British Columbia precious opal from Canada.
19.35 cts Crystal Jelly specimen piece
Host rock - Basalt
Gem - Precious Opal
Origin - British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia, Canadian Precious Opal belongs in everyone's rock collection.
4-Low mining, ranging in a variety of goods for rock rounders, lapidary enthusiasts supplying a variety of rough stones and gemstones.
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Precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors, and though it is a mineraloid, it has an internal structure. At microscopic scales, precious opal is composed of silica spheres some 150 to 300 nm in diameter in a hexagonal or cubic close-packed lattice. It was shown by J. V. Sanders in the mid-1960s, that these ordered silica spheres produce the internal colors by causing the interference and diffraction of light passing through the microstructure of the opal. The regularity of the sizes and the packing of these spheres determines the quality of precious opal. Where the distance between the regularly packed planes of spheres is around half the wavelength of a component of visible light, the light of that wavelength may be subject to diffraction from the grating created by the stacked planes. The colors that are observed are determined by the spacing between the planes and the orientation of planes with respect to the incident light. The process can be described by Bragg's law of diffraction.
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Hydrophane Opal - a milky variety of Opal that turns translucent or transparent when immersed in water (hydrated). The term “hydrophane” comes from the Greek words meaning “water-loving” and describes their ability to absorb water and change from opaque or semi-translucent, to translucent or even transparent. They may emit streams of bubbles and even the appropriate sounds as they gradually become clearer. Sometimes this highlights the play of color within the stone, while in rarer cases, may hide the color play. After removal from water, the Opal will dehydrate and return to its original state, ranging in time from minutes to more than a week, depending on the stone body type, size and environmental conditions. Hydrophane Opal varies widely from source to source, so it is important to learn the characteristics of gems from a particular mine rather than consider them to be alike in appearance and in tolerances for this process. Hydrophane Opals are marvelous for utilizing Water energy, the energy of stillness, quiet strength, and purification.
Matrix Opal - Precious Opal interspersed within a host rock, usually ironstone or sandstone, where the Opal occurs as a network of veins or an infilling of pore spaces; usually displays “pinfire” color in the natural state. The most famous Matrix Opal comes from Australia, most notably from Andamooka as well as Queensland, including “Yowah Nuts” from the southwestern Opal fields near Queensland. Yowah Nuts are small rounded pebbles of sandstone infused with Precious Opal. Honduras Black Opal is also a Matrix Opal of basalt sought after for its black body color and pinfire flashes. Metaphysically, Matrix Opal intensifies all experiences, deepens emotions, and brings comfort during fear or grief. It assists one in remaining centered during decision-making and brings clarity to problematic situations. A beautiful stone for calming the inner soul, Matrix Opal engenders emotional balance, helping one to love their body and earthly existence, and to recognize one’s true desires, aspirations, ambitions and dreams, and work toward fulfilling them. Utilizing both Earth and Fire energies, Matrix Opal can be used to access one’s spiritual guides and animal guides, and may be used in medicine-wheel ceremonies to stabilize energy and promote contact.
Opal Spiritual Energy
Opal is a marvelous vehicle for bringing spiritual Light into the aura, awakening the psychic and mystical qualities of one’s being, enhancing cosmic consciousness and raising one’s level of intuition and insight. It has been traditionally used to invoke visions, increase lucid dreaming, and as a protector and shamanic guide in journeying deep into the self for healing or in past-life regression. Opal was associated with Hermes/Mercury, who conveyed the souls of the dead to the underworld, and today aids those who must enter these realms to facilitate the crossing-over of spirits and ghosts to higher realms.
Opal Physical Healing Energy
Opal is beneficial for the health of the eyes, hair, nails and skin, and may be used in treatments to clarify and strengthen the eyesight, and in treating disorders associated with the eyes. It may also be useful in balancing the body’s water content, overcoming dehydration or alleviating water retention.
Opal is believed to disperse infections, purify the blood and kidneys, and to regulate insulin production. It helps reduce fever, stimulates memory, and energetically stabilizes neurotransmitter disturbances, such as Parkinson’s Disease. Opal is supportive in issues with female hormones, PMS and menopause, and provides comfort and ease during childbirth.
More links to info regarding healing properties and types of opal can be found here.