This specific type of opal is the national stone of Peru. This fairly rare opal was named after the country, as the only source found is in the Andes mountains. It was believed Peruvian opals were originally a gift from Pachamama, an early Incan goddess of Earth and time. Peruvian opal does not have the same kind of fiery play of light as other opals, but it does still possess a beautiful iridescent quality. Blue is the most common color of Peruvian opal, often being compared to that of the Caribbean Sea, and can contain black dendritic inclusions.
Peruvian Opal Metaphysical Properties
It's no surprise the Peruvian opal (showcasing tropical blues of the sea) has a soft, relaxing energy about it. Peruvian opal has long been used to release tension and promote free-flowing ideas. According to metaphysical beliefs, Peruvian opal reduces stress and helps the wearer approach the future with a heightened sense of tranquility. Peruvian opal is also believed to help with issues sleeping. Considered a powerful healing stone, this opal from the Andes is associated with the heart chakra.
Peruvian Opal Geological Properties
Peruvian opal has a random crystalline composition, which is why it lacks the fiery attributes of other opals. Formed at lower temperatures from igneous rock with high silica content, the Peruvian opal is a sedimentary rock composed of oxygen, silicon and hydrogen.
Hardened silica gel with water content
Seawater blue and blue-green
5 to 6-1/2 (Mohs)
1.98 - 2.20
Proper Care of Peruvian Opal
Opals in general are fairly soft stones and are sensitive to environmental factors. Avoid exposing Peruvian opal, or any opal, to high heat or extreme temperature changes. Heat can cause Peruvian opal to lose their color intensity or create fractures. Take opal jewelry off before getting into the shower, going swimming or using household cleaning agents. Do not expose opals to chemicals, including perfume. The best method for cleaning Peruvian opal is to use mild soapy water and a soft, untreated cloth. Store Peruvian opals and opal jewelry away from tougher gemstones or materials that could scratch the surface, such as on its own velveteen pad.
To learn more about Peruvian opal and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.
Designing with Peruvian Opal
The tropical hue of Peruvian opal makes it a stellar choice for beach-inspired jewelry. Pair with white beads such as quartz or shells in creamy colors. Other natural materials such as coconut shell and gemstones with brown earth tones work well with Peruvian opal as well. Since the color isn't overly feminine or masculine, Peruvian opal is found in both men's and women's jewelry, making it a perfect option for unisex necklace designs.
**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.
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