Opal is known to be the national gemstone of Australia. Among the famous precious opals that are found in Australia is the precious jelly opal. With its magnificent play of colors, this type of precious opal is known to be one of the sought-after gems that are used in different kinds of jewelry. 

Things To Know About Precious Jelly Opal

History

The mining of opal started in Australia around the early 1900s. Australia produces more than 90% of the opal around the world. The main areas in Australia where opal has been found to be abundant include Coober Pedy, Andamooka, Lightning Ridge, Cunnamulla, and White Cliffs. The abundance of opal in the Australian continent is mainly due to the massive amounts of silica that were able to harden for a period of approximately 20 million years. These hardened silica stones were able to produce various types of opal stones, which are exported from Australia to other parts of the world. Precious jelly opal has been one of these stones, and this type has been known to be mined mostly from Lightning Ridge mines in South Wales, Australia.

Visual Appearance

Precious jelly opals come in two kinds. One of the kinds features gems having one specific color while also having tiny bits of color suspended within the stone. This is known to be the common kind of precious jelly opal. The other kind is called crystal jelly opal. This kind of precious jelly opal is known to be the best kind and has been known to be harder to find. The gem appears like a crystal ball which contains a very strong play of colors. The term play of colors, in relation to gemstones, signifies the optical appearance of a flash of spectral colors that happens whenever gemstones are exposed to light. Precious jelly opals can have an unlimited number of spectral appearances.

Physical Attribute

When it comes to the hardness of precious jelly opal, the Mohs scale of mineral hardness gives it a rating of 5.5-6.5. This means that this type of gemstone has poor to average resistance against scratching. To ensure that one can prolong the lifespan of such a gemstone, it has to be protected from getting exposed to rough surfaces.

Value

Compared to diamonds, it is harder to find the value of precious jelly opals. There are multiple factors that may dictate the final value of a specific piece of precious jelly opal gemstone. Some of the important factors that need to be considered include the color, the direction of the play of colors, body tone, pattern, shape, and brightness. There is a committee of people that works together to determine the value of each precious jelly opal gemstone.

Some gemstones may have inclusions that can devalue them like cracks lines and potch lines located inside the gemstone. These lines may cause light to reflect in an unfavorable direction, or they may stop the reflection of light on certain areas of the gemstones. The precious jelly opals all over the world that are sought-after by enthusiasts include the blue jelly which comes from Australia and the orange jelly which is a faceted stone that comes from Mexico.

Jewelry

Precious jelly opal, just like any other kind of opal, has been traditionally known as the birthstone for those born in October. They can be worn to symbolize the birth month of a person. One of the easiest ways to show this is by placing precious jelly opals on a ring. Other than the birth month, people may also have other reasons to use this type of gemstone on their rings. Rings that have precious jelly opal can be worn by both men and women, but may differ in designs that would fit their preferences. Precious jelly opal can fit perfectly with a cabochon cut ring for men. Women can choose to wear cocktail rings that would feature precious jelly opals as their centerpieces. They can also be used as engagement rings if precious jelly opal is preferred over other types of gemstones.

For other jewelry options, precious jelly opal gemstones can be used for pendants, brooches, and necklaces. One of the most important things that people should always remember is that the best way to ensure that this type of gemstone is kept out of harm’s way is to always go for jewelry with protective settings like halo or bezel. In addition, they should be cleaned by washing them with warm soapy water while also softly brushing them from time to time.