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GEMS
Lesson 3 - Page 4

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Opal is a prized gemstone because of its ability to refract light into milky or opalescent colors. Water is within its matrix so the silicon and oxygen are not securely bonded like in quartz. Opal is not as hard as quartz. The color changes depending on the angle you look at it, delighting the owner with an ever changing array of colors.

The Romans considered opal a symbol of hope because they felt a rainbow was locked inside the stone. Opals were raindrops from heaven in some Arab legends, falling in flashes of lightning, thus acquiring their fiery colors. Once considered the stone of kings, it was the second most prized gem only to emeralds. Other legends on the opalís power persist. Some feel the opal, if worn can cure diseases of the eyes. Today, some feel the black opal is unlucky but provides magicians with their powers. 


Black opal from Australia

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