This is a very pretty colored stone of Peruvian Pink Opal. I wrapped it with woven Sterling wire and it hangs from a sterling silver chain. The pendant including the bail is 2.25 x 1". The chain is 20" and is sterling.
SCIENCE & MYTH
Oh, the spectral delight that is Opal, the “Eye Stone.” Like lightning in a rainbow, it flashes its brilliance with even the slightest movement and claims notice by all who witness its phenomenal “fire.” This is a stone so dedicated to the eye, so pleasing to the sight, it inspires love and hope, innocence and purity, luck and happiness.
The Roman historian, Pliny the Elder, described opalus - the Opal, as a precious stone containing the fiery flame of the carbuncle (Garnet), the resplendent purple of the Amethyst, and the sea-green glory of the Emerald - all shining together in incredible union and exquisite pleasure. It was considered by all in the ancient world to be the most bewitching and mysterious of gems, worn for its virtues of soothing and strengthening the sight, healing diseases of the eyes, and capable of providing great luck, as it possessed all the virtues of the gemstones whose colors reside within it. Yet for all its beauty and enviable desire, this “Queen of Gems’” reputation, for a time, fell from grace - linked with rumors, misfortunes and mysterious fatalities. Despite the superstitions, Opal was redeemed in the twentieth century, and is today an absolute favorite gem, especially as the birthstone for those born in October. Traditionally, it is also the gift given for a 14th wedding anniversary. [Fernie, 248-249, 252][Kunz, 144-145][Lecouteux, 244][en.wikipedia.org][Simmons, 289][Eason, 45]
In the metaphysical world, Opal acts as a prism within the aura, bringing a full spectrum of Light energy to the system, soothing and clearing the emotional body, and boosting the will to live and the joy of one’s earthly existence. It enkindles optimism, enthusiasm and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion. Opal enhances cosmic consciousness and stimulates flashes of intuition and insight, yet is a protective stone for deep inner work, meditations, and lower world shamanic journeys.
[Geinger, 65-66][Ashian, 292-293][Melody, 452-453]
Opal is most known for its ability to bring one’s traits and characteristics to the surface for examination and transformation. Just as Opal absorbs and reflects light, it picks up thoughts and feelings, desires and buried emotions, amplifying them and returning them to the source. While magnifying one’s negative attributes may prove to be uncomfortable, it allows for understanding how destructive these emotions can be and assists the process of letting them go. Opal also illuminates the positive actions and emotions of the self, enhancing the good and true, and fostering one’s highest potential. It is a karmic stone with a reminder that what one sends out will return. [Melody, 452-453][Simmons, 292][Hall, 209][Hall En, 254]
The term opal is adapted from the Latin opalus, but is believed to originate from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.” References to the gem by Pliny the Elder suggest it may have related to Ops, the wife of Saturn and goddess of fertility. It was also called opallios in Greek, meaning “to see a change in color,” pederos meaning “the child of love,” and paederos “the delicate complexion of a lovely youth.” The opalus came to be known as ophthalmos, or ophthalmius, in the Middle Ages - “The Eye Stone,” a term which helped in part to reflect its ophthalmic virutes. [Fernie, 248][Kunz, 146][en.wikipedia.org][Megemont, 140][Lecouteux, 244]
Opal is hydrated silicon dioxide - submicroscopic silica spheres bonded together with water and additional silica, sometimes containing the minerals cristobalite and tridymite. It is amorphous, meaning it has no crystalline structure and no definite chemical composition and is therefore considered to be a “mineraloid” rather than a “mineral.” Over time, this gelatinous mix seeped deep into fractures, veins and between the layers of underground sedimentary rock, and the solidified material, Opal, formed as much of the water evaporated. In rare circumstances, Opal formed in masses exhibiting botryoidal growth, in stalagmitic form, or became replacement material in fossils. Even after solidifying, Opal maintains a water content ranging from 3% to 21% by weight, usually between 6% and 10%.
