5 Fun Facts About Opals, The October Birthstone

October’s Opals are quite the unique gemstone. They definitely don’t resemble many of the traditional gemstones we’re most familiar with and they look like you’re staring into a crystal ball. Come learn how to predict the future (your happiness) with opal facts and knowledge.

1. History: Thousands of years ago, rulers often wore the glittering orbs to guard their power and ensure their safety. These stones were placed in their crowns to protect themselves from enemies and ward off evil. At times, opals were even ground up and consumed to protect an individual from nightmares and evil spirits (although we don’t recommend this). In modern times opals are known to bring about happiness and confidence for the wearer.

2. Play of Color: Opals are most commonly found in ‘white,’ however within these white opals there is a rainbow-like iridescence which changes the colors that appear in the stone depending on the angle it is viewed at giving the opal a crystal ball look.

4. Opals come in many types: Mainly you can find opals in white, but you may find black opals, fire opals and crystal opals. Both the white and black variety have the play of color attribute, but fire opals do not. Ice also has stunning pink opal jewelry which is a type of fire opal. The best part about opals is that any angle you look at your stone, will show new amazing colors radiating within the piece.

3. Caring for opals: Since this stone is medium to soft you should be extra careful with it. I would recommend if you are wearing an opal ring to remove it when cleaning, working out or doing any sports and if you plan on going out be sure to put on makeup and hair products before you put your opal jewelry on. Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean it – simply wipe with a damp cloth. If you will not be wearing your opal jewelry for awhile, store it in a small plastic bag with a wet napkin so it doesn’t dry out and crack.

5. Opals on Mars: Several years ago in 2008, NASA announced the discovery of opal deposits on Mars! Since opal is made up of mostly water this means that Mars may have been wet for billions of years than previously thought which indicates it may have supported life. Fascinating!

Happy birthday to all the October babies this month! Check out our black, white and pink opals right here.

Be sure to comment below with any questions about opals or jewelry, we are always here to help you find the next best piece to add to your collection.

Have an Ice day!
-Reed

5 Fun Facts About Opals

October’s Opals are quite the unique gemstone. They definitely don’t resemble many of the traditional gemstones we’re most familiar with. For those who may not know much about Opals, I’m here to educate you on a few facts I’ve learned.

1. Play of Color: Opals are most commonly found in ‘white,’ however within these white opals there is a rainbow-like iridescence which changes the colors that appear in the stone depending on the angle it is viewed at.

2. Australia is the home to 97% of the opals found in the world. We’re glad the Aussies are not hogging these beautiful gems just for themselves. The other 3% can be found in Mexico, Brazil, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Japan, and the United States.

3. Caring for opals: Since this stone is medium to soft you should be extra careful with it. I would recommend if you are wearing an opal ring to remove it when cleaning, working out or doing any sports. Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean it – simply wipe with a damp cloth. If you will not be wearing your opal jewelry for awhile, store it in a small plastic bag with a wet napkin so it doesn’t dry out and crack.

4. The types of opals include white, black and fire opals. Both white and black have the play of color attribute however fire opals do not. Ice has stunning pink opal jewelry which would be a type of fire opal since there is no play of color.

5. Opals on Mars: A few years ago in 2008, NASA announced the discovery of opal deposits on Mars! Since opal is made up of mostly water this means that Mars may have been wet for billions of years than previously thought which indicates it may have supported life. Fascinating!

Happy birthday to all the October babies this month! Hope you get treated with some opal jewelry.

Weekly Roundup: Opals, Engagment Rings & Fan of the Week

I have to say I love talking to the Ice community on Facebook and Twitter. What a great bunch of people we’ve got. The feedback we get is wonderful and I wanted to share some of the most popular conversations with you.

What’s your Style?

Every week we select nine pieces of jewelry and ask our Facebook community to choose which of the items from the theme fit their personal style. This week’s theme was Opal rings – here are the top 3 styles the community voted on.

1. Opal & black diamond white gold ring (pictured ring)

2. Opal & pink sapphire white gold ring

3. Opal & Iolite white gold ring

Wanna see the What’s Your Style poll for yourself? Choose your favorite Opal piece here.

Favorite Engagement Ring Cuts

We polled our Facebook community this week to asked “My favorite shape for a diamond or gemstone engagement ring is a _____ cut”. Every woman whether she’s engaged, married or single love talking about engagement rings. It’s probably the most important piece of jewelry many of us will own so we can’t help but get giddy over fantasizing what our dream ring would look like.

The women have spoken…55% prefer Princess cut (which is a square shape). I was surprised to see the second most popular cut was Emerald. Not sure if Kim Kardashian’s gigantic engagement ring she received less than a year ago had anything to do with it. Third place was Round cut. I’m happy that it only made it to 3rd so that means less women will have my future perfect engagement ring cut. Hope I didn’t jinx myself by writing it. ; )

Fan of the Week

Congrats to this week’s Fan of the Week – Jessica Humbert! She recently finished nursing school and celebrated with this beautiful pearl set from Ice including a necklace and earrings. “Nothing says classy like pearls! Looking forward to buying more classy jewelry from Ice” said Jessica. Enjoy the jewelry!

