Birthstone for October
One of the many members of the quartz family, opal is hardened silica gel, usually containing 5-10% water in submicroscopic pores. Opal’s structure varies from essentially amorphous to partially crystalline. Precious opal is the least crystalline form, consisting of a regular arrangement of tiny transparent silica spheres with water in the intervening spaces. Opal gets its name from the Roman opalus, a Latinized version of the older Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.” Metaphysically opal is used for love and light. Fine specimens of opal are found in Australia, Oregon, Peru, & Mexico.