I love to use opal in my claddagh rings because it is arguably the most beautiful of all gemstones. Opals display a rainbow of exciting colors. However with this great beauty comes delicacy and opal claddagh rings must but cared for.
Opals are notoriously difficult to set into jewerly and therefore I pride myself in supplying such a quality made product. Great time and craft skill goes into the process off setting an opal securely in place into a claddagh ring.
Opals are know for their play of color. many flecks of color can be seen when you move the opal around whilst observing its surface. Opal is made up of submicroscopic silica spheres bonded with silica and water.
Precious opal is usually cut as cabochon or carved.
The word opal is derived from the Latin opalus meaning "precious stone".
Pliny described opals as follows, " In the opal you will see the refulgent fire of the carbuncle, the glorious purple of amethyst, and the sea green of emerald, and all these colors glittering together in incredible union."
Shakespeare also referred to opals. He called them " the queen of gems"
The first known opal mine was at Czerwenitza. It was perhaps the source of opal for Rome. The Aztecs used fire opals and the Spanish conquistadors brought them back to europe. Queen Victoria helped to make opals popular by giving opal jewelry as gifts to her children.
The Romans believed opal was the stone of love and hope. The ancients Arabs believed it fell from heaven in flashes in lightning.
Opal is formed in cavities and cracks in near surface volcanic rocks. Australia produces approx 85% of the worlds opals. Lightning ridge in New South Wales Australia, is the foremost source of black opal.
Fire opal comes from Mexico.