Fire opal is a type of gemstone popular in jewelry. It got its name due to its color and interesting effect - it seems that a fire is burning inside it. Fire opal has healing and magical properties. It is used to make jewelry, and processed in a special way.
The value of the mineral and its history
The Aztecs and Mayans were also familiar with fire opal. From this mineral they made ritual objects, decorated their dwellings. These tribes believed that a sacred bird lives in paradise, which gave them a fiery stone. For the Mayans and Aztecs, it symbolized true love.
Mexico is considered the birthplace of fire opal. The mining of the mineral in this country was interrupted for several centuries due to the seizure of power by the Spanish conquistadors. The situation returned to normal only in the second half of the XNUMXth century.
Other nations also valued fire opal - Greeks, Romans, Indians.
The name of the mineral comes from Sanskrit and translates as a precious stone.
Its fiery variety is reflected in the legends of many peoples:
- according to Indian legend, the goddess Rainbow ran away from annoying worshipers and fell, and her body crumbled with fiery gems;
- the Greeks called these stones the tears of Zeus, who wept when he defeated the titans;
- the Australians considered the fire opal to be traces of the Creator descended from heaven;
- the Arabs, because of the color of the stones, called them creatures of lightning;
- Napoleon gave his wife Josephine the Fire of Troy gem, and a year later they divorced - there are many similar stories that provided various varieties of opal with a bad name.
Place of Birth
There are deposits of fire opal on different continents. Its main reserves are concentrated in Australia - for more than a century this continent has been supplying 90% of the world's gems.
A fire opal of magnificent red color is mined in Mexico. There are mineral deposits in other countries:
- Czech Republic.
Rock faults and the slopes of extinct volcanoes are the birthplaces of fire opals.
Fire opals come in a rich palette of warm hues, ranging from light yellow gemstones to deep reds and browns. Depending on the color, several types of minerals are distinguished.
Fire opal "Pinfire" is also called flashing. In such stones, overflows of fiery shades are observed. The more orange and red highlights in the mineral, the more valuable it is.
Fire opal is more common. It is transparent, and inside is a bright orange flame.
Another type of fire opal is contra-luse. It is notable for the play of light - the glare is directed in different directions.
Gems mined in Mexico have a rich color. This type of fire opal is called Mexican. The play of light in such instances is minimal. Stones with a rich color are called cherry or cherry opals.
If the stone combines red, orange and yellow flashes, then it is called a fiery sunset.
Fire opal from Australia is characterized by pleochroism - color tints, if you direct light at the stone and view it from different angles.
The mineral may be light yellow in color. Such fire opals are called lemon opals.
If there are violet and lilac inclusions in fire opal, then this color is called honeysuckle.
The appearance of iridescent radiance of flowers in fire opals in bright light is called opalescence. This effect is especially noticeable after polishing or on a chipped stone.
Fire opal is a fragile material. He is afraid of mechanical impact, temperature difference. Opalescence in stones occurs due to impurities and a special internal structure - it is a set of balls of the same size.
Fire Opal has the following physical properties:
- hardness 5,5-6,5 points on the Mohs scale;
- density 2-2,1 g/cm3;
- there is no cleavage;
- conchoidal fracture;
- refraction 1,45;
- transparency or translucency;
- glass shine.
Fire opal not only looks mysterious, but also has magical properties:
- protection from black witchcraft, intrigue, envy, evil words;
- development of clairvoyance - a stone can be used in rituals to look into the future;
- protection of the house from natural disasters, thefts;
- development of hidden talents, disclosure of creative potential;
- protection of spouses from quarrels, betrayals, separation;
- a talisman for people with a strong character and will;
- peace of mind for a person who has suffered a strong grief, help in the fight against loss, the search for the meaning of life.
It is not recommended to wear fire opal to weak and passive people. The stone can suppress them, attract misfortunes.
To increase the power of the fire opal, it is better to wear it in a gold or silver frame.
The healing power of fire opals has been known to people since antiquity. The mineral has a positive effect on the entire body, strengthens the immune system. The gem also has the following properties:
- struggle with problems of the nervous system - depression, insomnia, instability of the emotional background;
- positive effect on the eyes - improvement of vision, treatment of ophthalmic pathologies;
- improvement of the digestive tract;
- treatment of diseases of the kidneys, heart and blood vessels;
- improvement of blood composition, removal of harmful substances from it;
- positive impact on brain activity;
- infertility treatment.
Fire opal can warn its owner of illness. The stone becomes cloudy, losing its magnificent luster.
You can protect yourself from epidemics with a ring with a fire opal.
Who suits the zodiac sign
Fire Opal is only suitable for certain zodiac signs. These are Scorpios and representatives of the elements of fire - Aries, Lions, Sagittarius. People of these signs are distinguished by strong energy, therefore they may not be afraid of its suppression. It will be directed in the right direction, excess nervous tension will go away.
