Discover Fire Opal Jewelry

Fire Opal – Origins

Opal is a mineral is made of silica, the chemical name for silicon dioxide. Today’s opal was formed many millions of years ago in volcanic rocks. Opals formed when silica, carried by water, deposited in voids left by gas bubbles and in rock fractures. Trapped water in these spheres make it so that light passing through the water is broken into the spectrum of colors seen in this precious gem. The effect is akin to light passing through water droplets the sky forming a rainbow. If you have an opal, you possess your own rainbow!

Recently there has been a growing interest in fire opals. This is an opal known not for its play of color, but for its vivid body color, which can be white to yellow, orange or red. Fire opal has some unusual characteristics that are not shared by other opal varieties.

When “fire” is used in referring to gemstones, it is the most important way to describe the presentation of color. Additionally, a fire opal aptly portrays the mixture of reds, oranges and yellows. The fire opal sometimes appears to be a glowing ember, a cool smooth gem,

There is a spectacular variety in the hues. Whether stones have flash, spark, or both – they all have quality.

Fire Opal Rings
Fire Opal Jewelry Types

Jewelry Styles & Types

You’ll most likely associate fire opal jewelry with rings. They make an unmissable accent on a finger, surrounded by a gold, silver or platinum band. They give engagement rings a vintage, retro, antique or classic quality (or all of the above). It’s important to remember that fire opals are not just limited to rings. Fire opals are crafted by in-the-know jewelers worldwide to create:

Fire opals come in such an array of accessories, you’re sure to find the quintessential piece for any outfit, occasion or even everyday wear.

What’s The Fire Opal Price Tag?

Fire opals can range anywhere from $100 – $10,000 USD. It’s setting (gold, diamond, platinum) can greatly increase the price range. If you, already imagine you or your loved on with such a piece on now, the next factor is price. Our site, gives in depth information on the prices of fire opals.

The price of a high quality fire opal on the market right now is (price per karat) Price, like in diamonds and other precious stones, is determined by a few factors:

  • Clarity
  • Color
  • Size
  • Cut

The color of of the fire opal makes it the most unique aspect in pricing and selection of the stone (one of the reasons that it is also unique among gems). It’s the color, the ‘fire’ that makes them fascinating and will ultimately determine it’s value. Fire opals color being the most unique aspect of the stone is not the only one that can raise the price. The clarity of the stone too, often value of the stone. Especially if you are shopping online, you’ll find fire opals at all price points. Depending upon the type of jewelry you are selecting (ring, bracelet, earrings, pendant) the prices will vary especially when it comes to the number of gems used, the setting (gold, silver), the setting kart and purity and complexity or other gems set along side fire opals. However here are a few examples below to give you an idea:

Valuation date: 03 Mar 2017
Value chart for Fire Opal. Data valid till: 17 Mar 2017
Values in USD per carat; ref. clarity = VVS, ref. cut = Excellent

Fire Opal Jewelry Price & Appraisal
Fire Opal Gem Colors

Fire Opal Colors & Gem Style

Fire opals aren’t limited to just red and orange Mexican type gems. They also come in various other styles that can be eye catching and carry their own personality and people are often searching for.

Mexican – A bright orange to red transparent opal mined in Mexico, the largest supplier of fire opals.

Sunset – The opal features a unique cloudy formation that makes it appear as if the stone contains a miniature sky that is ablaze.

Blue – This opal is relatively rare and is only found in the Andes mountains near San Patricio, Peru. It is a very translucent stone with color similar to the Caribbean Sea, clear and calming.

White – White is the most common precious opal found on the jewelry market. The price is determined by intensity of iridescence.

Black – Black opal commands high prices with colors ranging from gray, black and blue to green. This dark background makes the intense presentation of color more visible

What makes fire opal great is it’s diverse and flickering flaming colors. If you spend time reading our reviews and looking through the various types and styles it is almost guaranteed you will stumble upon one that you fall in love with and truly represent you and who you are.

Fire Opal – The Story of Fire & Ash

In a quest to explore a continent not well known to the Western world. Louis Leakey, discovered the first known opals. Dating back to 4000 BC, the famous anthropologist, found the earliest known opal artifacts, believed to be originally from present day Ethiopia. The mining and discovery of opal was very similar to that of sapphire, ruby, diamond and the emerald.

In medieval times, Hungary mined opal for the Middle East and Europe. Across the ocean, Peru, Honduras, and Mexico supplied their civilizations with the gemstone. Spain was introduced to opal when conquistadors returned there with the precious stone in the early sixteenth century. This opal came to the known as fire opal.

