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Etymology and history

The word opal comes from the Latin opalus, by Greek ὀπάλλιος opallios. The other opal name probably is derived from the Sanskrit name for precious stone; upala. It has been mined for centuries, at least since Roman times when they extracted the opal from areas now within the Czech Republic.

Opal description

Opals possess flashes of rainbow colors that change with the angle of observation, called play of color. This effect is similar to the rainbow colors displayed on a soap bubble, only much more dramatic. This should not be confused with opalescence, which is the milky blue or pearly appearance of opal caused by the scattering of light. Precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors and even though it is a mineraloid, it does have an internal structure. At micro scales precious opal is composed of silica spheres some 150 to 300 nm in diameter in a hexagonal or cubic close-packed lattice. These bordered silica spheres produce the internal colors by causing the interference and diffraction of light passing through the microstructure of the opal.

Opal in jewelry

Opal jewelry offers a stunning array of colors and shapes. Whether you are already an opal lover or you're just discovering the beauty of opals, you will find delightful opal jewelry here at Silverrush2000. Browse through the opal jewelry collection to see opal pendants, opal earrings, opal rings and opal bracelets.


Opal is Australia's national gemstone and the most important deposits are located in Australia. Other deposits are found in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States (Idaho and Nevada).

Opal in our jewelry

Opal Jewelry

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