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A Guide To The Different Colors Of Opal Stones

A Guide To The Different Colors Of Opal Stones

Opal gemstones come in a variety of colors. When exposed to light, the water and silica in the stone cause it to change color. Opals can be found all around the world, but Australia is where they are most frequently mined. Check out the different opal stones colors in this guide!

Types of Opal

Opals come in two primary varieties: Common (or “potch”) and fire. Although they look similar when discovered in nature, there is a big difference. Common opals typically have many white dots all over them and are opaque. Additionally, they have more play-of-color than fire opals, meaning their colors differ under various lighting. Fire opals are less translucent as they have much less water within them. Common opals are excellent for opal body jewelry in particular. 

Green Opal/Green Fire

Since they are so easy for the eyes to look at, green opals are among the most popular varieties of opals. However, it contains more water than common opal does, which is why it is so translucent. It enables you to see all the lovely rainbows that are sparkling inside it. 

Blue Opal

Organic compounds like phosphate, iron hydroxides and hydrated silicates are found in blue opals. The color of these stones can range from light to deep blue and might even be yellowish-green or greenish-blue. 

Fire Opal

These transparent stones don’t contain water. Instead, they contain iron oxide. Because of this, when these gemstones are exposed to light, they only show one distinct color instead of rainbows. 

Since they do not contain any water, fire opals don’t lose their luster easily. Although they come in a variety of colors, most people only notice their inherent red tint. 

Black Opal

With specks of both black and white throughout the stone, black opals are extremely rare gemstones. As they frequently contain a lot of red and various other colors, people often refer to them as “fire.” This is due to how they resemble flames shooting through the stone’s middle. 

White/Potch opal

White or “potch” opals are transparent gemstones that lack play-of-color. However, the structure of these stones does include some organic material. This gemstone may also be covered in a large number of small dots, giving the impression of milk having been sloshed into an ocean puddle. 

Black/Potch Opal

Black or “potch” opals commonly refer to translucent common opals that have numerous white specks all over them. They are known as common opals because they are often fairly opaque and lack any play of color. 

Colorless Opal

Colorless opals lack play-of-color, are transparent, and are primarily made of water. However, despite their name, they still have an organic structure. These gems may not have many hues, but due to their transparency, they form stunning display pieces. 

What Do the Colors Signify?

Depending on where they are found, opals come in a wide variety of colors. Some are more noticeable due to the presence or lack of water. Although all opals exhibit some transparency when light is passed through them, the more hydrated opals have more vivid colors. Only fire opals typically exhibit vivid yellows and reds when illuminated by a backlight. Additionally, impurities, such as chromium and vanadium, will affect the color. There won’t be any color if these minerals aren’t present in the stone. 

Other than their beauty, there are also various benefits of wearing opal jewelry, so make sure to check them out!
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