For a piece that is as unique as the one wearing it, an opal necklace is a perfect choice. Known for its dazzling displays of color, opal has long been appreciated for its one-of-a-kind beauty and connection to good luck and imagination. You’re sure to find a timeless treasure in our curated collection of opal necklaces.
Explore our selection of opal necklaces from some of the most sought-after designers in fine jewelry.
The opal is an exceptional gemstone. Uncommon in its aesthetic, this jewel is known for its dazzling display of colors and hues. A fine opal is distinguished by the nonpareil spectacle of brilliant colors and incidental patterns that appear to shift and transform before your very eyes. This fireworks display of chromaticity and iridescence is caused by the refracted light within the stone. As light rebounds, it reflects across the silica that is contained inside the gem.
There is simply no other gemstone like the luxurious opal. You can see something different each and every time you observe an opal necklace. It truly is an amazing gem.
How is Opal Formed?
What gives your opal necklace it's strange and special aesthetic identity? It all comes down to the tiny silica elements that comprise the gemstone, which are so small they can barely be viewed under a microscope. Light travels and bends through rows upon rows of these sub-microscopic silica globes. It's this bending of light that produces the kaleidoscopic display of spectral colors, known as “play of color”.
Precious vs. Common Opals
Play of color is the key to helping you determine whether your opal is a precious gem or a common one. A precious opal will display a rainbow of bright illumination, while a common opal will mute or even interrupt the passing of light. Common opal is typically recognizable by its brown and orange coloring, although they are available in a variety of other color options.
The key to knowing what makes an opal precious is the way the colors flash and dance. Precious opals have a very specific pattern of reflection, made possible by the diffraction of light through tiny, almost infinitesimal silica spheroids. Often, people confuse the bursts of color and light from a precious opal with the aesthetic properties of simulated versions of the gem.
The best way to find out if you have precious opal rather than common is to look for the play of color. In a precious opal, a rainbow of colors is visible through a lustrous prism. Simulated opals look more like reflected light, and lack that bright and iridescent spectrum of color.
Just because your opal is common doesn't mean it's any less beautiful or eye-catching. These gemstones have their own defining characteristics, such as agate or dendritic opal. They are recognizable by their light blue, green, or pink colors. The most popular common opals are often mined in Pery, as certain regions of the country are known for producing specific colors.
Some of the most popular among common opal are fire and hyalite, which are both translucent and lack the vast array of colors typical of precious opal.
Opal as a Birthstone
An opal necklace is an ideal gift for anyone born in October, as the opal is their official birthstone. But anyone can wear and enjoy opal, as it’s a unique gemstone that reflects the elegant style and taste of the person wearing it.
Defining Characteristics of the Opal
Every opal is distinctive, not just from other gemstones, from all other opals as well. Each opal can be distinguished through a series of variable factors such as class, body tone, play of color, pattern, and other attributes. The following are just some of the aspects that play a role in determining the quality and value of your opal pendant:
Solid opals are valued much higher than a doublet or triplet opal The latter of these are gemstones that have been reconstructed and contain only a small sliver of actual opal material within the stone. This will drastically impact the value of your gem, as the more opal incorporated in it the more valuable it becomes.
This characteristic examines the latent color of the stone, which can be light or dark. The darker the basic color of an opal pendant, the more valuable it is considered to be. Black opals can be particularly expensive.
The reason why a darker coloring of your stone commands a greater value is that the darker body tone makes the colors appear more lush and vibrant. A lighter opal does just the opposite.
Play of Color
Among the wide spectrum of colors that are displayed in your gem, certain colors may be more prevalent than others. The natural brilliance of certain colors will give your gemstone a higher value than others. An opal that features a prevalence of red over other common colors such as blue or green is often considered the most valuable stone.
Red is produced when those extremely small silica globes are slightly larger and can create a red hue. Blue and green opals are more common among silica spheres of normal size and construction.
Brilliance and Pattern
These two attributes describe the particular aesthetic of your opal by comparison to other opals. In the case of the first, the brilliance of the opal pendant on your necklace describes the brightness of the hues and the clarity of color displayed. Some are dazzling and radiant, while others can be dull, muted, and drab.
As for the latter, every opal demonstrates a polychromatic pattern of colors and glimmers. This brings us back to the aforementioned play of color, which has a singular motif from one opal to the next. There is a wide variety of pattern types, each one typified by the segments of color shown, how they appear, the size and shapes of these fragments and segments, whether or not they overlap, how they are positioned within the stone, and so on. Certain types of patterns are more sought-after than others, thus affecting the value of the gem.
Every precious gemstone is analyzed by the faults that are visible both on the surface and within the stone. These faults can range from the materials in the body of the gem to cracks or breaks along the surface to potch lines, webbing, and inconsistency of the color or patterns of the opal. Each of these faults can impact on color and brilliance of your gemstone and affect its worth. If an opal necklace does not produce a color or effect at certain angles, that can significantly impact the value of the stone.
Jewelry is one of the most thoughtful and unique gifts you can give to loved ones. But with seemingly infinite options to choose from, it can be hard to find just the right piece for that special somebody.
So when it comes to finding that perfect gift of jewelry for the one you love, consider an opal necklace.