Moving many hundreds of years and thousands of miles away, we come to opal in Australia. The island continent nation has dominated the market with more than ninety percent of the global market. Australia has been mining opal since the late 1800’s when modern day heating and air conditioning technology like gas powered furnaces, radiant heating, compressors, heat pumps and more haven’t been invented yet.

Opal of varying qualities occurs in more than twenty other countries, including Brazil, the USA, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Zambia, Poland, Peru, Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia.

The name opal is derived from ancient sources: the Sanskrit Upala – which means “precious stone”; the Latin Opalus; and the Greek Opallios which both mean”to see a color change”.

Fire Opal Story Louis Leakey
Fire Opal Greek Roman Mythology

Opal in the Greek & Roman Empire

Opal is rooted in folklore. It was believed to amplify and mirror feelings as well as unearth buried desires and emotions. The early Greeks believed opal could bestow the ability to have foresight and prophecy upon its owner. Ancient Arabia believed the stone fell from heaven in flashes of lightning. The early Romans, considered opal to be a token of hope and purity.

The rich, powerful empire of ancient Rome provided the first real market for opal. Wealthy citizens indulged in many luxuries including a passion for gems. Opal with its colors that changed with even a slight shift of light, was rarer than diamonds and pearls.

One famous historical figure, was a lover of opal. Indeed, Mark Antony was said to have coveted an opal owned by Roman Senator Nonius so much that Mark Antony banished the Senator after he refused to sell the almond sized opal, reputed to be worth $80,000 USD.

Pliny thought the opals came from India, but the gems probably came from a much closer, lexx exotic locale. The opals that Pliny admired most likely came from mines situated near modern day Czech Republic. Pliny was deceived by dealers who had probably hoped to exploit the appeal of “oriental” imports. Central European opals have a milk-white background, usually with a pin-fire, small-size colour display. During the Middle Ages mines in Eastern Europe were the only source of European opal until the Spaniards acquired Aztec opal.

Many cultures thought the effect of the opal on sight could render the wearer invisible. Opals were set in the Crown jewels of France and Napoleon presented his Empress Josephine a magnificent red opal containing brilliant red flashes called “The Burning of Troy.”

The Choice of Queens

Opal’s reputation changed dramatically in the 18th and 19th centuries It was wrongly branded to be ‘bad luck’, and associated with pestilence, famine and the fall of monarchs. Queen Victoria, championed the fallen stone. She, single-handedly did much to bring back its quality reputation. Queen Victoria became a lover of opal, kept a personal collection, and wore opals throughout her reign.

Queen Victoria’s friends and her five daughters were presented with fine opals. Opal became highly sought after because the British Royal Court was regarded as the model for fashion around the world and fine quality opal had recently been discovered in far-off Australia. During the latter years of Queen Victoria’s long reign, various Australian opal fields were discovered and mined.

Mexico has the most significant location of Fire Opal in the world. The Mexican plateau, full of dormant volcanoes has intricately deposited opal lined rock. With only a few exceptions, the opal is hidden in niches and caves in canyons that and labyrinths carved into the mountains.

Fire Opal Queen Victoria

Fire Opal Do’s & Don’ts

Fire Opal is the clear type of opal and just like with other types of opal, it is made up of silicic acid with with large amounts of water. Just as with other opals, it was given it’s name based on its distinctive color. Being a semi-precious jewel, this stone is made in spherical layers which form three-dimensional spaces to give it a deep and brilliant color. The conditions under which fire opal comes to be fire opal shows various colors that range from yellow to orange to red – like fire.

Fire Opal is the best choice for a wide range of jewelry. Quality is the initial step take produce fire opal rings, fire opal bracelets, fire opal necklaces, pendants, fire opal engagement rings and more. Fire opals give the wearer, depth, charm and a stunning appeal. The stones work with a plethora of designs, making it personal and transformative.

Fire opals help you to be and change yourself all at once.

Remember – there are number of fakes and imitators, be sure to follow these 5 common rules to find the perfect piece for your collection.

  • Buy from a seller with reputation and can verify the source
  • Make sure there is a return policy and satisfaction guarantee
  • Normal shapes are more expensive than rough shapes as they can be used more easily for jewelry
  • Be aware of any faults or inclusions in the stone. Any opal seller should hopefully disclose any imperfections but make sure you do not buy a stone with cracks or mistake a crack for a natural formation.
  • Ascertain the quality of iridescence; the play of light should be visible from all angles with strong color patterns representing a range of color.
  • Consider the body color. Dark overall color is rarer and thus commands higher pricing.
  • Examine the opal for doublets and triplets, which make the stone far lower in terms of value than solid opals.
  • When possible, obtain a certificate when you buy an opal. It is good for insurance purposes and re-sale value, and it makes the seller accountable.
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