About Mexican Opal

Corinne Mooney

Mexican Opal jewelry by Corina Lunita   

 The Aztec and Mayan people believed fire opals represented life and were created in the heavens. In Nahuatl, opal was known as quetza litzle pyolitli or the Paradise bird stone due to its changes in color in movement. Opal was also known as Huitzitziltecpatl, meaning "stone like a bird of 1000 colors." Just look at this colorful contraluz opal below, and 1000 colors seems like an understatement! 

Contra Luz opal from Jalisco, Mexico
Contra luz Mexican Fire Opal from Magdalena, Jalisco. This piece is in my personal collection.
Photo credits: Corina Lunita

     Fire opal is believed to fill your soul with joy and happiness. One only has to look to the opal, enjoy the colors and fire to help release the flow of your emotions and give you feelings of warmth and harmony. For centuries people have believed in the therapeutic power of Opal. It is believe that opals help to resolve despair and can assist its wearer to discover true love.

     Opal is the birthstone of October and Libras. The planet Venus rules over Libra and also rules over opals! When a planet rules over a gemstone, astrologers believe that these special gemstones act as pure channels for all the energies of that planet.

The color orange, which is prominent in fire opals, transmits radiant energy, vitality, and endurance. They inspire emotional stability, reliability, and loyalty.


Mexican opal jewelry collection by Corina Lunita
Select pieces from the Opaluz 4 Collection released in October 2020. 


     Opaluz: Inner Light is a lustrous collection of handmade Mexican Opal jewelry made for the woman who wants her inner self to shine through in a graceful and alluring manner. The fire in these opal will ignite your inner light with vigor and creativity!

     Every opal is unique with mesmerizing patterns, flash, and colors and calls to each person differently and passionately. Find that special opal that will remind you of your inner light and fire!  

Mexican Opal ring with gemstones and cast succulent


A white-toned translucent Mexican Contra Luz Opal is set in a fine silver bezel with gemstones and small silver balls decorating the bezel. The shank is split and adorned with a cast succulent, sapphire, and diamond. Ring by Corina Lunita 

     Untreated opal is generally stable, but heat from intense light can cause fracture lines called crazing. High heat or sudden temperature changes can also cause opal to fracture. A soft, padded, cloth bag is a good choice to store opal jewelry in; a safety deposit box is less than ideal because it is a dry environment.
     The safest way to clean this opal is with warm, soapy water. Other cleaning methods might damage the opal. To clean the setting, a soft polishing cloth should do the trick. 
     Opal ranges from 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. To prevent jewelry set with gems that are harder from scratching opal, store it by itself.


3-stone Mexican Opal rings by corina lunita

Mexican Fire Opal rings. Finding three complementary opal stones is a challenge every year when I pick new stones for my Opal Collection!
Rings and Photo credit: Corina Lunita

Types of Mexican Opal:
  • Precious opal: opal with a play of color
  • Crystal opal: clean transparent opal with a play of color
  • Contra luz Opal: Fire flashes show up with side or back light, rather than straight on.
  • Water opal: Transparent opal the color of clear water with a play of color
  • Fire opal: Now reserved for orange to red opal with or without play of color
  • Matrix opal: Opal in its rhyolite matrix rock. Known as cantera in Mexico. (Watch out for the manmade matrix—bits of opal set in a colored cement or epoxy. This is then ground and polished into a cabochon. I do not use this type of opal in my jewelry)
  • Jelly opal: A cloudy or translucent opal
  • Common or Potch opal: Opal with no play of color
  • Leopard Opal: Vesicular basalt with play of color opal speckled throughout



Information from,, and

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