When it comes to buying gemstones that make a statement and have color, the stunning opal and tanzanite come to mind. They’re certainly more than just beautiful—they are exquisite and have a long history of elegance, beauty, and charm. But what about these stones make them so incredibly special, other than their appearance? Let’s demystify the elegance of opal and tanzanite stones. Follow along with Joshua Kodner for the inside scoop!
Opal Jewelry: Always Known for Beauty
The opal has a long history dating back hundreds of years, particularly to Roman times: the name ‘opal’ derives from the Latin word ‘opalus,’ which means precious stone. Pliny, a famed Roman scholar, described the colors of opal as being rich and deep, with a plethora of different colors such as ruby red, yellow topaz, blue sapphire, and amethyst purple. This array of colors made way for a variety of ancient nicknames, such as Light of the World, and was seen as a symbol of love and hope to ancient Rome.
The admiration of the opal quickly spread beyond Rome, with various groups of people quickly realizing its benefit: the Greeks firmly believed that the opals provide generosity and protect from disease, while other Europeans saw the precious stone as a sign of hope and truth. While this stone is adored by the Royal Family and Europeans alike, 95% of the world’s opals come from Australia, whose Aborigine culture closely associates the stone with deities.
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The Rarity of Tanzanite Stones
The deep, bluestone of Tanzanite gets its name from its African origin —Tanzania. The stone was discovered in the 1960s, as miners searched diligently for blue sapphires but instead found a much deeper, bold color. To their surprise, they discovered a gemstone whose rarity exceeds diamonds by over a thousand. The sole source of the world’s tanzanite is only a mere 4-kilometer area located near Mount Kilimanjaro, making tanzanite one of the rarest gemstones on earth. Gemologists suggest that this area will run out of tanzanite in the next 10 to 20 years, making tanzanite an even more precious heirloom.
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In addition to its stunning beauty, opal is the official birthstone of October. The stone also has a close association with the planet Venus and offers a strengthened connection to the planet. This is ideal for the astrological signs Taurus and Libra (a coincidence, considering Libra season is in October), who are both ruled by Venus.
For a while in the 19th century, opals were considered bad luck thanks to Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Anne of Geirerstein, which painted the opal unlucky, but that assumption has passed. The opal is considered a harbinger of good luck, as it contains every color under the sun, and is considered one of the more affordable, quality gemstones around. Nothing can beat the playful array of colors opals have, as well as the price.
Tanzanite: More Than A Birthstone
Like the opal, tanzanite also is a birthstone for December. Along with its rarity, the stunning gem is an ideal gift for the 24th wedding anniversary and has many beneficial qualities, such as success, prosperity, and good luck. Tanzanites are stunning symbols of new beginnings and new life, and make perfect gifts for new mothers, as it opens and uplifts the heart. With its immeasurable style and color, Tanzanite is sure to astound either on a ring or as a statement necklace.
Purchasing The Right Opal and Tanzanite Jewelry
It’s no secret that opals and tanzanites are some of the most gorgeous gemstones around. If you’re considering purchasing an opal or tanzanite, it’s important to be sure to go to a reputable source, like Joshua Kodner. With a highly trained and knowledgeable staff of gemologists and appraisers, you can ensure that every gem and piece of jewelry meets our rigorous quality standards and yours. To browse our selection, or to schedule an appointment or for any questions, please contact us today.
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Photo Credit: BBBGem