Facebook Fan of the Week

Don’t forget to chat with us on  Facebook and Twitter. Have a lovely weekend!

Top 10 Alternative Rocks

We all know and love Diamonds. Most of us are familiar with birthstones such as Sapphires, Emeralds, Rubies, Topaz, etc. But what I want to talk about today are alternative rocks. There may be some stones out there that you don’t know about but you should. They are all beautiful and you should be adding a few to your jewelry collection.

1. Chalcedony has translucent tones with a wax-like luster that can be found in array of colors such as pink, yellow, blue and almost any color of the rainbow. Some variations of Chalcedony are Onyx and Agate.

2. Prehnite was a very rare gemstone until recently where there have been recent finds in Australia and China. Lucky us! It ranges in hues of greens, yellow and brown is said to have healing powers.

3. Amber is a great a color for Fall wardrobe, most often found in yellow, red and brown tones. Amber which is basically fossilized tree resin, is quite unique because chances are you might find leaves, insects, air bubbles and other foreign objects in it making your Amber jewelry one of a kind.

4. Opal is known for its shifting play of color glistening hues of many different colors in one stone. Most often seen in white but one of our favorite colors of Opals is pink! October’s birthstone originates mostly from Australia. Show your love for those Aussies by sporting some Opals!

5. Rose de France Amethyst is more on the lilac side rather than the more vibrant purple you’re used to seeing in traditional Amethyst.  It’s beautiful! That’s all you need to know!

6. Milky Aquamarine are opaque to translucent, not allowing light to pass through it completely like regular Aquamarines. A transparent Aquamarine is more valuable but the milky versions are just as beautiful. Set in sterling silver or white gold makes a stunning bold statement.

7. Tanzanite is a blue/purple stone that our Facebook fans go nuts for every time we mention it. This stone can be found in, you guessed it, Tanzania! You won’t find these stones anywhere else in the world so thank the lucky stars the nice people of Tanzania like to share.

8. Iolite is a transparent violet-blue stone that looks like different colors when looking from different angles. From certain angles it may also appear colorless. Iolites are a more affordable alternative that have a similar look to other blue stones such as Tanzanite and Sapphire.

9. Kyanite is another blue stone to keep on your radar. It is darker than Iolite, closer in color to Sapphire.

10. Morganite, my personal favorite alternative rock. Found in a pink to peachy color it looks absolutely gorgeous paired with Rose Gold. Love it! This stone is rare and not seen very often so when you find Morganite jewelry you love with it snatch it up quickly.

We’re put together a page at Ice of our favorite pieces featuring all the above gemstones.

Which alternative gemstone is your favorite?

Opal: A Brief History of the October Birthstone

Opal jewelry looks lovely on everyone.It’s October, one of the most beloved times of the entire year. Of course, this month represents one of the most beautiful birthstones out there – opal.

The opal gemstone has a rich and fascinating history. The stone’s name is derived from the Latin “opalus,” which means precious jewel. The ancient Romans dubbed opals “cupid paederos,” which translates to “a child beautiful as love.”

Thousands of years ago, rulers often wore the glittering orbs to guard their power and ensure their safety. Ancient monarchs placed the stones in their crowns to protect themselves from enemies and ward off evil. At times, opals were even ground up and consumed to protect an individual from nightmares.

It’s no surprise that people have been transfixed by this beautiful bauble throughout most of history. The stone glows and shimmers in the light and casts a warm glow on the wearer’s skin, making opal a popular birthstone, regardless of your birthday.

October Birthstone: Opal

October’s birthstone is Opal. Precious opal is a gemstone that exhibits flashes of rainbow-like colors when viewed from different angles. The colors are created by an arrangement of silica spheres within the opal. The opals we see most often in jewelry have a milky-white base with varying flashes of color.

Do not use harsh cleansers on your opals and do not clean opals with ultrasonic cleaners. Never rub oil on an opal, because although it makes the fire brighter it can damage the opal. Some jewelers recommend you periodically soak opals in water to help them reabsorb lost moisture.

Keeping Your Opal Jewelry Looking Its Best

Dear Leslie,
For our anniversary, my boyfriend bought me a matching opal necklace and bracelet. He spent a lot of time picking them out and now I’m really nervous that I won’t take proper care of them. Help!
Bianca in Las Alamos

For basic jewelry protection, always remove your jewelry while doing sports or housework, or any other activity where your jewelry may be scratched or exposed to chemicals. While rings and bracelets are most affected by daily wear, earrings, necklaces and even pendants are subject to chemical damage, especially if worn while make-up, fragrances and hair products are applied.

Always check for loose gems and clasps before wearing your jewelry. To avoid your gems and metal jewelry scratching each other, never store your jewelry in piles. Store them in separate sections of a jewelry box or wrap them separately in velvet, paper or silk.

In regards to cleaning, with opals, I have found that if you wipe them with a soft dry or slightly damp cloth after you wear them they retain their shine. You should never wash or scrub opals as they lose their luster.