All About Fire Opal: Types, Colors, Description, Origins & Details
Fire Opal: beaming, radiant and intense! If you’re a lover of bright and bold colors, we bet you won’t be able to look past Fire opal and its radiant sparkle. A fire opal jewelry can certainly light up your entire day with its glow. Since we’re all so mesmerized by fire opal and its radiant glow, we get all the more curious to get to know it better. Since we’re all so fascinated by this October birthstone, we thought why not come up with our very own Fire Opal education guide to address all the basic knowledge revolving around Fire opal right from the history and origin to the properties and quality determinants of this semi-precious gemstone while setting out to buy Fire Opal jewelry.
Properties of Fire Opal
Having a hardness of 5-6.5 on Moh’s scale, Fire opal does require some extra care when worn on a regular basis.
The reddish-orange color of this October birthstone is all thanks to the presence of hydrated silica.
Isn’t this what we’re all a fan of in a gemstone? Having a vitreous luster, Fire opal looks extremely alluring with a refractive index of around 1.37-1.46.
Origin & History
Here we come to the not so talked about part of this gemstone.Today, we’re all in awe of the sun like beauty of this October birthstone but when did all of it begin? Let’s give you a glance with our fire opal education guide. Interestingly, fire opal has its history dating back to as early as 1349 AD when it was discovered by Aztecs in Mexico. They were so mesmerized by its unique color hues that it was named ‘vitzitziltecpatl’, which means the humming bird stone in Mexico. Mexico and opal have a relation no less intimate than jewelry and women since then. Arabics believed that opals struck like flashes of lightening while Germans regarded them as no less magical than a virtual guard from diseases. Specially after the invasion of Mexico by Spanish and their capturing of fire opals in 1500s, this gemstone was ready to take on the world.
Where is Fire Opal found?
Where exactly is it mined today? Let’s give you a glance with our Fire opal guide! Like we mentioned, the relation of fire opal with Mexico is something else. So much that it is till date the primary producer of this radiant October birthstone with a number of Mexican states flourishing with its production including Querataro, Hidalgo, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Michoacan, Julisio and San Luis Potosi. Talking about its specific formation, we say you can guess it by the name itself. It is known to be under intense heat in fiery volcanoes when lava enriched with silica meets water. Yes, that’s exactly how it gets its fiery reddish-orange color as well.
Fire opal is known for its vibrant play of colors, meaning that it reflects different flashes of colors when seen from different angles. These are abundantly found in Mexico. Fire opal is also known to be a lot more brighter and radiant in color with its intense deep-red color hues.
Opals are known for their pastel color hues, most common of them being white. These, contrary to their fire opals, are also found in Australia. These are famous for their opalescence and are known for their glow.
Fire Opal Quality and Price Filters
When we’re mesmerized by a gemstone, the first thing we want to analyze before buying it is its quality. Typically the 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat). These individually and together help you judge the quality of a gemstone better whenever wondering how to buy fire opal jewelry.
Fire Opals are quite rare as compared to their other opal cousins and the desired characteristic for this opal is red, yellow and orange body colors combined with charismatic play-of-color patterns. The play of color in fire opals is observable when the gemstone is held at different angles. Therefore, the naturally occurring vibrant and bright colors are the primary driver of prices in case of the fire opals.
Clarity for Fire Opal defines its degree of transparency and the absence of inclusions. The clarity of the opal can range from transparent to opaque. However, different kinds of opal demands different characteristic to be cherished. Besides this, factors like fractures, pits or surface blemishes can greatly impact the prices. Therefore, one must choose look for an eye-clean piece to give fair justification to the quality for which you are paying money.
Fire Opal weight is measured in terms of Carat Weight usually shortened to Carat or Cts and ranges from 0.01 to 2 CT in our collection.
