Background * History

  • The name »Opal« comes from the Sanskrit word for »Upala«, meaning precious stone. Opals come in three natural varieties: the opalescent precious Opal, the Fire Opal and the generally opaque common Opal. The natural Opals are non-crystalline gemstones that can contain up to 30% water. Depending on the angle of view, rainbow-like flashes of different colors appear, caused by light reflecting off of extremely small spheres of Cristobalite within the Silica Gel. The phenomenon is called interference. The flashing of color is called “fire” or “play of light”. The precious Opals appear in a range of white to black. Fire Opal is named for its color and does not display opalescence. It can range in color from yellow to red. It is usually milky, but the best examples can be transparent. Common Opal is usually opaque, rarely translucent, and lacks play of color. It is often found mixed with other gemstones, such as Agate Opal or Moss Opal.

Here are some of the most well-known opal trade names:

  • Agate Opal, Angel Skin Opal, Black Crystal Opal, Black Opal, Boulder Opal, Girasol, Harlequin Opal, Honey Opal, Hyalite, Hydrophane, Jelly Opal, Moss Opal, Opal Doublets, Opal Triplets, Porcelain Opal, Prase Opal, Precious Opal, Semi Vlack or Gray Opal, Wax Opal, White Opal and Wood Opal.

Healing * Metaphysical Properties

  • Opal can spark creativity.
  • Some believe that Opal can help moderate and harmonize sexual desires.
  • It helps us to release anger and claim self-worth, aiding in accessing and expressing one’s true self.
  • Opal strengthens memory.
  • It encourages an interest in the arts.
  • Wearing Opal brings loyalty, faithfulness and spontaneity.


**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Moirai.si does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

Gemological Properties

Chemical CompositionSiO2-nH2O
Colortransparent to opaque, all colors
Hardness (Mohs)5.5-6.5
Specific Gravity1.98-2.20
Refractive Index1.450

Origin and Gemstone Sources

  •  Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Africa and Nevada.


  • Opals are delicate gemstones. If an Opal is allowed to dry, it will crack and fade. If you live in a very dry climate, or keep them in a dehumidified room, some precautions are necessary. Keeping them in a tight plastic bag, with a damp piece of cotton or fabric will prevent dehydration. Because of their water content, opals are also highly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. The solution is to clean your opals using a soft cloth and only mild soap or detergent if needed. Do not use harsh chemical or cleaners and avoid ultrasonic cleaners and steamers.
  • When storing gemstones or gemstone jewelry, store them inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth separately from other type of gemstones to prevent damage or scratches.
  • It is best to remove any jewelry before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports.
  • Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your precious gems.


  • Cancer, Libra, Scorpio, Pisces