With its rainbow colors, Opal seduces the eye. Its effective effects on mental and physical well-being make it a highly valued stone in crystal healing. A stone of protection, Opal strengthens sensations, trains perception and inspires. Throughout this article, discover the history and virtues of the Opal stone.
Its history goes back beyond that of mankind and extends over the whole of our planet. From the Sanskrit "Upala" meaning gemstone, the Latin name Opalus, the Greek name Opallios, and the meaning "to see a change in color".
Opal has been mined for 10,000 years in the Virgin Valley in North America, and objects decorated with opal from Ethiopia were discovered in a cave in Kenya and dated to 4,000 years before Christ.
Legends related to meteorological phenomena have been associated with it among different cultures: the Aborigines had named it "rainbow snake", since the creator god would have gathered this spectrum of colors to give birth to the stone.
We find this idea in India, where the goddess of the rainbow would have metamorphosed into opal in order to escape from her numerous suitors subjugated by her beauty. Finally, the Arab culture tells that the lightning trapped in the rock results in opal.
In ancient Greece, it would have been born in the eyes of the king of the gods Zeus: his tears of joy following the triumph against the Titans would have been transformed into opal in contact with the ground. Since then, the Greeks attributed powers of clairvoyance and prophecy, a belief that is found in the Middle Ages, when it was renamed "ophthalmios" (stone of the eye), in consideration of its virtues for the eyes.
Finally among the Romans, it was a sign of hope and purity. They would be the first to have commercialized it, arousing interest: Marc Antony would have banished a senator who refused to sell him an opal intended for Cleopatra, estimated today at $60,000.
Opal is formed through alternating dry and wet periods. Precipitation, via the phenomenon of erosion, transports various elements into the water table, including silica, a natural form of silicon dioxide representing more than 60% of the mass of the continental crust. Through an aqueous chemical reaction called hydrolysis, silica forms opal, which is rich in impurities.
When a new dry period occurs, the upper layers of chalcedony and quartz, from which the opal is extracted, are formed as a result of evaporation. This unpredictable and sometimes very small silica deposit requires artisanal exploitation. The main deposits have been identified on the Oceanic and American continents, but also in various regions of the world.
Opal was discovered in Australia in 1849 in the layers of sandy clay deposited during the Cretaceous period by the sea covering the depressions forming the Great Artesian Basin. Production of opal began in 1890 in what is now New South Wales and Queensland. Today, 75% of opals come from the Coober Pedy fields: discovered in the 1920s, they extend over 70 kilometers.
Considered as a mineral until 2007, opal stone is composed of several elements: cristobalite, tridymite, hydrated amorphous silica, and also contains a percentage of water more or less high depending on the variety. It cannot therefore be considered as a mineral. Often compared to quartz, the crystal structure of opal is its characteristic.
Its quality is determined by the purity of its crystals, creating iridescent reflections. The color play comes from a diffraction of light, resulting from the random arrangement of microscopic plates of tridymite spheres, or cristobalite.
Crystal healing uses crystals to act on energies and chakras.
The water contained in the opal dissolves the energetic barriers linked to beliefs, fears of lack, and restores the free circulation of energies. It contributes to the awakening of consciousness, helps to let go and to live in the present moment.
Each variety has its own vibration and its action is aimed at different aspirations:
The opal stone acts as well on the psychological as on the physical level, the two being intimately linked. It purifies the blood and the kidneys, facilitates childbirth, and alleviates premenstrual syndrome. Stone of sensuality with aphrodisiac effects, it develops the senses and frees from inhibitions.
Stones do not all vibrate at the same frequency, so it is important to inquire if you wish to purchase a particular mineral for its benefits. For example, stones of similar colors generally release the same benefits.
This is why Blue Opal is associated with Lapis Lazuli and Aquamarine. When combined, they have beneficial effects on the kidneys and bladder. They moisturize, soften the skin and delay the appearance of wrinkles. They also promote sleep and quality sleep.
The White Opal or African Opal is linked to the third eye chakra and frontal chakra. Like Labradorite, White Opal is a source of inner balance. Together, these stones harmonize the different physical, psychic and mental energies.
When we regularly wear a stone, it loses its good energies. And it becomes full of the bad energies that live around it. It is then necessary to clean it before purifying it. In order to fully use the energy of the Opal, it is necessary to pass it once a week under tepid running water.
To recharge the Opal, it is necessary to put the stone on the ground near a source of natural light. The stone will then discharge bad vibrations in the ground. And draw new energies from the sun or the moon. But it is better to avoid charging it directly to the sun. The stone will eventually lose its colors and the sun's ultraviolet rays will turn it white. A window with a white veil will limit the direct contact.