals can come in many shades of the rainbow, but one of the rarest varieties is a bright yellow hue.  Nicknamed “Canary Opals” they are often reserved for fine jewelry.  The name is partially due to the stone’s color, but some of the Yellow Opals actually come from the Canary Islands of Spain.  While they lack the iridescence of precious Opals, these Yellow Opals can be translucent and appear very similar to Citrine and Yellow Sapphire.  According to lore, Opals are supposed to protect and preserves hair, especially among blonds.  This power is said to be even stronger for Yellow Opals.

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