5 essential things to know about blue opal

Frédérique BELLO

Frédérique BELLO

In which regions can quality blue opal be found?

Transparent to translucent blue opal is found in Peru in an area between the Pacific coast and the Andes mountain range. This region is close to the Nazca Desert, known for its geoglyphs. Peru is the only country where you can buy quality blue opal. The number of deposits is very limited, which makes it a rare gemstone and still quite unknown because it was only discovered quite recently and marketed from the 90s.

5 things to know about blue opal

Does Peruvian blue opal have “play of color”?

In the world of opals there are two types of stones. “Precisou” opals with play of colors are found in Australia (black opal, white opal, Andamooka opal, Boulder Opal etc.), in Mexico (Fire and Boulder Opal) and in Brazil (Paui Opal). “Common” opals without color play are found all over the world (Tanzania, France, Brazil, Kazakhstan… ..). Peruvian blue opal is in the second category and does not show iridescent color schemes. On the other hand, it captures light easily to offer different shades of blue depending on the sunshine, ranging from a very pale, almost colorless blue-green water to an electric turquoise blue reminiscent of the color of Paraïba tourmaline.

Blue opal, a hydrophane stone?

We speak of hydrophane stone when it has the property of becoming translucent / transparent in water. Ethiopian opal is known, for example, for this property. It also means that these stones are unstable and can become opaque or even crack in the event of thermal shock or prolonged exposure to heat.

Peruvian blue opal is not hydrophane because it is already transparent in its natural state. Depending on the deposits and the quality, it is more or less stable and can sometimes “whiten”.

At Bello Gems, we select stones with great rigor. We keep them for several months in stock to check their stability over time. So you can be sure you are buying a quality gem.

Is blue opal a fragile and delicate stone to set?

Opal has a hardness of 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. It is therefore delicate and, although the automatic hammer is to be avoided, this stone is set without problem and can even go to rhodium without deteriorating. It then allows great freedom in creation. This is why in addition to our stock of cut opal, we can respond to custom size requests. Do not hesitate to contact us.

What precautions should I take with my stone?

Opal is heat sensitive so it is not recommended to expose it to a source of intense heat or for a long time to strong direct sunlight.

Chemicals, acids, detergents and perfumes can damage it. Avoid contact with all these products to preserve the beauty of your opal for a long time. This is also valid for all types of stones

Finally, if you need to have your jewelry cleaned, avoid ultrasound. Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth with very diluted soapy water. Then remove all traces of soap by gently rinsing. If you have any questions regarding the maintenance of blue opal, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to give you our advice.


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