Boulder Opal is a stunning gemstone from Australia that forms within ironstone boulders. With Boulder Opal’s beautiful colors and patterns, it is highly valued for its aesthetic and spiritual qualities.
This article explores Boulder Opal’s origins, properties, value, as well as its meanings and formation process. Whether you’re interested in buying a boulder opal or just want to learn more about gemstones, this guide has got you covered.
Jump To a Section Below
- What is Boulder Opal?
- History and Origin
- Value and Cost
- Physical and Crystal Properties
- Colors and Meanings
- Healing Properties and Benefits
- Crystal Pairings
- Chakra Alignment
- Final Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Boulder Opal?
The most unique and stunning types of opals out there. This type of opal is found exclusively from the outback of Queensland, Australia and is formed when silica gel seeps into cracks and crevices in ironstone. As a result, boulder opals typically have a brownish or grayish background color with flashes of bright colors like green, blue, and red.
The boulder opal meaning differs from person to person but generally symbolizes creativity, inspiration, and emotional healing. Its metaphysical properties are said to enhance communication skills, promote self-expression, and bring clarity to thoughts. Additionally, its healing properties are thought to help strengthen bones and improve digestion.
Now let’s take a look at the history and origin of this fascinating gemstone.
History and Origin
Boulder opal is a fascinating gemstone with a rich history. It is a type of black opal found in Australia, and its unique appearance comes from forming within ironstone concretions or nodules.
Here are four interesting facts about the history and origin of boulder opal:
- Boulder opals were first discovered in Yowah, a small town located in Queensland’s Outback region.
- Yowah nuts, which contain pockets of boulder opals including boulder opals, were used by indigenous Australians for centuries before being discovered by Europeans.
- In addition to its physical beauty, boulder opal holds metaphysical healing properties and is believed to facilitate communication and emotional expression.
- Today, mining restrictions have been put into place to protect this precious gemstone and ensure its sustainability for future generations.
To mine for boulder stones, miners search for them in areas where they have been found before or in new locations where geological conditions are similar. One popular mining location is Yowah Nut in Queensland, Australia, known for its high-quality boulder opals.
Once found, the stone is extracted carefully by hand or with heavy machinery like bulldozers. The rough stone is then cut and polished into a variety of shapes and sizes to accentuate the unique colors and patterns created by nature.
As we move on to discuss value and cost, it’s important to understand how formation and mining impact the final product.
Value and Cost
It is important to understand the various factors that contribute to the value and cost of a boulder opal if you are considering purchasing one. To make informed decisions, it is crucial to read the Complete Buying Guide and Value of Opal, which will help you understand the key factors involved in buying a boulder opal.
Additionally, taking care when handling and storing your opal can help ensure its longevity as a cherished piece of jewelry or collectible item. To properly care for your opal, refer to our guide.
Physical and Crystal Properties
Boulder opals are fascinating gemstones because of their unique properties like:
- Hardness: Boulder opals have a rating of about 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
- Toughness: Boulder opals possess remarkable toughness, making them resistant to breakage or chipping during cutting or polishing processes.
- Luster: The luster of boulder opal ranges from vitreous to resinous and waxy, with a greasy appearance when polished.
- Specific Gravity: The specific gravity of boulder opals varies, but it typically ranges from 1.98 to 2.20.
- Water Content: Boulder opals can contain varying amounts of water, which contribute to their unique play-of-color.
- Inclusions: Boulder opals may contain inclusions such as ironstone, which adds to their distinctive appearance.
- Fracture: Boulder opals exhibit a conchoidal fracture, meaning they break with smooth, curved surfaces.
- Cleavage: Boulder opals do not have a distinct cleavage, meaning they do not break along specific planes.
- Carat Weight: Boulder opals are available in a range of carat weights, from small sizes to larger specimens.
- Color: Boulder opals display a mesmerizing play of color, exhibiting a wide array of vibrant hues and patterns.
- Shape: Boulder opals come in various shapes, including irregular or freeform shapes as well as more traditional shapes like oval, round, or pear.
Colors and Meanings
Exploring the mesmerizing shades of boulder opal can reveal a deeper understanding of its symbolic significance and emotional impact. Here are three colors and their meanings:
- Black Boulder Opal – This rare variant of boulder opals is believed to provide emotional security to those who wear it. It also helps in healing past emotional traumas by providing a protective shield around the emotional body.
