Bling of the Month: White Opal

October's birthstone, the opal, is an explosion of shimmering colors, not unlike those of a Miami sunset or a rainbow.  

Penelope ring in angelic white opal and
blue sapphire, handmade in 18kt white gold,
with sapphire and white diamond details.

The Opal derives its name from the Latin word "opalus," meaning precious jewel.  Prized for its unique ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light, the Opal was called "Cupid Paederos" by the Romans, meaning a child beautiful as love. 

One of many legendary explanations for this gemstone's origin, is that it fell from heaven in a flash of fiery lightning. I think this is a great story full of magic and myth, and it is also a perfect way to explain this gems beautiful qualities.

Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers.  They were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight.  These gemstones were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares.

The Opal dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed.  As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal.  

This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.  Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily. With proper care a beautiful ring like my "Penelope" ring above can be part of your collection for decades.

I love working with opal because it has a milky quality that makes me think of a beautiful Florida sky. The "Penelope" ring is a very special ring because it is part of my new series of jewelry that is made using cabochon cut gemstones rather than faceted stones.  The round shape gives it a diffrent perspective and an unexpected softness that is both pleasing to the eye and the touch.  I will writing more about my cabochon cut jewels in upcoming posts.  Make sure you keep coming back for more.

Love Always
Dani K  

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