fell from the sky
The largest mines of opals are located in Ethiopia and Australia. Opal is the official stone symbol of South Australia and the Australian women's national basketball team The Opals.
Opal is amphora silica, which is silicon dioxide mixed with water. As usually, the water content ranges from 5-10%, but can reach up to 30%.
Opal is a rather soft mineral, having a hardness index of about 5.5-6.5. This means that it scratches more easily than most stones used in jewelry.
Opals do not have pleochroism and iridescence, however, some opals have opalescence - the effect of the play of colors when light hits the stone. An opal that has opalescence is considered precious. Opal without opalescence - common.

According to a legend, opal appeared at the moment when Zeus burst into tears of happiness after defeating the titans. The tears of the majestic god, falling to the ground, turned into opals, or "precious stones", as the translation of the name of the stone from the Sanskrit language sounds literally.
Opal itself is a very strong mineral. It is believed that the stone protects its owner from epidemics, fires, thieves and lightning. However, we recommend using other precautions to protect against the above adverse factors.
The white shade of opal will help strengthen the spiritual principle, give peace and tranquility.
Opal is a talisman of talented and gifted people, he does not want to live with others. Opal supports all undertakings of creative individuals, promotes their spiritual development, teaches them subtle foresight, and protects them from the vicissitudes of fate.
Opal is a wonderful talisman for anyone who wants to radically change their destiny. The stone is perfect for people seeking to discover their talents. In addition, the shimmering stone will eliminate all unnecessary and superfluous thoughts, drive away fears, “turn off” all complexes, and relieve obsessions and difficult memories. But it is not exactly.
Opals have many varieties. The most common ones are listed below.
Hyalite - water-transparent, forms grape-like crusts on various rocks; sometimes covered with mosses and lichens.
Black opal - black, dark purple, blue, green, burgundy with predominantly red opalescence.
Harlequin - with a polychrome mosaic pattern of opalescence in red, blue, yellow or green.
Fire opal - yellow, red, with fiery opalescence.
Water opal - porous; saturated with water, it becomes translucent and reveals a beautiful play of colors.
Girasol - transparent, almost colorless, with a wavy bluish tint
Wax opal has a waxy yellow color.
Opal is one of the most commonly counterfeited minerals. At the same time, it is surprising that a fake can be easily distinguished by a simple visual comparison with real opals. The photo below shows the most popular fakes of precious opals.
Despite the fact that opal is a rather capricious stone, you should not take unnecessary precautions when wearing jewelry with it. Protect the stone from shock and excessive moisture (in no case should the stone be soaked in any solutions in order to preserve opalescence - this will only harm the stone).