Not all gems are created equal. Some, like fire opal, were destined to outshine their competitors from the very beginning.
Opals, with their amazing play of light and truly unique shimmers, come in a variety of colors, each one beautiful in its own way. However, Mexican opals, with their incredible mesmerizing fiery glow that sets them apart from their other brethren, will always be bathed in attention, especially when they are adorning a piece of jewelry.
The orange-red gem, which looks like a frozen flame, was formed millions of years ago when water seeped into the silicon oxide in fissures in the mountains left by lava that came out of ancient volcanoes in Mexico. So it is not surprising that the Aztecs and Mayans believed that fire, born in the waters of paradise, was raging inside these stones. They called it the “bird of paradise stone” and used it in their ceremonies and rituals, as well as making beautiful mosaics of it.
The mineral was almost forgotten by society until 1835, when the mining of fire opals began in the rock strata running through the highlands of Mexico, where it is the national gemstone. The most important mines are located in the Mexican state of Queretaro, but due to the over-mining of the stones in the 1960s and 1970s, fire opals of good quality are now in short supply. Deposits have also been found in other countries, such as the United States, Ethiopia, Australia and Brazil.
You may not believe that gemstones carry energy, but you can have no doubt that fire opal in jewelry radiates warmth and harmony. French jeweler Lydia Courtel was so fascinated by these gems that she dedicated an entire collection to the flame stone in 2011 – Gardens of Xochimilco. Her most recent jewelry piece using this stone is a stunning massive bracelet with 22.08-carat scarlet opal burning brightly on the wrist.
The volcanoes that gave birth to the succulent fire opals may be dormant, but the red-hot lava still lives on in these “sizzling” gems, playing with the bright shimmers inside. If you prefer bold and colorful accessories, Mexican fire opals will be a major treasure in your jewelry box.