Get to know your Materials: Opal

 

australian opals
A stunning example of Australian opal.

 

so lets start of with knowing what opal actually is! So opal is a non crystalline form of silica, its classed as a mineraloid and is commonly found in rock formation in  limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt.

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia and 95%-97% of the worlds supply of opal comes from Australia. Although in more recent statistics Ethiopian opal may have taken over.

Alot of the time in mainstream body jewellery has synthetic opal. The main difference of synthetic and man made is that, synthetic opals do not fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Synthetics are generally lower in density and are often highly porous.

synthetic opal
This is synthetic opal and quite clearly very noticeably different from natural opal.

There are some fun facts about opal which are the old historical myths that they carry. In the middle ages opal was a stone that could give the holder great luck, as it was believed to possess all of the virtues of each gemstone, whose colour was represented in the colour spectrum of the opal. It had  also been said to give the power of invisibility if it was wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand.

There was a publication written in 1829 which lead to  a 50% decrease in sales of opal in Europe for the next 20 years because the story lead readers to believe that the opal was cursed after what happened to the Baroness in  his publication. ” The Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter”. After this people started to associate opals with bad luck and death.

Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the signs of Scorpio and Libra.

If you like the more spiritual context on what opal could bring to your life. Opal is believed to be a stone for enhancing imagination  and creativity. A large proportion of the stone is water, it is said to be a water stone which can help  ease the efforts of handling change in life. Opal can help you continue on your path regardless of obstacles. Mentally, opal is said to enhance memory. It is also used to decrease confusion.

Opal septum Clicker
White opal Septum Clicker.

We have a few opal products, feel free to ask us about them on our Facebook page .

 

Piercing Care: Festive advice.

Festive greetings ladies and gents.

It’s that time of year again when many if not all of you will be partying or stressed by the pressures of the impending Christmas celebrations and expenses. Please take some time to care for your piercings.

piercing on christmas
Enjoy the festivities and enjoy your piercings.

So let me take a minute to offer you some piercing advice.  No doubt as you over drink etc, sleep less or generally worry your body will suffer as will your immune system, and as a result I have a lot more of you coming in to see us with problematic piercing related queries.

Piercings old and new may flare up or be tender or sore, this is what I personally call a weak point on your body and is not uncommon.  Now I can’t encourage you to do any more or less drinking, stressing or more sleeping and hydrating.  What I can advise is be aware of your body and your piercings.  So my tips are as follows:

1. Bathe the piercing as you would have when it was pierced (call or check our website)

2. Perhaps get some Multi Vitamins if they contain Zinc, vitamin c and or Iron then even better.

3. Make sure your jewellery is sufficient in quality or size.

4. Unless it is a definite oozing painful infection don’t go running to the doctors for antibiotics.

(Most cases do NOT require them)

5. Try an early night with a nice big glass of OJ or fresh water.

6. Remember Christmas time is all about love and not how much you can drink or spend and it’ll all be over in a couple of weeks!!

If you have forgotten the instructions for the basic salt solution here’s a link to our blog post.

Blog post written by Aaron Jamie, one of  our professional and established piercers from Metal Fatigue.