Saturday, November 19, 2011

My favorite gems...

My favorite gems... Are Mystic Topaz and Opals.
At 55,000 carats, this opal matrix recently found in the opal fields of South Australia is the world’s largest. Discovered by Stuart Hughes and his partners, it is valued at over one million dollars and outweighs the previous record holder by an unbelievable 48,900 carats. (Photo: Stuart Hughes)


Opals are one of the five gemstones, along with diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. Gemstones are minerals; in the case of opal, that mineral is silica. Chemically, opal is silicon dioxide plus water. The opal is the birthstone of October and goes by the title "The Queen of Gems." Most opals come from Australia. The most precious type of opal, the black opal, is only mined in Australia. Like snowflakes, every opal is unique

Read more: Opal Facts |

Precious opal interacts with light to create sparks or flashes of the colors blue, green, yellow, orange and red, plus aqua and purple, occasionally. Not all opals show all these colors. Blue flashes are most common, then blue occurring with green, then blue occurring with green and yellow, then those plus orange, with red flashes the most uncommon. An opal displaying red can show the other colors as well. The background of an opal---the body color---can be milky (white opal), clear (water opal), brown or gray or black. Black opals command the highest prices.

Read more: Opal Facts |

Popular Negative Reputation

  • Negative connotations have attached themselves to the opal, some because of the opal's reputation for supernatural powers, some from rumor meant to decrease its value and some from misunderstanding. Opal's appearance can sometimes look a bit like a cat's eye, or take the shape and color of other creatures' eyes. Superstition regarding witchcraft was then transferred to the stones. One negative belief is that opals are bad luck to any but the wearer. This belief stems from "Anne of Geierstein," a novel by Sir Walter Scott, some readers drawing the bad-luck conclusion from their reading. Some diamond dealers of the past sought to slow the popularity of opals, once they became more available after their discovery in Australia, resurrecting some of the negative beliefs about opals

About Mystic Topaz

The mystic topaz, also known as mystic fire or Caribbean, Alaska or Bermuda topaz, has only existed since 1998, when a method for coating white topaz was patented by Azotic Coating Technologies, Inc., in Minnesota. Mystic topaz is considered a semi-precious gemstone, most popularly given an emerald cut, and then specially coated to reflect green, blue, purple, red and brown hues. The quality of the stone depends not on the coating, but on how many defects, or inclusions, the stone naturally contains


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