Symbol of hope and purity
Opal: Revered as a symbol of hope, fidelity, and purity, opal was dubbed the Queen of Gems by the ancient Romans because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Opal is prized for its unique play of color, the ability to disperse light into flashes of rainbow color.Opal occurs in different body colors, ranging from semi-transparent to opaque. The most common is white opal. Crystal or water opal has a colorless body. The most valued variety, black opal, has a dark blue, gray, or black body color. Boulder opal combines precious opal with the iron stone in which it forms. Bright yellow, orange, or red fire opal are quite different from the other varieties of opal. Their day-glotones, which are translucent to transparent, are beautiful with or without play of color.
Although opal is rarely enhanced by methods other than cutting and polishing, opals can be treated to bring out their play of color. Opals can also be permeated with colorless oil, wax, resin, plastic, and hardeners to improve their appearance and durability. Occasionally, some thinner or translucent opal may be painted with a black epoxy on the backside of the gemstone to darken the body color and improve the play of color. Fire opal is not commonly enhanced.
Opal should be treated with care. Opal is softer and more brittle than many other gems and should be stored carefully to avoid being scratched by other jewelry. It should also be protected from blows, as exposed corners can chip. Opal should not be exposed to heat or acid and should be cleaned only with a soft cloth, never with any kind of cleaning solution.
October, Pink Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline: Tourmalineâ€™s name comes from the Sinhalese word turmali, which means â€œmixed.â€ Occurring in more colors or combinations of colors than any other gemstone variety found in nature, this gem lives up to its name. Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.
Dark blue, blue-green, and green tourmalines are occasionally heated to lighten their color. Red tourmalines, also known as rubellites, and pink varieties are sometimes heated or irradiated to improve their colors. Heat and irradiation color enhancement of tourmalines are permanent.
Occasionally, some tourmalines may have surface-breaking fissures filled with resins, with or without hardeners. Care must be observed with these gems, since this process is not permanent. Avoid exposing them to harsh abrasives and strong chemical solvents.