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Alluring Opal October's Birthstone

Alluring Opal is October's birthstone, Opal is an iconic gemstone found in Coober Pedy, South Australia, the highest source of Opal in the world. Opal is from the Greek "Opallos" meaning to "see a change of colour". Australian gemstones can easily be distinguished by their brilliance and play of colour. Each Australian Opal is unique and the different varieties offer a spectacular choice of colour, shape and size. When rotated, Opal displays a constantly changing interplay of fiery colours. 

How Is Opal Formed?

Wearing Opal is like having your own personal window into the history of Australia. About 65-140 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, central Australia was covered by a giant inland sea. As the inland sea retreated, silica-rich sands were deposited, onto what is now basically a desert area. Weather conditions changed the sand sediments releasing large quantities of soluble silica, creating a gel. This gel seeped into cracks and crevices in the ground and gradually hardened through nature's heating and moulding processes, resulting in the creation of Opal. 

 

The Opalesence Collection

The Opalescence Collection

Where Does Opal Come From?

96% of the world's precious Opal comes from three isolated areas in the outback of Australia. A small amount of precious Opal is found in Brazil and Mexico. Australian stones can easily be distinguished by their brilliance and play of colour. 

In Australia, White Opal is mined principally from the South Australian fields of Mintabie, Coober Pedy and Andamooka. Black Opal comes from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, whilst Light or Boulder Opal hails from Central Queensland. The opal fields of Australia are in the harsh outback where only the hardened miner can make a living. In South Australia, miners in Coober Pedy live in underground homes, dug into the barren ground, to escape the extraordinary heat and relentless dust.

Justin McCabe shows you some gorgeous Opal pieces from our Opalescence and Antique Collections.

 

October Opal Celebrations
Explore The Selection Of Opal in our Antique Collection
How To Care For Your Opal

To keep your Opal looking its best it's important to care for it properly. Although Opal is a magnificent and unique gem, it doesn’t have the resistance to breaking or scratching that Diamonds or Sapphires have. You will get the best out of your Opal if you protect the stone from heavy knocks and abrasive materials, keeping it away from extreme changes in temperature.

Here are some steps that you can follow so that your Opal always looks brilliant.

-To avoid a build-up of dirt and grit, always remove your opal jewellery when washing dishes (when wearing a ring) showering or swimming.
-Steer clear of bleach, chemicals, chlorine, perfume or dishwashing liquid that may cause discolouration or damage to your precious Opal piece.
-Use a fresh clean cloth to polish your jewellery, if your Opal loses its shine or becomes scratched, it can be professionally polished by an Opal cutter, restoring its natural beauty.
-Keep your Opal away from sudden changes in temperature and the intensity of direct heat.
-Try not to drop or bump your Opal piece onto hard or abrasive surfaces.
-Never put your Opal into an ultrasonic cleaner, it may fracture your Opal.
-When storing your Opal piece of jewellery for an extended period of time in a safe, place a small container of water in the safe next to your opal so that humidity is present. Another way that this can be achieved, is to wrap your piece in damp cotton wool, storing it in an airtight plastic bag.

Opal From Our Antique Collection

Art Deco Opal & Diamond Brooch

What kind of Opal does Gerard McCabe sell?

Gerard McCabe sells solid Opal in our Opalescence Collection - featuring Opal from Coober Pedy in South Australia and Lightning Ridge in NSW. Solid Opal can be cut into many shapes. Unlike diamonds and other precious gemstones, it is not cut into facets because this would spoil the play of colour with reflections. Usually, it is cut into softly curved cabochons and various freeform shapes. We have some magnificent Opal pieces in our Antique collection, showcasing the popularity of Opals over many different eras such as the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.

To explore the magnificent Opalescence Collection, visit our online store or one of our South Australian Jewellery Boutiques: Rundle Mall, Adelaide Arcade and the South Australian Museum Shop on North Terrace. There is something to suit everyone’s taste in our diverse range of rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets.  

Download our "How to Clean Your Jewellery" eBook

Gerard McCabe Jewellers are the specialists in diamond engagement rings and wedding rings in Adelaide.

We create beautiful ladies wedding rings, men’s wedding rings, classic engagement rings and dress ring designs.

We can create bespoke tailored rings to fit your specifications. So pop into one of our jewellery stores in Adelaide for your dream ring consultation.