Opal is a hydrated silicon dioxide. This means that it has a crystal structure that is amorphous as well as a very high water content. It is considered to be a mineraloid,” and has a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, a density of 1.98 to 2.5, a refractive index of 1.37 to 1.52, and a waxy to resinous luster. It is transparent to opaque and exhibits no cleavage. There are all kinds of different types of opal out there, with some of them being particularly rare and valuable. Jelly opal is a variety of hyalite opal that is blue-gray in coloration, with little play of color. It owes its name to its “gelatinous” appearance. Its play of color is actually an effect from its microscopic inclusions, and it has a sheen that appears to follow a light source around. It may also go by the name “girasol opal,” though this name is mistakenly used in reference to a type of milky quartz and fire opals, as well. 95 to 97% of the opal gemstones in the entire world hail from Australia, where it is the national gemstone. However, opal has also been found in Ethiopia, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States (specifically Nevada and Idaho). The jelly opal variety is usually found in Oregon or Mexico. In Mexico, it may be referred to as “water opal.” This gemstone occurs in fissures of many different kinds of rock (but most commonly sandstone, limonite, marl, rhyolite, or basalt) and is deposited at a fairly low temperature. The most valuable and largest gem opal in the world is called the “Olympic Australis.” Other famous specimens include the “Andamooka Opal,” the “Addyman Plesiosaur,” the “Flame Queen Opal,” the “Galaxy Opal” and the “Halley’s Comet Opal.”
In the metaphysical world, jelly opal is considered to be a comforting stone. Wearing it, keeping near and/or meditating with it is believed to improve communication skills and bring to light solutions in the face of difficulty. Untruths– especially of the variety that no one dared speak of before– may be brought to light, as well, where they may then be dealt with and left behind. This is beneficial to its keeper, whose progress in life may have previously been hindered by these obstructions. Jelly opal’s influence is also believed to sharpen the connection between soul group members, restore cellular memory, help to separate personal feelings from psychic impressions, strengthen boundaries, and ease us into feeling secure in our own right. If you desire a quiet, peaceful space in which to meditate or study, try gridding an area with jelly opal. You won’t be disappointed in the results. Opal is associated with the astrological sign of scorpio.
On a more tangible level, all varieties of opal are believed to have beneficial healing effects on the skin, hair, nails and eyes, and to help provide balance to the water content within the body (relieving water retention and preventing or alleviating dehydration). Crystal healers also use opal fight infection, purify the kidneys and blood, regulate the production of insulin, reduce fever, sharpen the memory, and stabilize disturbances of the neurotransmitters (such as those present in the case of Parkinson’s disease). Opal is also believed to be supportive for female issues including hormone fluctuation, menopause and PMS, and to provide comfort during the difficult process of childbirth.