The Indonesian Opal, a gemstone that has only become available since about 2016 or 2018.
I fell in love with this stone when I first saw it at a gem show in Marlboro Massachusetts two years ago. Joe Jelks of Horizon Minerals was the lapidary artist who introduced it to me and it has become one of my customers favorites as well as mine. Many finished pieces are reminiscent of the ocean landscape of Cape Cod where I am located and so it is popular among those who live and visit here.
Although opal is found all over the globe this particular one is found in only one location in Indonesia. It is at a very high elevation and you have to go through steep inclines and lush jungle terrain to get to it. It is extremely hard to mine and move because the lava flow that created it covered and filled tree trunks. It comes in large and very heavy pieces.
It is a gorgeous stone and very unique in its natural formation. Opal is a feldspar like the moonstone. It is formed from lava and this particular stone gets its coloring from manganese, iron, large copper deposits and the trapped petrified wood. It makes some wonderful landscape-like designs as you can see in the photos above. The green/blue color is from the copper, manganese and water in this opal and the brown/black colors are from the iron and wood.
Opal is made up of 5-10% water and as the water dries up over many years it leaves the stone behind. This water content makes it a more delicate stone, putting in the MOHS scale of 5.5-6.5 and you have to take very good care of it to keep it from getting brittle or scratched over time. But gosh it is just amazing and worth the effort.
Opal was named by the Romans as Opalas or Precious stone. Because it is delicate, most deposits we find today are from more recent history as those in ancient times are no longer stable. It is unable to withstand hot and cold extremes and water fluctuation in the environment over time.
Because opal comes in so many colors it can represent almost all the Chakra. It depends mainly on the predominant element and color of the stone. It is also not related to just one birthstone for this same reason. It is a multifaceted stone when it comes to healing and each element contributes to it's healing properties. It makes this stone quite versatile.
The opal promotes recognition and feelings of creativity, releases inhibitions to help one feel confident in their endeavors. Strengthens memory and instills faithfulness in respect to love and business relationships. The copper in this stone represents luck and conducts healing energy to one's spirituality. The nature element of the wood advances the quest to serenity and assists in the progression of one's destiny.
I hope you enjoyed learning about this gorgeous stone and I wish you a tranquil day.
Gathered information sources: The Smithsonian Rock and Mineral Book, The Pocket Book of Stones by Robert Simmons, Love is in the Earth book my Melody , Wikepedia, and other internet sources.
I am a self taught jewelry artist and designer. My blog is the door to all the new things I learn, the stones I use and love, the pieces I created and the events I participate in as well as my thoughts along this journey. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.