Of the three basic types of Opals, “Precious Opal,” also called “Rainbow Opal,” is the rarest, mined in a limited number of locations worldwide and produces brilliant flashes or streaks of iridescent color when turned in the light, a phenomenon known as “play of color.” The color is not due to any pigment in the stone, but are optical effects created when the microscopic spheres of silica hardened in an orderly grid-like pattern, similar to layers of ping-pong balls in a box. The spacing between the spheres causes light waves traveling through Opal’s internal structure to diffract and break up into the colors of the spectrum. The size of the spheres and their geometric packing determines the color and quality of the diffracted light, and the value of the Opal. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu]
“Common Opal,” or “Potch,” is found in many places throughout the world and forms with spheres of unorderly sizes or stacking, and does not exhibit play of color. It usually has a milky or pearly luster, known as “opalescence.” The third type, “Fire Opal,” is a transparent to translucent Opal with a body color of vivid red, orange or yellow, most commonly mined in Mexico. It typically shows no play of color, though occasionally a stone will have a weak display or exhibit bright green flashes. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu]
Opals form as colorless, white, yellow, red, orange, green, brown, black or blue, and may be transparent, translucent or opaque. They have a brittle tenacity and are usually cut en cabochon to show their full play of color. Solid Opal refers to stones consisting wholly of Precious Opal, while thin, but beautiful layers are sometimes made into doublets (with a supportive backing), or triplets (having a backing and a crystal dome over the top for protection). Opal is the national gemstone of Australia who produces 97% of the world’s supply. These Opals are formed in a sedimentary environment and are highly stable and resistant to breakage. Other Opal forms from volcanic processes and is called hydrophane for its ability to absorb water; these Opals are porous to varying degrees and more prone to crazing or cracking. [www.geology.com][en.wikipedia.com][www.gia.edu][www.mindat.org]
Some of the most common varieties of Opal are listed below with brief descriptions and a summary of their metaphysical properties:
Andean Opal or Peruvian Opal - Common Opal from the Andes Mountains of Peru; translucent to opaque, soft pastel blue, blue-green or pink with a pearly sheen, sometimes cut to include the black or beige matrix in the more opaque stones. Andean Opal is considered to be a gift from Pachamama, the earliest Inca Goddess of Fruitfulness and Mother Earth, and is wonderfully soothing for children and animals, and adults overwhelmed by life. It is particularly useful for healing old emotional wounds, from this life or another, bringing an inner peace to carry one through difficult times. Andean stones promote right action for the highest good and stimulate connection with others and communication from the heart. They increases awareness of the need to heal the Earth, and are useful for those who manifest and transmute the changing vibration through their own body. Andean Opal is an excellent journeying stone, highly receptive, inducing a mild hypnotic state for enhancing divination and metaphysical gifts. These stones carry Water energy, and are great for activating the Heart and Throat Chakras.
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. [Melody, 452][101 Hall, 144][Lembo, 245]
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. [Melody, 453][101 Hall, 144][Hall, 209][Hall En, 254]
Opal is a wonderfully supportive stone, dedicated to healing and strengthening the emotional body for those willing to peer honestly into the true self. Opal’s high internal energy brings thoughts and feelings to the surface for examination, and reveals what one’s emotional state has been in the past, or even in previous lives. This amplification and cleansing process may be intense when first working with Opal, but over time teaches one to take responsibility for one’s feelings while clearing past wounds, fears and resentments. It facilitates the letting go of negative behaviors and soothes the emotional body, helping one feel more in control. It assists one in becoming more positive and loving, more creative and spontaneous. Known as a “stone of happy dreams and changes,” Opal brings happiness from the understanding that one has unlimited potential and is inherently perfect, and that change comes with situations and actions that allow one’s aspirations to rise. [Melody, 452-453][Hall, 209][Simmons, Ahsian, 290-292]
Opal occurs in nearly all colors, and dominant color energies may be utilized to stimulate corresponding chakras. The brilliant play of color in many Opals are useful for activating several chakras and linking them to the Crown Chakra, infusing the aura with full spectrum Light for healing. See the Chakra Healing and Balancing section of this website for more info on which colors activate each chakra.
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. [Melody, 453][Hall, 209]Ahsian, 290-293][101 Hall, 144]
As a stone of Light, Opal is ideal for attracting angelic energies and increasing communications with the Divine. It is also a water-stone, with the perfect vibration to connect with devic forces of water, including devas of the undine family, such as merfolk and water sprites. Connecting with the blue-green energy of water-based stones also allows for interspecies communication with dolphins and whales, and Atlantean mysteries can be recollected through channeling or automatic writing using this stone. [Simmons, Ahsian, 290-292][Lembo, 244]
Opals are most bountiful in their color energies and may contain the full spectrum of rainbow hues. For
Opal promotes a calm and centered mind for prayer and meditation, allowing one to connect with the Earth and her spirit, and to experience the elemental joy of the natural world. Common Opals vibrate at a lower frequency and are tremendously grounding for the emotional body, easing stress and bringing peace and tranquility. Precious Opals carry an intense spiritual energy, magnifying emotions and allowing for deep inner work. They can take one to the roots of the psyche and are useful in soul retrieval and past-life recall. Fire Opals carry a frequency of ecstasy and can induce a passionate state of enlightenment, while Boulder Opals allow one to connect with earth and plant spirits.
Many cultures revered the Opal for its ability to open the mind to visions. Greek astrologers and mediums constantly utilized them in prophecy and for divination. [Mella, 93] Both the Australian aboriginal shamans and the Native American Indians used them in ceremonial “dreamtime” and to invoke vision quests. [Melody, 453]
The Divinatory meaning of Precious Opal: Just when you have given up, good luck makes a return appearance. Maximize opportunities to ensure it lasts. [Eason, 304. Opals are highly conducive for attracting and connecting with angelic beings.
Opal honors Cardea, the Roman Goddess of Doorways and Entry. She protects the family and children of the house, as well as keeping evil spirits from crossing the threshold.
Opal honors Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, ruling during the cold, hard winter. Persephone is also the Greek Goddess of Spring, representing celebration and the Earth alive with new growth.
Opal also honors Chirakan-Ixmucane, the Mayan Creator Goddess; Cyhiraeth, the Welsh Goddess of Streams and Brooks; Dana (Danu), the Celtic River Goddess; and Ixchel, the Mayan Goddess of Childbirth.
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