Jelly Opals: Meaning, Properties, Benefits, and More!

jelly opalThe jelly opal, also known as the water opal, is a unique opal variety that has a gelatinous appearance. Remember those inexpensive jelly sandals that were popular in the 90s? Distinguished fashion designers like Gucci and Alexander Wang are bringing them back with their own modern, chic jelly sandals. Except these designer options are $1,000 and up, not $9. 

What is it about the jelly look that catches the fashion world’s eye? Perhaps something in the flow or movement of jelly brings a nice breath of fresh air to an outfit. 

Jelly shoes are to sandals what jelly opals are to opals — a more unique, fun option! And trust us — jelly opals won’t set you back as far as a Gucci jelly sandal. 

You might be wondering, “are jelly opals real?” What is a jelly opal, anyway? 

Surf’s up! We’re going to ride the waves of the jelly opal gemstone, and dive into the jelly opal meaning, jelly opal properties, jelly opal value, and everything else in between!

First thing’s first: let’s talk about what a jelly opal is and understand the jelly opal meaning. 

mexican jelly opal

What Is A Jelly Opal?

Are jelly opals real opals? Certainly! Jelly opal is a specific type of opal, also known as water opal. Other names for it include “girasol opal” and the red, orange, or yellow variety called “jelly fire opal.”

Like other opals, jelly opals are mineraloids composed of hydrated forms of silica, often with varying water content. Different opals have varied water content, ranging from 1-20%. Jelly opals are the same, and they also have a vitreous luster. 

Jelly opals have a gelatinous look, characteristic of the name. The jelly movement across the jelly opal gemstone body resembles the flow of water, which is likely behind the stone’s alternate name, “water opal.” Jelly opals get their gelatinous appearance from a couple of features: thickness and transparency.

How about the jelly opal meaning? 

We know that opal comes from the Ancient Greek word opallios meaning “to see a change of color.” Additionally, traditional opal symbolism includes connotations of hope, innocence, and purity; are those attributions the same for jelly opals?

Yes, and more! Jelly opals, or water opals, carry the same connotations as traditional opals, but with an extra twist. 

Maybe it’s their water content or their water-like jelly appearance — but jelly opals symbolize perseverance and stability, similar to the world’s ever-flowing rivers and oceans. Don’t let the transparency fool you, though! Spiritually, jelly opals mean a lot more than their see-through softness. 

Speaking of transparency, what are some other water opal properties?

mexican water opal freeform

Jelly Opal Properties

Jelly opals are often considered crystal opals due to their similar transparency. What’s the difference between jelly opal vs crystal opal? You’ll usually see more color, especially green or blue, in a jelly opal than in a crystal opal. 

This opal type is a precious opal with the gorgeous play-of-color we all love in opals. The body is usually green or has a shiny blue glimmer. Play-of-color often appears as tones of red, orange, pink, green, and yellow depending on how light interacts with the stone. 

However, what’s different about the jelly opal gemstone’s play-of-color is how it appears in the stone. Jelly opal play-of-color travels across the entire stone, rather than in smaller patches. This is due to the jelly opal gemstone’s transparency. 

Lapidarists love jelly opals for their transparency, as it makes it easier to polish away any impurities, if there are any. They usually cut water opals into cabochons to showcase their color play. 

Like the rest of their fellow opal varieties, jelly opals have a relatively weak ranking on the Mohs mineral hardness scale at 5.5-6.5. These softies require some extra care, especially when we’re talking about jelly opal jewelry!

With such a unique-looking texture, you might wonder where this lovely variety of the October birthstone comes from. Where are jelly opals found? 

dark jelly opal rough

Where Do Water Opals Come From?

It’s no surprise that Australia is the jelly opal origin, as it’s home to numerous another gorgeous opal varieties. Specifically, you can find raw jelly opal in Australia’s Lightning Ridge mines —  where you can find the coveted black opal as well!

Australia isn’t the jelly opal’s only home, though. You can find them in Mexico, Brazil, the US, and South Africa. Mexico is home to the Mexican jelly opal. What is a Mexican jelly opal? 

