Shakespeare called opal the ‘Queen of Gems.’ This majestic gemstone is named for the Latin word opalus, meaning ‘precious stone.’ For centuries, this stone has been precious. It is a good luck charm and prized for its healing properties. The jewel comes in two broad categories; common opal and precious opal. Read on and learn the difference between both! 

What is Common Opal?

Common opal is opaque, rarely translucent and does not display any play-of-color. This jewel occurs in a wide range of pastel colors. 

Common opals were not very popular in jewelry for years, but why? Short supply was one factor. These rare colors have limited mining and exposure. However, minimalist jewelry lovers are turning to these beautiful gemstones for a unique look. Here, they have a home where their unique color offerings can truly shine. 

Did you know that common opal exists across the globe? Peru, Oregon, and Mexico are just a few suppliers of this special jewel. 

Peruvian pink opal bypass cuff.

Common opal is treasured for its pastel hues.

Common Opal vs. Precious Opal

Opals are categorized based on their appearance and the ability to show play-of-color. That’s the unique rainbow of color some gems display. 

Common opals are opaque and do not show play-of-color. Instead, these jewels can also be found in attractive hues like pink, peach, white, or blue, depending on their origin. Distinctive trace elements, unique to their location, create these captivating pastel colors. An appealing pearly luster completes the look of this stone. 

Precious opals are the ones which show spectacular play-of-color. These stones have a black or white bodycolor.

Varieties of Common Opal

  • Peruvian Pink Opal: The Andes Mountains of Peru is the home of this delightful pink opal. These opals display a soft pastel pink with a pearly sheen. The gem has a reputation for emotional healing and bringing inner peace.
  • Oregon Peach Opal: Featuring a bright, peachy blush this peach opal is a rare stone, only found in the United States. Peach hues are known for their cheerful energy and positive reputation. 
  • Australian White Opal: With a rich, pearly finish, this white jewel stands with stones like mother-of-pearl or even cultured South Sea pearl! Its heavenly hues symbolize notions like purity, faith, and loyalty. 
  • Oregon Blue Opal: This powder blue stone gently captivates with its soft touch. Blue is the color of friendship.
Peach opal earrings in sterling silver on black background.

Peach opal is only occurs in Oregon, USA.

Why Choose Common Opal?

There are three reasons why you need one of these pastel jewels in your life!

Common opals are a great source of happiness, enthusiasm, and creativity. Did you know this gemstone has roots in ancient civilizations? Romans associated opals with purity and hope. Greeks believed the gem grants the gift of perception. People in ancient times associated this stone with heaven. Many think that it can ward off negative energies. 

We treasure opal in fashion. When it comes to style, few stones can offer beautiful color, soothing appeal, and a subtle attraction. The gorgeous pastel color range of common opal is a must-have for those who love minimalist styling and understated fashion.

Opal is the birthstone for October, which makes it a perfect gift for October babies. The fascinating gem is the traditional anniversary gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.  

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Shop LC brings you a fantastic collection of opal jewelry. Which is your favorite pastel opal? Tell us in the comments!