Opals & Gemstones

Opal Myths, Meaning, and Significance

Opal gemstones are one of the world’s most unique and mysterious precious stones, so it’s easy to understand why their history is full of myths and legends.

Opal myths and legends

Opal was once a highly prized gemstone by the ancient Romans – they believed it represented the combined beauty of all precious gems. The ancient Greeks believed opal came from the tears of Zeus, the God of lightning, after his defeat of the Titans. Similarly, Arabic legends say opal fell from the sky amid flashes of lightning. Sometimes cultures credited opal with supernatural origins and powers. For example, ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners protection from disease, particularly skin disorders and eye ailments.

Perhaps one of the most interesting legends is that of the Indian Goddess of the Rainbow. It is said she was so beautiful that she became overwhelmed with the

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How Do You Properly Care for Opal?

Many people are drawn to the mystical flash of color for which opal rings are so well-known. They’re deliciously complex, yet surprisingly neutral which makes them the perfect companion for many other gemstones.

Australian opal has become more popular and has increased in value over the past decade. In fact, it is one of the most popular colored gemstones today.

Striations of Love Pipe Opal and Diamond Gold Ring by NIXIN
Striations of Love Pipe Opal and Diamond Gold Ring by NIXIN

Whether you own a solid opal, doublet, or triplet, or are ready to shop for one, it’s important to learn how to take care of them so you can enjoy them for years to come. Opals are softer and more porous than other gems, but they can last a lifetime with the proper opal care and attention. 

Solid opal care guidelines

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What's the Difference Between Opal Doublets, Opal Triplets, and Solid Opals?

Opals come in three different categories: doublets, triplets, and solid opals. Opal doublets and triplets are a beautiful and more affordable alternative to solid opals, but it is important to understand the differences between them to determine which option is most suitable to your lifestyle. Opal doublets and triplets are layered opals designed to enhance the appearance and perceived value of a thin or lighter piece of opal by gluing it to a dark backing, amplifying its unique play of color.

Identifying opal doublets, opal triplets, and solid opals

Let’s take a closer look at each type of opal and how to identify them:

Opal doublets

An opal doublet is a type of assembled gemstone composed of two layers: a piece of clear or translucent opal and, most often, a piece of black or dark potch (common) opal. The dark backing may also be

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What’s the Difference Between a Precious and Non-Precious Opal?

The word opal notoriously conjures images of rainbows and colorful flashes. But not all opal aligns with this visual; it speaks to precious opal, but largely neglects non-precious opal which accounts for a great deal of the opal recovered from mining.

Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As rainwater trickles down through the fissures in the earth it picks up silica from sandstone along the way. Next, the now silica-rich solution settles into cracks

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How Is Opal Formed?

Have you ever wondered about the science behind the splendor? How those incredible shifting rainbows are created inside of stone? Opals are formed from a mineral known as silica, specifically hydrated amorphous silica. Silica is a common mineral found in soil, sand, granite, concrete, rock, and many other natural materials. Hydrated amorphous silica simply means that opal has a high water content.

Opal is found in many places like Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, and the Western US, however Australia produces 95% of the world’s precious opal. NIXIN Jewelry sources nearly all of our precious opal from Australia, working with material like

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