Opals for October
Known and appreciated for their dazzling multi-colours, opals are the birthstone for October.
The bright patterns across the gem are known as ‘play-of-colour’ – it’s a phenomenon that occurs as part of an opal’s formation process. The general rule of thumb is that the coloured flashes should be evenly spread across the stone, as opposed to being focused in one particular area. Blues and greens are commonly seen; orange and red hues are particularly sought after. Opals come in many forms; as slices or cabochons and often with a striking black or white background. Fire opals are a deep orange and can often be translucent, without any flashes of other colour – they are the only opal type that can have a faceted cut. Opals can be seen in antique as well as modern pieces of jewellery – they are often showcased to their best advantage in Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces, mounted with diamonds and rubies, to bring out that sought-after red hue in a stone’s play-of-colour. Due to their formation, they are actually packed with moisture; when they dry out the can crack so they’re better worn than stashed in the back of a drawer! However, when storage is needed, try not keep them in a sealed box for too long. Even the moisture in the air can be helpful in keeping opals looking their best.
See Lots 1, 37, 184 and 211