BLACK OPAL doublet hot blue flash and fire- stunning collectors piece- australian
"Opal...Made up of the glories of the most precious gems, to describe it is a matter of inexpressible difficulty: there is in it the gentler fire of the Ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the Amethyst, there is the sea-green of the Emerald, all shining together in an incredible union. Some aim at rivaling in lustre the brightest azure...of the painter's palette, others the flame of burning sulphur, or of a fire quickened by oil." ~ Pliny the Elder
the size of this item is approx- 1/2" long and 1/4" wide-
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The name Opal is derived from the Sanskrit word "upala", meaning "valuable stone". This is believed to be the root word for the Greek term "opallios", which translates as "color change".
Opal is thought to have been discovered as long as 4,000 years ago, and myths and lore abound in practically all cultures about this brilliant gemstone. The ancient Greeks thought opal to be the tears of Zeus and prized it as highly as diamonds. They believed opal gave the gift of foresight and prophecy, which would ensure the owner's success in war, business and life.
The legend of the Australian aborigine tells that opal is 'creator's footprint that touched the earth at the base of a rainbow to bring harmony'.
The ancient Romans wore opal as a symbol of hope and purity and believed it could cure illness. In ancient India, opal was referred to as the Goddess of the Rainbow, turned to stone. Ancient Arab cultures believed opal had fallen from the sky and that the play of color was trapped lightning. According to Arab lore, opal could make the wearer invisible. The ancient Australian aborigines, however, believed in a more sinister origin. They thought opal to be half serpent and half devil, and that the brightly colored fire within the stone was an attempt to lure them into the devil's lair.
Opal has been thought to have healing powers in many world cultures, and in the middle ages, it became known as the Opthalmius, or Eye Stone, and was thought to strengthen eyesight. Blonde maidens wore opals to protect their hair from fading or darkening.
In the Middle Ages, Opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.
However, there has also been rumors and superstition about the Opal as being a stone of bad luck. At one point opal had became so popular and wanted that it began to rival the diamond in popularity, so the diamond merchants began spreading the rumor that opals brought bad luck to the wearer. It was quite effective, and even today, there are those who believe it is unlucky to buy or wear one unless it is your birthstone (October)
However, these superstitions of bad luck were not believed by all including the Queen Elizabeth II. She ensured that all her subjects knew that she did not believe in these rumors and superstitions. Throughout her reign, she wore opals herself and gave them to her daughters as gifts. The Queen's efforts have been credited with helping opal shed its bad luck reputation and regain popularity with the public.
Types of Opal
Black opal is characterized by a dark tone causing brightness of color which is unmatched by lighter opals. Black Opals are usually mined in Southern Australia, and are the most famous, and sought-after type of opal. The term 'black opal' does not mean that the stone is completely black (a common mistake), it simply means the stone has a dark body tone in comparison to a white opal.
Most black opals have a beautiful array of colors and are very clear due to the dark tone of the gem. Some people expect the stone to be completely black in which case it would be of very little value. The most rare and expensive Opal in the world is a black opal.
Boulder opal forms on ironstone boulders in Queensland. This type of opal is often cut with the ironstone left on the back, as the opal seam is usually quite thin. Leaving the ironstone on the back means that boulder opal can be very dark and beautiful in color. The opal forms within the cavities of the boulders in both vertical and horizontal cracks. Boulders vary in shape and size, from as small as a pea, to as big as a family car. Boulder Opal has a tendency to cleave; when cleaved the "split" leaves two faces of opal, with a naturally polished face.