Preparations are abound for our exhibition next week. The cabinets are being dressed, the ads have been placed – all we need now are the stones! And they will be here next Tuesday 25th September and will be here all week to Saturday 29th. See our ads in SO Tunbridge Wells Magazine, and enter our competition to win a matching set of sterling silver opal set earrings and pendant – just send me your details firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form in the magazine and drop it in to us during the week of the exhibition.
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Here are a few fascinating facts to be getting on with :
- Opals take over 70 million years to form.
- The first Lightning Ridge opal was found in 1887.
- 95% of the world’s opals come from Australia.
- Good luck is thought to be bestowed on the giver and the receiver of an opal.
- No two opals are the same.
- Opals were Queen Victoria’s favourite gem stone.
- Opals are the birthstone for October.
- Black opals are the most valuable.
- Opals are the national gem stone of Australia.
- There are three types of opal: black, white and boulder opals.
- Collectible patterns include harlequin, pinfire, tiger stripe and flash pattern.
- The value of an opal is determined by type, colour, brilliance, pattern and shape.
- Opals consist of tightly packed silica spheres.
- Opals contain 6-10% water and can crack or craze when subjected to harsh, dry conditions and rapid changes in temperature.
- Solid opals can be wet or soaked in water without causing problems. Doublets and triplets cannot.
- Opals can be polished if they lose their shine or become scratched.
- Treat all jewellery with respect – it will last you longer.