Like Lightning in a Rainbow

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Oh, the visual delight that is the opal. Like lightning in a rainbow, it flashes its brilliance with even the slightest movement and claims notice by all who witness its phenomenal “fire.” This is a stone so dedicated to the eye, so pleasing to the sight, it inspires love and hope, innocence and purity, luck and happiness.

This phrase is used all over the internet to describe this wonderful stone, and I can’t find the origin of the description, nor can I think of a better way to put it. The words perfectly capture the essence of this marvellous stone.
The name ‘opal’ comes from the Roman word ‘opalus’, which means ‘to see a change in colour’. Opals were popular with Romans, with evidence going back over two thousand years. An Ancient Roman text entitled ‘Natural History of the World’ was published all the way back in 77AD. In that text, the author, Pliny the Elder, describes the opal as such:
“For in the opal you shall see the burning fire of the carbuncle or ruby, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the green sea of the emerald and all glittering together, mixed after an incredible manner.”

There are reasons that the opal sparks such poetic musings and has done since written history began: opals are beautiful, and every single one is unique. With a marbled, glittery, shimmery effect, this stone is one not to be missed.

Queen Victoria loved opals, and gifted opals to each of her five daughters, as well as many of her friends. The Royal Court of England were quite the trend setters back in the Victorian era, and famous designers like Tiffany and Cartier began using opals in their jewellery during this time. Although the Romans’ opals originated in Hungary, around 95% of the world’s opals are found in Australia. Australian opal is valued all over the world, and, although only discovered there in 1889, was quickly considered the finest in the world.

Opal is the birthstone for those lucky October babies, and is the stone given to celebrate 14 years of marriage.

Here at Showcase Jewellers, we have several beautiful pieces of gold and silver jewellery with opals sourced from Australia. – come and see us in-store to view the range.

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