The stunning gemstone opal is often referred to as the “Queen of the Gemstones” and it’s obvious as to why. This gem is regularly compared to fireworks and galaxies because of the unique rainbow of colors within each stone, leaving every other gemstone envious. Want to learn more about the Queen of Gemstones? Here are some interesting facts that make opals just a little more special.
Opals have felt love and appreciation across history from some of the most famous people of our time. Mark Anthony, a famous Roman general, carried an opal in honor of his lover Cleopatra. The two enjoyed stargazing together and the opal remind him of the night skies. Napoleon Bonapart presented his Empress Josephine with a famous opal called “The Burning of Troy”. The opal was so coveted that, after her death, it was hidden for hundreds of years! And even The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, had an impressive collection of opal rings he enjoyed wearing!
Opals can be found across the globe, but more than 90% of the world’s supply comes from Australia, including black and white opals. In the 1990s, opal was discovered in Ethiopia, and while Ethiopia doesn’t have as much opal as Australia does, it has some of the largest carat sizes! The largest opal ever mined was named the “Olympic Australis” weighing 17,000 carats and measuring 11 inches long! In 2005, it was valued at $1.9 million!
To mine opals, a 65 ft deep hole that is only 3 feet across is cut into the ground and miners climb down into the depths to find opals by hand – definitely not a job for the faint of heart or claustrophobic!
At SNG TV, opals are one of our favorite gemstones and we know that you’ll love them too! Shop SilverAndGold.com’s collection of opal jewelry to add this unique gemstone to your jewelry box.