The overall color and brilliance of the Fire Opal can be determined by the Cut offered by skilled cutting. Therefore, any skilled cutter keeps in mind the overall shape, width, depth and faceting of a Fire Opal. The skills of the cutter contribute to the beautiful sparkle of the gem as much as the conditions which led to its formation. For the October Birthstone, there can be many cuts such as round, oval, pear, cushion, marquise etc.
Fire Opal Grading Value
Having gotten you well versed with the quality of fire opal, why don’t we make it all the more easier for you to judge it? Let’s categorize the quality and get you well versed with each of them step by step with our fire opal education guide.
With 1 % of fire opal belonging to this category, these are known to possess eye clean clarity and are also known to be opaque.
With 10 % of fire opal belonging to this category, these are known to possess very slight blemishes along with medium play of colors and are known to be milky in texture.
With 33 % of fire opal belonging to this category, these are known to possess slight blemishes along with low play of color.
With 75 % of fire opal belonging to this category, these are known to possess blemishes along with no play of color.
Benefits of Fire Opal
Fire opal, being one of the finest gemstones known today, is also attached with some beliefs and known to bless the wearer with equally wholesome benefits as well. Let’s give you a sneak peak with our fire opal buying guide:
Fire opal has long been known to help with kidney problems, strengthening of immune system and lower back problems. This October birthstone is even known to help with fertility and hormonal problems, making it more valuable for women.
The interesting and the most attracting feature of this October birthstone is that it instills self confidence in the life of the wearer. And similar to its intense reddish-orange color, it makes you more passionate towards your goals. It is even known to help you heal from traumatic experiences of rape and abuse.
It is also known to carry some intense materialistic benefits, bringing wealth and prosperity to the life of the wearer.
How is an Fire Opal formed?
Fire opal’s formation is owed to the process when water seeped into lave rich in silica and filled the hollow crevices. The huge magnitude of heat and pressure under the volcano trapped the water and eventually giving form to the sun-like fire opals.
What is difference between lab grown and natural Fire Opals?
Like most of the gemstones, there is an option to choose between natural and lab-created Fire Opals. One must not confuse “lab grown” with the “fake”. While synthetic is a replica the lab grown is developed in a controlled lab environment.
Notably, there arise two major difference in both categories on the basis of their origin and the price in the market.
Where do Fire Opals come from?
Fire Opals are only mined in the parts of Mexico and South America making the gemstones rare and grating them the name of Mexican Opals.
How to take care of Fire Opal Jewelry?
Fire Opal Jewelry is quite easy to clean due to their hardness and durability. However, a few things must be kept in mind like avoiding contact of the gemstone with make-up, harsh chemicals, abrasives.
While cleaning the jewelry make use of lukewarm water and mild cleaning detergent. Soft toothbrush can be used to clean the underside of the fire opal.
Also, the jewelry must be individually kept to avoid contact with other jewelry to avoid unnecessary scratches.
What is a Fire Opal certification?
The most common Fire Opal Certifications includes from GIA, IGL and HRD labs. It is usually a document you receive on the behalf of the aforementioned 3rd party labs which describes an opal in all of its characteristics.
Each and every party’s defining grounds may defer.
What is another name for fire opal?
Fire opal, is also referred to as tangerine opal, thanks to its reddish cherry like color hues.
What is the birthstone of fire opal?
This semi precious gemstone is known to be the birthstone of October.
Why opals can change color?
Thanks to its chemical composition which consists of water, whenever it gains or loses water, basically whenever it comes in contact with water, it displays a charismatic play of colors.
This October birthstone, Fire opal has that radiant sun-like beam that makes it so alluring. We’re all an admirer of its intense beauty. Have you ever seen a gemstone more bright in color? Knowing the hype for this radiant gemstone, don’t you think we should be a little well versed with the integral information surrounding it as well? To facilitate you with just that we have come up with our Fire opal education guide right from the history and origin to the integral 4 Cs and benefits. We’ve got it all covered here. We hope it kept you glued and you had something to take away. Here we sign off wishing you all the luck in finding your favorite fire opal jewelry.