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Stone of the Month December 2019: Andean Opal

Silence returns, peace and quiet prevail. Life in nature comes to a standstill, hardly any sign of life can be found. Particularly the last days of the year make us thoughtful - what has been achieved, what is the meaning of the things that have happened during the year and why could the one or the other project not be completed successfully? The period at the end of the year is one of contemplation and assessment. December is the month with the fewest hours of sunshine during the year. Nature has prepared itself for being dormant. Today, however, we have a pre-Christmas period with much hustle and bustle. Much of what was not completed by now has to be caught up with before the end of the year and everyone is still looking for suitable Christmas gifts that can be purchased as quickly as possible. The Advent season was meant to be a time of reflection and contemplation. Before celebrating the birth of Christ and the rebirth of light on Christmas Eve, we need room for silence.

The colorful Andean Opals give vitality and an astonished view on the miracle of life in the dark period at the end of the year. Even if not everything went well, with the support of this stone one can look into the future optimistically. Lethargy and reluctance can be overcome by the Andean Opal, so that the one or the other issue can still be put in order or brought on the right course in the final stretch of the year. The year can concluded in a conciliatory way.

Articles  in different colors made from Andean Opal, e.g. strands and (drilled) tumble stones can be found in our web shop for resellers.

The Andean Opal is a stone of emotions. Especially in the dark winter time, the Andean Opal helps us to look into our heart and to find our inner light there. The most important representatives of the Andean Opal are the green Chrysopal and the Pink Opal. Chrysopal can help us relieve anxiety and to release suppressed feelings so that they can flow freely again, while Pink Opal promotes warmheartedness, sensitivity and affection. Many people suffer from the fact that these heart qualities are given far too little room in hectic everyday life. A problem of our time can be described with the words "too much brain, too little heart". This is where the strengths of the Andean Opal lie. It helps us to become more sensitive, friendly and open-minded in our actions and soothes shyness and excessive reluctance. At the same time it awakens our spirit of adventure and provides us with the necessary composure.

Chemical Formula
: SIO2 x n H2O

Mineral Class: aqueous silicon of the oxide class

Color: light blue, green, bluish, turquoise, pink, mostly with dark inclusions (dendrites)

Gloss: matt to glassy

Crystal System: amorphous

Mohs Hardness: 3,5 - 7

Fissility: no fissility, easily breakable, brittle

Occurrence: Peru

Formation: Opals are formed secondarily by chemical precipitation from siliceous groundwater by gradual drying. First, gelatinous silica gel is formed and, after further water loss, the solid opal, which still contains water, is formed.

In the large family of opals the Andean Opals belong to the simple or ordinary opals, i.e. they do not possess the typical "opalescent" play of colors of the noble opals. As the name „Andean Opal" implies, they can be found in the South American Andes, namely in Peru. The blue-green, blue-gray or turquoise Chrysopals originate from the Acari copper mine near Nazca. Only few specimens have a clear color, most are interspersed with dark dendrites that form plant-like structures in the stone. The chromophoric element is copper, the blue-green color comes from inclusions of Chrysocolla. Pink Opal, on the other hand, is a mixture of Opal, Chalcedony and Palygorite. The pink color in this case is caused by organic compounds called Quinones.

The ancient American high cultures of the Aztecs and Incas thought of the Andean Opal as an "eye of the gods", which the gods had left behind on earth. Especially during times of war it was considered a stone of hope. The finders should be reminded of the original harmony of humans, animals and nature, so that the balance of powers would not disturbed too much. Even today, the Andean Opal is a very popular gemstone in Peru and is also used for healing purposes.

As a copper-containing mineral, Andean Opal, like other representatives of this group, Chrysocolla, Azurite, Turquoise and Malachite, promotes a sense of beauty and harmony. Creativity and fantasy are also stimulated by copper minerals. Friendships and partnerships are supported harmoniously, as is the sense of justice. The copper in the Andean Opal has a general mood-lifting effect, a characteristic that can be particularly appreciated in December, when there is very little sunlight.

Marco Schreier on site in Peru sorting the Pink Opal raw material

Here you can see which products have been cut from the rough stones - including prices for resellers and traders!