All About Opals!

Hi there! I'm Abby, the founder of Mettle by Abby, a handmade and one-of-a-kind fine jewelry line. I created this line to help people celebrate their strength of spirit and individuality. And what better way to do that than with the exquisite beauty of opals?

Here's what's ahead:

  • Different Kinds of Opals
  • The Science of Opals
  • The "Curse" of the Opal
  • History and Lore
  • Opal Care and Maintenance 

Different Kinds of Opals

Boulder opals are some of my personal favorites. They're named for the place they're found, in the boulder fields of Queensland, Australia. These opals are characterized by their unique pattern of ironstone matrix, which forms the backdrop for a stunning display of color. Each boulder opal is different, with its own distinct pattern and color scheme. That's what makes them so special - each one is truly one-of-a-kind.

australian boulder opal necklace

Mexican boulder opals, in particular, are a newer find that have been gaining popularity in recent years. These opals are found in Mexico, and they have a unique combination of blue-green opal and rhyolite, which is a volcanic rock. The rhyolite forms a natural "vein" or "band" within the opal, which creates a stunning and unusual effect. I love working with Mexican boulder opals because they offer a fresh take on the classic boulder opal, with their unique blend of color and texture.

mexican boulder opal ring

When you wear a piece of Mettle by Abby jewelry featuring a boulder opal, whether it's from Australia or Mexico, you're wearing a truly unique piece that can't be replicated. Each boulder opal is part of the natural world, and it has its own story to tell. By wearing a piece of jewelry that showcases the beauty of the opal, you're celebrating your own individuality and strength of spirit.

Blue opals are another type that I absolutely love. They get their name from their stunning blue color, which can range from pale blue to deep navy. These opals are found in places like Oregon and Nevada, and they're prized for their rarity and beauty. I love using blue opals in my jewelry designs because they add a touch of sophistication and elegance.

opal branch necklace

Pink opals are known for their soft, delicate color and their translucency. They're often found in Peru and other parts of South America. Pink opals are believed to have a calming and soothing effect on the wearer, making them a popular choice for those who are looking for a gemstone that can help promote emotional balance and inner peace.

pink opal necklace

Yellow opals are another beautiful choice. They're often found in Australia and Mexico, and their sunny yellow color is reminiscent of a warm summer day. Yellow opals are said to bring joy, creativity, and optimism to the wearer. 

yellow opal necklace

Mexican opals are a bit different from the other types I've mentioned so far. They come in a range of colors, from white to orange to brown, but they all share a unique translucent quality that makes them stand out. Mexican opals are found in the volcanic regions of central Mexico, and they're often used in traditional Mexican jewelry designs.

mexican opal earrings

As far as Ethiopian Opals, these opals are known for their vibrant, rainbow-like colors that seem to glow from within. They were first discovered in Ethiopia in the early 1990s, and since then, they've become increasingly popular in the world of jewelry. What's unique about Ethiopian opals is their play of color, which can change depending on the angle of the stone and the light that's hitting it. It's truly mesmerizing to see in person!

ethiopian opal earrings

And of course, there are Australian opals, which are perhaps the most famous of all. These opals are known for their vibrant colors and play of light, which can make them look like they're on fire. Australian opals are found in a variety of colors, from white to black to red, and they're often used in high-end jewelry designs.

 silver and gold opal ring

The Science of Opals

Picture this: millions of years ago, deep beneath the earth's surface, a magical process was taking place. Silica-rich water flowed through narrow channels and crevices, leaving behind tiny deposits of the precious mineral. These deposits began to accumulate, layer upon layer, until they solidified into the breathtaking gemstone we know as opal.

But what makes opals truly remarkable is the mesmerizing play of color they exhibit. This phenomenon is due to the unique structure of opals, which are made up of tiny spheres of silica arranged in a three-dimensional pattern. As light passes through these spheres, it is diffracted into a spectrum of colors, creating a shimmering dance of hues that seem to shift and change before your very eyes.

And the best part? No two opals are the same. The size and spacing of the silica spheres within the stone determine the colors and patterns of its play of color. Whether it's the fiery reds of an Australian opal or the ethereal blues of a Mexican opal, each opal is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of nature.


The "Curse" of the Opal

As a jewelry maker who specializes in opal jewelry, I've heard the myth that wearing opals is bad luck many times. However, I'm here to tell you that this is simply not true!

The superstition that opals bring bad luck can be traced back to a novel from the 1800s called "Anne of Geierstein" by Sir Walter Scott. In the novel, a character wearing an opal as a talisman sees the stone lose its luster and eventually bring about her downfall. This fictional account has led to the widespread belief that opals are bad luck.

