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Way Cool Facts

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FACTS

- The Opal's beautiful colour play was an impossible phenomenon until the 1960ís when a team of Australian scientists discovered, with the aid of an electron microscope that small spheres from silica gel caused interference and refraction manifestations (Gem by Gem). The spheres, arranged in a more or less compact structure, diffracted the light entering the stone into the spectral colours (Hershel, 2005). In Common Opals the spheres are disordered or too compact to permit any light from refracting (Hershel, 2005).

- Opals are very easily dehydrated when exposed to heat and can be damaged by many chemicals  (Gem Gallery).

- Essentially there are only three types of Opals; Precious Opals, where there are flashes of color; Common Opals, also called "potch"; Fire Opals, with no flashes of color (Gem Gallery).

- Opals are often found as a flat lens, or in thin layers, larger pieces are hard to find (Gem by Gem).

- Opals were ground up and used as both energy enhancement tools as well as magic potions to heal the body (All Gem Stones, 2003).

 - In ancient times the Opal was considered the symbol of faithfulness and confidence (All Gem Stone, 2003).

 

 

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LEGENDS

      Traced back from the Australian aborigines, the Opal has brought to life many different legends and tales. 

- One legend that the Australian aborigines believed was that the creator came down on a rainbow delivering the message of peace (Gem by Gem). When he touched the Earth the rocks beneath him came to life with all the colors of the rainbow, thus the creation of the Opal (Gem by Gem).

- For years the Opal has been said to have great healing powers, such as solving depression (All Gem Stones, 2003).

- The fine opal has also said to help it's wearer find real, true love (Gem by Gem).

- It is also said that the fascinating colours in the Opal change according to the moods of people (Gem by Gem).

- During Medieval times, the Opal was used as a cure for diseases of the eye (Shelby).

- People have often said that if the precious opal is worn by someone not born in the month of October it can be very bad luck (this is not true) (Shelby).

- Some people have also believed that the Opal is a very powerful stone in ritual magic (Shelby).

- Opals have also been used  in astrology and invisibility, however, they are just superstitions (Shelby).

- The Romans believed that the Opal was a symbol of hope (Shelby).

 

Geological Significance    Where Opal's Are Found    Way Cool Facts   Works Cited