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.
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.