Oregon Blue Opal
The opal is celebrated for its spectacle of rainbow-like hues, which vary with lighting or angle of observation. Also known as denim opal, the beautiful Oregon blue opal is celebrated for its depth of the color and subtle opalescent glow.
The name opal evolved from the Roman word "opalus" which traces its roots from the Greek's "opallios," meaning to see a change of color. This Greek word is likewise a revision of the ancient Indian Sanskrit's "upala," which means precious stone.
The development of this gemstone started millions of years ago when a mixture of silica and water flowed into cracks and holes in the ground. Over time, it hardened and solidified to turn into opal. Some opals are hydrophanes, meaning that they can soak up water like a sponge. When hydrated, the stone becomes more translucent and the play of colors more defined.
Oregon blue opal has an incredible soft translucent hue. Unlike other opals which diffuse more light and show more dramatic opal fire, Oregon blue opal's beauty is found more in its depth of the color and subtle opalescent glow. In terms of appearance, it is the most distinct of the opal stones found to date.
This gem, also known as denim opal, can be found inside of thunder eggs. Thunder eggs are nodule-like geological structures, similar to geodes, which form within rhyolitic lava flows.
According to Native American legend, when the Thunder Spirits living in the highest recesses of snowcapped Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson became angry with one another, they would hurl masses of these spherical rocks at each other, creating violent thunder and lightning storms. The hostile gods obtained these weapons by stealing eggs from the thunderbirds' nests. These rocks became opal yielding thunder eggs.
- Aboriginal Australians believe that opals came to be when their creator came down to earth on a rainbow to bring the message of peace to mankind. He breathed life into the stones he stepped on and they started sparkling in all the colors of the rainbow.
- Opals are often considered a lucky charm that brings beauty, success and happiness to its wearer.
- The ancient Greeks believed that opals brought powers of foresight and prophecy.
- The Romans considering them to be the symbol of hope and purity.
- Ancient Arabs believed that opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning. Based on this tradition, opals were believed to protect against lightning strikes and bad elements.
- Queen Victoria was a fan of opals. Her five daughters and immediate circle received gifts containing this fine gemstone. It became a much coveted piece since the Royal Court of Britain was considered the model for fashion at the time.
- William Shakespeare called the opal the "Queen of Gems" in his comedy Twelfth Night.
- Crystal healers use Oregon blue opal to help eyesight."
Opals can be found in various places, but this unique blue colored beauty can only be found in the mines of Oregon. Oregon blue opal was discovered in 2003 in the opal-rich area of Richardson's Rock Ranch. Richardson's is located 11 miles north of Madras, Oregon.
- Ranks 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.
- Color presents a soft baby blue.
- Sourced from Oregon, USA.
- Member of the opal family.
- Also known as denim opal.
- Birthstone for October.
- Traditional gift for 18th and 34th anniversaries.
- 100 percent natural stone; no additional treatments.