Perfect compatibility in fire opals with Scorpions and Sagittarius. The first stone helps to overcome any obstacles, to become an energy source for them. Sagittarius gem will protect from any evil.
In addition to Aries and Lviv, Capricorns can also wear stone. The first mineral helps to find unity with oneself and the world around. Lviv fire opal makes calmer, relieves outbursts of anger and interfering aggression. Capricorn gem makes more confident in their abilities.
The mineral is not suitable for the rest of the signs of the zodiac. Interaction with his energy can lead to undesirable consequences.
fire opal products
This mineral is popular in jewelry. Due to its fragility, fire opal is not suitable for all products - rings with a natural gem are rarely made, but a synthetic stone is used instead.
A popular type of fire opal item is earrings. The stones can be given the correct shape or left natural. Gold or silver is used as a frame - the first goes well with the color of the mineral, the second emphasizes it in contrast.
Fire opals are also used for beads, necklaces, pendants, pendants.
They make bracelets with such gems, but they are not suitable for constant wear. The stones in this type of product are too easily damaged.
Processing fire opals is difficult - only specialists can do this. The processing process consists of many stages - it is necessary to remove irregularities with the help of a diamond wheel, cut the stone, polish it. The processed mineral is covered with a transparent resin.
How to wear and care
Although opal is fire, it belongs to the element of air. This must be taken into account when combining it with other stones. Good neighbors are:
It is not recommended to combine fire opal with stones belonging to the water element - pearls, emeralds, corals, amber. If these gems are adjacent, then vibrations arise from which a person experiences discomfort.
Due to their fragility, fire opals are not recommended for daily wear. Jewelry with this stone is worn on special occasions.
If you plan to use the stone as a magical talisman, then it is recommended to buy it on the 25th lunar day. You can’t wear it right away, you have to wait for 11 lunar days in the next cycle.
Fire opals are fragile, so it is important to treat them with care and properly care for:
- Avoid exposure to direct sunlight;
- avoid mechanical impact on the stone;
- exclude contact with chemical and coloring substances, including food colorings;
- avoid temperature fluctuations;
- for long-term storage, clean the mineral in a humid place - it contains a lot of water, therefore, without it, it can crack;
- periodically moisten the stone - you can wipe it with a damp cloth or lower it into water;
- clean the gem in warm water using a soft cloth, then wipe dry;
- regularly polish the jewel, do it with a silk cloth.
Fire opals are contraindicated in ultrasonic cleaning, freezing, alkaline treatment. This will lead to the dissolution or disintegration of the mineral.
Natural opals take hundreds of years to mature and are difficult to process. At the same time, the mineral is popular in jewelry, therefore it is in great demand. This problem was solved by the creation of synthetic stone. There are several options for its manufacture. The easiest way is to use glass, inside of which there are shiny elements to create overflows. A more complex method involves the cultivation of silica balls and their subsequent tight connection with each other.
How to identify a fake
A well-made synthetic stone is very similar to a real gem. The following factors will help to distinguish a fake:
- when directing a sunbeam on opal, the play of shades is transferred to the skin of the fingers holding it;
- in a real mineral, the shade does not change when viewed from different angles;
- there are patterns in the internal structure of opals - in a real gem they are unique, chaotic, and do not repeat;
- natural stone refracts and scatters light rays.
To eliminate the risk of counterfeiting, fire opal jewelry should be purchased at a jewelry store. Any natural stone must have a quality certificate.
The cost of fire opals is made up of several factors - the color and its saturation, the play of light, transparency, and the size of the stone. The darker the opal stone, the more expensive its price will be. The most expensive orange-red gems - the price for 1 carat can be more than $ 300.
The cost of products also depends on the frame. Prices for items in gold start at $800 and can be many times higher.
A set of a ring and a pair of earrings in gold with Mexican opals and diamonds in the photo costs $3000.
Jewelry with synthetic stones will cost much less. These silver earrings with artificial opals and cubic zirkonia can be purchased for $40-50.
There are several interesting facts about fire opals:
- the largest copy is exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution (USA), it weighs 143 carats;
- at the beginning of the last century, the skeleton of a small lizard was found in an Australian deposit - its bones became opals;
- the spectacular coloring of fire opals allows them to be used without cutting – the configuration of the stone can be successfully beaten with a fantasy setting, creating a unique piece of jewelry.
Fire opals are gems with an interesting coloration and history. They are valued for their attractiveness, magic and healing properties. The mineral is compatible only with 5 signs of the Zodiac, it is not combined with some precious stones. The fire gem is fragile, so it must be treated with care.