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Opal Earrings 005

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Product Description

These earrings are a simple french hook earrings. The silver is wrapped around their Opal stones.  The earrings measure 1 inch in length and contains 4 blue opal stones. These earrings are french hook right now but can be exchanged for leaver back, stud, or clip on from the pull down menu.

Opal Gemstone History

In a cave in Kenya, Louis Leakey, the famous anthropologist, uncovered the earliest known opal artifacts. Dating back to about 4000 B.C., they most likely came from Ethiopia. Historically, opal discoveries and mining progressed similarly to the ways diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire were produced. As early humans found various gemstones, they slowly learned to work them into decorative shapes. As communities developed, gems became symbols of wealth.

In the Old World, Hungary mined opal for Europe and the Middle East, while Mexico, Peru, and Honduras supplied their own native empires with the gemstone. Conquistadors introduced New World opal to Spain when they returned with stones in the early sixteenth century.

Since the late 1800's, Australia has dominated opal production with more than ninety per cent of the global output. Opal of differing qualities occurs in more than twenty other countries, including Zambia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Poland, Peru, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, Brazil, and Mexico.

The modern name of the gem opal is derived from ancient sources: the Sanskrit Upala - which means "precious stone"; the Latin Opalus; and the Greek Opallios which both mean"to see a color change".

Early races credited opal with magical qualities and traditionally, opal was said to aid its wearer in seeing limitless possibilities. It was believed to clarify by amplifying and mirroring feelings, buried emotions and desires. It was also thought to lessen inhibitions and promote spontaneity. The early Greeks believed the opal bestowed powers of foresight and prophecy upon its owner, while in Arabian folklore, it is said that the stone fell from heaven in flashes of lightning. To the Romans, it was considered to be a token of hope and purity.

Ancient Romans provided the first real market for opal. With a rich powerful empire, wealthy citizens acquired disposable income and a passion for gems. Opal, whose colours changed with every shift of light, was rarer than pearls and diamonds and destined to be the stuff of myths and dreams.

Mark Antony loved opal. Indeed, it is said that he so coveted an opal owned by Roman Senator Nonius that Mark Antony banished the Senator after he refused to sell the almond sized stone, reputed to be worth 2,000,000 sesterces. (US $80,000) Mark Antony is said to have coveted the opal for his lover, Cleopatra. Legend states that one Roman Emperor offered to trade one-third of his vast kingdom for a single Opal.

Writing before his death in 79 A.D., the Roman Pliny wrote of the opal as "Having a refulgent fire of the carbuncle (ruby or garnet), the glorious purple of amethyst, the sea green of emerald, and all those colours glittering together mixed in an incredible way."

Pliny thought the opals came from India, but the gems so eagerly sought by Rome probably came from open cut mines in Hungary, situated near Cervenica or Cernowitz (now Czechoslovakia). He had been deceived by dealers who had probably hoped to capitalise on the appeal of "oriental" imports. Hungarian opals have a milk-white background, usually with a pin-fire, small-size colour display. During the Middle Ages, more than three hundred men worked the mines in Hungary. The mines in Eastern Europe were the only source of European opal until the Spaniards returned from the New World with Aztec opal.

In the Middle Ages, the opal was known as the "eye stone" due to a belief that it was vital to good eyesight. Blonde women were known to wear necklaces of opal in order to protect their hair from losing its color. Some cultures thought the effect of the opal on sight could render the wearer invisible. Opals were set in the Crown jewels of France and Napoleon presented his Empress Josephine a magnificent red opal containing brilliant red flashes called "The Burning of Troy."

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, opal began to fall out of favour in Europe. It was wrongly branded as bringing 'bad luck', and was associated with pestilence, famine and the fall of monarchs. Queen Victoria, however, did much to reverse the unfounded bad press. Queen Victoria became a lover of opal, kept a fine personal collection, and wore opals throughout her reign. Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, gave an opal ring to her niece Queen Victoria in 1849. This opal ring had been previously owned by Queen Charlotte since about 1810. 

Queen Victoria's friends and her five daughters were presented with fine opals. Opal became highly sought after because the Royal Court of Britain was regarded as the model for fashion around the world and fine quality opal had recently been discovered in far-off Australia. In the latter years of Queen Victoria's long reign, various Australian opal fields were discovered and worked.


Metaphysical Properties

Opal has a generally health enhancing effect because it strengthens the will to live. Opal is beneficial for the health or your eyes, kidneys and skin. This stone is helpful if you are challenged by dehydration or water retention. Use it to balance your body's water content. This is a good stone for those who work in or around water, such as a physical therapist who employs hydrotherapy. 
‚ÄčOpal strengthens the will to live. It treats Parkinson's disease, infections and fevers. Opal strengthens your memory, purifies the blood and kidneys. It regulates insulin, eases childbirth and alleviates PMS (use the dark colours for this). Opal is beneficial to the eyes, especially as crystal water.

Black precious opal can be helpful in breaking up densities in the body, such as tumours and cysts. 
‚ÄčWhite precious opal helps strengthen the skin, hair and fingernails. It is useful for skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.


How to care for your Opal Jewelry

Opal is a living stone and requires regular watering to survive.  Never oil your opal! when cleaning clean the silver with a polishing cloth and the opal with warm, soapy, water. 

store your opal away from other jewelry as some opals are quite soft and can scratch easily.  You could keep your opal jewelry in a plastic back with a damp sponge.

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