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Pink Opals: What You Need to Know

Pink opals are a popular and common type of natural gemstone. But they don’t show the same ‘fire’ you may initially think of as being characteristic of opals. Generally, pink opals are opaque and a baby pink, coral, blush, or cream color and are known for diverse, vibrant hues in several varieties, the most valuable variety being pale pink opals. The most coveted pale pink opals are sometimes lovingly referred to as the ‘peppermint candy stone.’

Most pink opals come from Peru, though they can be found in other South American countries, the United States, and Australia. They are mined and polished as other gemstones and diamonds are. They make excellent necklaces, rings, earrings, and are often considered to have healing properties.

Pink opals are popular because of their beauty, symbolism, and variation. Read on to learn everything you need to know about these stunning pink gems.

What Are Pink Opals?

Pink opals are a natural type of gemstone that contain palygorskite and chalcedony. Palygorskite is a phyllosilicate that resembles opal, while white chalcedony is a microcrystalline quartz mineral. These opals are also composed of hydrated silica and have a water content that makes up 6-10% of the gem. Iron and aluminum contribute to their natural radiance. And they have higher contents of iron than other opals, which is the component that gives them their distinctive pinkness that can range from bubblegum to a subtly pinky-white.

How Do Pink Opals Get Their Color?

The color of pink opals comes from iron that leaches into the opal over time and produces a pink, red, or orange tint. The more iron the opal contains, the deeper the pink color.

Are Pink Opals Real Opals?

Pink opals are real opals. They are mined from the earth and formed when water evaporates from silica, leaving behind a gel that, over time, solidifies into what we consider to be an opal gemstone.

Imitations of natural opals, however, do exist. They are grown in laboratories and have the same chemical and physical properties as natural, mined opal. So technically, these are also ‘real’ opals as lab grown diamonds are ‘real’ diamonds, they just aren’t physically mined from the earth.

A true imitation opal is synthetic opal. Synthetic opal is created from 25% silica and 75% resin and is therefore not comprised of the same properties as ‘real’ opals. There’s also glass opalite, or opalescent glass, that also should not be considered a ‘real’ opal.

Pink Opal Meaning

Pink opals hold special meaning and energy in spiritual settings. Many people believe that when it encounters one’s heart chakra, it activates and unlocks energy and puts forth calming, tranquil vibrations. Often referred to as the ‘stone of spiritual awakening,’ pink opal helps with self-healing and rejuvenates the body and mind.

Pink opal is also considered to be a meaningful gemstone for someone to hold if they are struggling with a broken heart. They are said to push us to look inwardly, improving our connection with our inner selves. This teaches us not to lean on external factors but to depend and rely only on ourselves.

Opal is also the birthstone for the month of October. While the month is celebrated by all types of opals, a pink opal jewelry could be the perfect unique choice as a gift for someone born in the tenth month (or for yourself!). As a birthstone, it represents loyalty, faithfulness, and hope.

What is Pink Opal Used For?

Pink opal is primarily polished and held as a loose gemstone for spiritual healing purposes. It’s often said that these gemstones can help sooth anxiety by balancing emotions. It can sometimes be referred to as the ‘peace and penance stone,’ as it aids us in forgiving both ourselves and others for past mistakes.

Pink opal is found in jewelry of all types – from expensive designer creations to affordable, simple pieces.

What Are Pink Opals Worth?

These precious gemstones are often sold at price per carat. The value varies depending on the size, shape, and color intensity.

Pink opals are made from copper, water, silica, and iron to create a striking hue of pink. The more that iron and silica are present in an opal’s composition, the higher the value. The finest quality of natural pink opals have the potential to be up to $100 per carat.

Pink Opal vs. Rose Quartz: What’s the Difference?

In spiritual terms, both stones represent love and healing. Rose quartz, however, generally symbolizes passion and romance. Pink opal is more about self-compassion and inner healing.

In gemological terms, rose quartz and pink opal have different physical and chemical properties. Quartz forms primarily from silicon dioxide while pink opal contains silicon, water, copper, and iron.

Final Thoughts

Pink opals are a stunning, naturally occurring gemstone that makes a wonderful gift as a spiritually meaningful stone or in a stunning jewelry design. While they make not be as fiery and brilliant as other variations of opal, they are strikingly unique and universally well-loved.

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