Peruvian opal jewelry is made by skilled crafters. What makes it more special is that Peruvian Opal is rare and only mined in Peru. Read our guide for more facts & information…
Although most (real) opal comes from Australia, a rare variation is found in the Andes of Peru. You have to note that because of opal’s smooth and shiny physical appearance it is normally “imitated” with inferior materials which could be glass, plastic, or even dyed stones. Therefore, not all opal you see in jewellery is real opal. The imitated version has made opal use in jewelry more widespread.
Opal varies in shades and colour, it can be red, green, yellow and most commonly blue. Opal colours can go from a dull milky white to a shiny bright green colour. Some areas of an opal specimen may have traces of different colours. In Peruvian opals, this may be brown or white.
Peruvian opal doesn’t vary much in colour as much as common and precious opal. Light blue is the most popular colour, less occurring is green. The Peruvian opal is rare and this might be a reason why it is sought after a lot.
Opals vary greatly in value, with some opals being opaque and non-precious, while some opals are shiny and iridescent. This is why opal is sometimes considered a precious stone along with (but not equal to) diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald.
Peruvian Opal Rings
Peruvian opal rings come in different shapes and forms just like any other gemstone ring. This depends on the crafters preference and style or consumer demand. There may be a single large gem embedded in the ring or a smaller one stacked on a bigger opal, or another gemstone of different colour. The ring may have a tiny extension that holds the opal in place. The opal may have different shades. Blue opal may have a shade of light blue or ivory (white) in the center. Depending on how it looks, it could be a desired quality.
Peruvian Opal Necklaces & Beads
Many Peruvian Opal necklaces are handcrafted. Some may contain a larger piece of opal in the middle of a pendant hanging from the chain. Other necklaces might have opal without any metal around it. This is similar to the beaded style.
The spacing of the opal gems in a bead could be clustered or spaced out. Another style is to arrange opals of different colours, e.g., light blue opal and green opal, or arrange opals with different gems, eg., opal and turquoise. Some beaded opal arrangements consist of smaller gems in between larger ones. The smaller gem could be something other than opal.
Opal is sculpted into different shapes. A very common shape in jewelry is the oval or egg-shaped gemstone. Some are carved and shaped into a polyhedron, while others may have a smooth curved surface.
Peruvian opal may have streaks of brown on them. This degrades the physical appearance of the opal and gives it a rough look. This is common in many beads. There are methods to improve the physical quality of Peruvian opal. A simple method is polishing it with a soap solution. More complex processes involve chemicals like smoke (carbon), dye and epoxy resin.