- Blue Boulder Opal – The most common color for this gemstone, blue boulder opal represents peace, calmness, and tranquility. It has a soothing effect on the mind and helps in reducing anxiety and stress.
- Boulder Opals – These unique opals come in various shades of the boulder with intricate patterns that resemble landscapes or seascapes. They are believed to enhance creativity, imagination, and intuition while also improving communication skills.
As you can see, each color of boulder opal has its own unique meaning and benefits for the wearer.
Healing Properties and Benefits
As we’ve learned in the previous section, colors can hold a significant meaning when it comes to gemstones. But boulder opal doesn’t just have a pleasing hue, it also holds powerful healing properties.
In particular, black boulder opal helps with emotional and metaphysical healing. It has a unique pattern that looks like a landscape when formed with black ironstone.
Boulder opal can release negative emotions, support spiritual growth, and connect with intuition. It is a beautiful gemstone that promotes overall well-being.
By combining boulder opal with other crystals, you can enhance its healing properties and unlock a deeper connection to your spiritual self. Here are four crystal pairings that work well with boulder opal:
- Amethyst – this purple crystal is known for its calming energy and ability to balance the crown chakra, which works in harmony with the boulder opal’s root chakra alignment.
- Clear quartz – as one of the most versatile healing crystals, clear quartz amplifies the effects of boulder opal’s crystalline structure for increased spiritual awareness.
- Citrine – this yellow gemstone can boost confidence and creativity while working alongside boulder opal’s grounding energy.
- Rose quartz – the soft pink color of rose quartz promotes love and compassion, adding an emotional dimension to the physical healing properties of boulder opal.
Incorporating these crystal pairings into your daily routine can bring a sense of freedom and balance to your life.
You can align your chakras with boulder opal and other crystals to enhance your spiritual well-being.
Boulder opal is a powerful stone that resonates with the root, sacral, and solar plexus chakras. It helps to ground you in the present moment while also stimulating creativity, passion, and self-confidence. Other boulder stones like black boulder opal and sunset boulder opal can also be used for chakra alignment.
By placing a boulder opal bead or these other stones on specific areas of your body associated with each chakra, you can bring balance to your energy centers and promote overall health and vitality.
It is also important to know how to charge and cleanse your chakra stone in order to help restore energy flow. Read our guide to learn the steps on how to do so.
I hope this guide has given you a comprehensive understanding of its history, properties, and meanings.
Whether you’re a collector or just looking to adorn yourself with a beautiful piece of jewelry,boulder opals are definitely worth considering.
Remember that these stones not only possess stunning colors but also offer healing properties and benefits. Just be sure to take care of them properly and use caution when handling them.
With all that said, go ahead and indulge in the beauty of boulder opals – they’re truly one-of-a-kind treasures!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Boulder Opal Rare?
Yes, Boulder Opal is rare and highly valued due to its limited sources of mining and unique formation within ironstone boulders. Its scarcity makes it more expensive than other opals, but it remains popular among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts for its distinct beauty.
Are There Any Famous Pieces Of Jewelry Made With Boulder Opal?
Yes, there are famous pieces of jewelry made with boulder opal, such as the ‘Rainbow Serpent’ necklace and the ‘Flame Queen’ brooch. They showcase the beauty and versatility of boulder opal in jewelry design.
What Makes Boulder Opal Special?
Boulder opal is special because of its vibrant colors and unique natural shapes, which are enhanced by the iron stone base. This makes it a highly sought-after gemstone for jewelry and collectors.
Why Is Boulder Opal So Expensive?
Boulder opals are expensive because of their unique and vibrant colors and patterns, making them difficult to identify. They are considered invaluable treasures and the mining process is challenging and time-consuming, adding to their high cost.
Chermaine’s journey into the world of gemstones and crystals began as a child, collecting shimmering stones on family vacations. Today, she’s a certified gemologist and spiritual healer, intertwining the physical beauty of jewels with their metaphysical properties.
Chermaine has traveled to mines in Africa, marketplaces in India, and spiritual retreats in Bali, always seeking to deepen her understanding.