Opal was adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 as the birthstone for October and is also the birth stones for the Zodiac signs of Libra. Opal is also listed a the gem for a 13th wedding anniversary.
Australia is the classical Opal country and today is the worldwide most important supplier of Fine Opals. Almost 95 per cent of all Opals come from Australian mines. The remaining five per cent are mined in Mexico, and in Brazil’s north, also in Idaho and Nevada, but recently the stones have also been found in Ethiopia and in the West African country of Mali.
The history of Australian Opal began actually 50-65 million years old, dating back to the Cretaceous period. Parts of Australia were covered by a vast inland sea, and stone sediment was deposited along its shoreline. When the water masses flooded back, they flushed water-containing silica into the resulting cavities and niches in the sedimentary rocks, and also the remains of plants and animals were deposited there. Slowly the silica stone transformed into Opal, for basically Opals are simply a combination of silica and water. Or, to be more precise: Opals are a gel from silica, with varying percentages of water.
Numerous legends and tales surround this colorful gemstone, which can be traced back in its origins to a time long before our memory, to the ancient dream time of the Australian aborigines. It is reported in their legends that the creator came down to Earth on a rainbow, in order to bring the message of peace to all the humans. And at the very spot, where his foot touched the ground, the stones became alive and started sparkling in all the colors of the rainbow. That was the birth of the Opals.