What to look for, when choosing Fire Opal Jewelry?
Opal is one of the most amazing gemstones. A single opal may brilliantly flash every color of the spectrum with intensity and quality. They are extremely popular gems.
Opal is a wonderful stone for rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and brooches. However, it is softer than most other gemstones. Due to that fact, opal works best in earrings, brooches and other pieces that won’t be subject to impact and possible damage. When used in a ring, the best designs work to protect the stone.
When you are shopping for fire opal jewelry, the most important value factor to consider is the quality of the fire opal. Most fire opals originate in Mexican volcanoes; the fire opal’s natural bright orange is unrivaled among gems. The more bright and vivid the orange hues, the more valuable. With the fire opal, cut is more important than clarity, it’s haze actually increases its vibrancy and appeal.
Fire opal reflects the union of opposite forces: fire and water. Fire opal forms when water quietly seeps into hot lava. With pressure and heat – a solid is formed, trapping the remaining water within its structure. Small pebbles of fire opal are found embedded in lava flows.
Usually, the most durable fire opal is solid, free from fractures. It is best to avoid “manufactured” pieces. Manufactured opals are particularly susceptible to damage from improper care and exposure to water, soap or solvents that can attack the glue or plastic.
Opals are one of the hottest stones of the moment and at the center of some of the most exciting jewelry designs. This gemstone is breathing new life into the worldwide jewelry market. There is something so mysterious about opals. There is a romantic notion that fire opal jewelry can give the wearer the loving, warm feeling that comes when looking at a sunrise and sunset.
The fascinations of with this stone goes back to the Roman Empire. At the time, the gems were found in present d-day Central & Eastern Europe, and were considered extremely rare and of high value. These gems graced the crowns of emperors and empresses of that time. Beginning in the 19th century, the majority of opals now come from Australia, Mexico and Central America as well as Ethiopia. Opals come in a range of colors from white to black but the all important distinguishing feature of fire opal jewelry is that they should have distinct flashes of color that can range from the effect of a sky-on-fire sunset, lightning piercing stormy night sky to an autumnal dawn. With a high water content, opals can be fragile. The water – which may form five to ten per cent of the stone’s volume – is what makes the opal such a beautiful gem, and it is one of the many ingredients contributing to its astonishing play of color. Water can make opals look like reflections on a lake in summer
Why choose fire opal jewelry
Fire opal jewelry has a color that complements most metals. That aforementioned fact means that is often crafted in yellow gold, white gold, platinum and sterling silver. The eye-catching hue beckons the wearer to have matching pieces.
How to care for your fire opal jewelry
Fire opal, like all opal, has high water content. As a result, it should be protected from heat and prolonged exposure to strong light, which could dry it out. Fire opal jewelry should be protected from scratches when not being worn and rings should be removed during heavy activity. Clean fire opal jewelry with mild dish soap: use a soft brush behind the stone where dust can collect.
Damaged opals are extremely difficult to repair. There are no official standards of gem repair, so many methods of repair are traditional and/or purely experimental. Typically, it is better to replace a damaged opal stone, rather than repair it.
Where to purchase your fire opal jewelry?
If you are planning to go to Mexico – head to the town of Magdalena, in the state of Jalisco, a one-hour drive north west of Guadalajara. If you stand still there for a few minutes, the opal vendors will come to you. Bargaining is advised. Be sure to bring your notes about what to look for. There are shops on the main plaza worth visiting directly. However, if you can’t get to Mexico directly.
Glamira.com/fire-opal/ has a most impressive, absolutely gorgeous collection at a range of prices. With fire opal necklaces, earrings, brooches and cuff links, the standouts are rings, including their ‘fire opal ring nettle’ and ‘ring blossom’. The fire opals are set among white gold and Swarovski Crystal and retail for about $370 and $700 dollars respectively.
Other online retailers with impressive fire opal jewelry can be found below.
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