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About Mexican Opal and the Opaluz: Inner Light Collection


     The term “Opal” originates from the Greek word “Opallus” which literally means to make out a change in color and the Latin word “opalus” developed, which means valuable stone. 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.

 

Contra Luz opal from Jalisco, Mexico

Contra luz Mexican Fire Opal from Magdalena, Jalisco.
Photo credits: Corina Lunita

     The Aztec or 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."

     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.

     Fire opal is also associated with the second chakra and is said to promote sexual healing and therefore helps current relationships.

 

Select pieces from my Opaluz 2 Collection released in October 2018. 

 

     The 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 stay with you a lifetime, reminding you of your inner light and fire! 

     I do an Opaluz Collection every year around September/October to celebrate October birthday babies. Join my mailing list below if you want to be kept in the loop!

 Mexican Opal ring with gemstones and cast succulent

 

A white-toned translucent Mexican Fire 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. Hydrofluoric acid and caustic alkaline solutions will damage opal. Do not store opal in a dry place, as lack of moisture may damage the stone, too. A soft, padded, cloth bag is a good choice; a safety deposit box is less than ideal (it is a dry environment).
     The safest way to clean the October birthstone 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.

 

Cantera Opal Ring

Mexican Cantera Opal, set into a silver ring. Cantera is enozoic rhyolite host rock where Mexican opal is naturally found.
RIng and Photo credits: Corina Lunita

Types of Mexican Opal:
  • Precious opal: opal with a play of color
  • Crystal opal: clean transparent opal with a play of color
  • 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 OpalAuctions.com, GIA.edu, and Palagems.com