However, in reality, opals are simply a beautiful and unique gemstone. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and each stone is truly one-of-a-kind. Opals are said to bring about positive emotions like creativity, inspiration, and confidence. They're also believed to promote a sense of calm and balance in the wearer.

At Mettle by Abby, I create opal jewelry that celebrates the natural beauty and unique character of each stone. When you wear a piece of my jewelry, you're not just wearing a beautiful accessory, you're also celebrating your own individuality and strength of spirit.

So if you've been hesitant to wear opals because of the myth of bad luck, I encourage you to let go of that superstition and embrace the natural beauty and positive energy of these stunning gemstones. Wear a piece of Mettle by Abby jewelry featuring an opal, and you'll see for yourself just how powerful and special these stones truly are.

 History and Lore

Opals are one of the most enchanting gemstones in the world, with a rich history and mythology that dates back thousands of years. As the founder of Mettle by Abby, a handmade jewelry line featuring one-of-a-kind opals, I wanted to share some of the fascinating stories and legends surrounding these mesmerizing stones.

According to ancient Greek mythology, opals were created when the tears of joy of Zeus, the king of the gods, fell to the earth and were solidified by the touch of the rainbow goddess Iris. The ancient Romans also believed that opals were a symbol of love and hope, and that they could bring good luck to their wearers.

Throughout history, opals have been prized for their beauty and rarity, with some cultures believing that they had magical powers. In medieval times, opals were thought to possess the ability to make their wearers invisible, and were often used by thieves and spies.

In more recent history, opals have been associated with royalty and prestige. Queen Victoria of England was a big fan of opals and even gave them as gifts to her daughters, helping to popularize the stone in the Victorian era. In the early 20th century, the famous jeweler Tiffany & Co. created some of the most iconic opal jewelry pieces, featuring stunning Australian opals set in intricate designs.

Today, opals continue to be beloved by people around the world, prized for their unique colors and patterns. From the fiery reds of Mexican fire opals to the soft blues of Australian blue opals, each stone is like a miniature work of art, with its own distinct character and personality.


Opal Care and Maintenance 

As a jewelry maker who works with opals, I understand the importance of taking proper care of these unique and delicate gemstones.

Opals are a soft and porous gemstone, which means they require special care to keep them looking their best. Here are some tips to help you care for your opal jewelry:

  1. Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures: Opals are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so it's important to avoid exposing them to excessive heat or cold. This means you should avoid wearing your opal jewelry when engaging in activities like hot yoga or ice skating.

  2. Keep opals away from chemicals: Opals can be damaged by chemicals, so it's important to avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals like bleach, perfume, or hairspray. Be sure to remove your opal jewelry before applying any of these products.

  3. Handle opals with care: Opals are delicate gemstones, so it's important to handle them with care. Avoid dropping your opal jewelry or exposing it to rough surfaces that could scratch or damage the stone.

  4. Clean opals gently: Opals should be cleaned gently to avoid damaging the stone. To clean your opal jewelry, use a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners or harsh cleaning solutions.

By following these simple tips, you can help keep your opal jewelry looking beautiful for years to come. And remember, if you have any questions about caring for your opal jewelry, don't hesitate to reach out to me at Mettle by Abby. I'm always happy to share my knowledge and expertise to help you keep your opal jewelry looking its best.

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Wearing a Mettle by Abby opal jewelry piece is an instant confidence boost, allowing you to express your individuality and strength of spirit in a bold and beautiful way. Our jewelry is perfect for those who want to stand out from the crowd and make a statement with their style.

But here's the thing: our pieces are in high demand, and we can't guarantee that they'll be available for long. So if you want to add a Mettle by Abby opal jewelry piece to your collection, you need to act fast.

Don't settle for mass-produced, generic jewelry. Choose Mettle by Abby and experience the magic of owning a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted opal jewelry piece. Trust me, you won't regret it.

When you wear Mettle by Abby jewelry, you're not just wearing a piece of jewelry - you're wearing a work of art. Each piece is thoughtfully designed and meticulously crafted to showcase the natural beauty of the opal. And because opals are so unique and come in so many different colors and patterns, there's truly a piece of Mettle by Abby jewelry for everyone.

I truly believe that everyone should have a piece of Mettle by Abby jewelry in their collection. It's a way to celebrate your strength of spirit and individuality, and to showcase the natural beauty of these incredible gemstones. So whether you prefer Ethiopian opals, boulder opals, or any other type of opal, I invite you to explore the Mettle by Abby collection and find the piece that speaks to you.

Shop all ready to ship Opals now >>

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