These jelly fire opals are comparable to the regular jelly opal, except in color. Mexican jelly opals have an almost entirely orange body and sometimes appear in bright red tones, channeling a fiery energy throughout. 

Coming from so many different places, many crystal healers around the world have enjoyed the physical and emotional benefits of jelly opals. It’s time to explore the healing water opal benefits!

wood fossil jelly opal parcel

Jelly Opal Healing Properties

Jelly opals have healing properties mimicking the stone’s wave-like appearance. Like the flow of water channeled through the alternate name, “water opal,” jelly opals are known for creating a calm environment. Think of the soothing sounds of ocean waves hitting the shoreline, or the gentle sway of a canoe on a quiet lake. 

Jelly opals are said to soothe our hearts, promoting emotional stability and helping us work through difficult feelings like heartbreak, grief, or anger. These are great gemstones to hold close by while meditating.

Jelly opals help activate our throat chakra. This chakra is linked to our sound, communication, and expression. And, the throat chakra is a light blue or turquoise, which is unsurprisingly consistent with the colors of a jelly opal.  

Our sense of authenticity and freedom of expression connects with our throat chakra, as it helps us express ourselves genuinely and speak our truth. Jelly opals are known to help us with communication, helping us to find clarity in our words to share our authentic selves with the world. 

If you’re feeling silenced or you can’t find the right words to express yourself, wear a jelly opal necklace to keep the stone close to your throat chakra.

Jelly opals also help us with crown chakra blockages. The crown chakra, when activated, connects you to higher consciousness. It also brings mental clarity and helps you tap into your intuition. Sound familiar? Crown chakra features might resemble the traditional opal symbolism of divinity, as that’s a higher consciousness as well. 

Hold a jelly opal close to clear up any brain fog or to relink a severed connection with your higher self. A pair of jelly opal earrings is a great way to connect with your throat chakra and crown chakras.

Speaking of earrings, what’s the deal with water opal jewelry?

jelly opal pendant with citrine and amethyst

Jelly Opal Jewelry

The greenish-blue tones of jelly opals make jewelry pieces a lovely accessory for those with blue- or green-colored eyes! But brown-eyed readers, jelly opal jewelry is for you as well! Their transparency and soft colors make them an excellent accessory. A nice bonus is that jelly opal jewelry tends to be around the same price as, if not less expensive than, other opal varieties.

Jelly opals offer a unique way to wear jewelry. Like other opals, no two jelly opals are the same. This makes it hard to find a matching pair of earrings, but asymmetry is in! The varying plays of color will look striking with any outfit. 

Moreover, jelly opal earrings are a particularly strong choice if you want to unlock a connection with your throat chakra, as your ears are near your throat. 

You might also consider a jelly opal pendant. You might find one with a raw jelly opal or with a glossy, polished cabochon. Some jewelry designers like to surround a jelly opal with smaller gemstones, like zircon or even diamonds. The contrast of the water opal stone’s blue hues with a series of smaller white gems is just beautiful. 

Remember when we mentioned the low Mohs ranking for jelly opals? Jelly opal jewelry is delicate, so it’s important that you know the proper water opal care practices. 

green apple jelly opal rub

How Do You Take Care of a Jelly Opal?

Jelly opals are total softies with their 5.5-6.5 Mohs ranking. But even though jelly opals rank low on the Mohs scale, you can make them last a lifetime. With proper opal care, your jelly opals can act as family heirlooms if you want them to. 

Tips for Caring for Opal Jewelry:

  • Don’t wear opal jewelry during activities like swimming, exercising, or gardening. 

  • Buy from reputable gem traders to ensure a re-polish if you scratch your opal.

  • Store opal jewelry in non-heated areas in a sealed plastic bag with a damp cloth to prevent drying out. Don’t include the damp cloth if you have an opal doublet or triplet, however, as any water contact can break down the glue.

  • Use jewelry cloths to wipe down your opals.

  • Be wary of harsh jewelry cleaners.

What’s great about jelly opals is that since they’re not the rarest opal, you can sport jelly opal jewelry even if you’re on a budget. And, caring for jelly opal jewelry is inexpensive as well! This brings us to the next section: let’s discuss jelly opal value. 

orange faceted mexical jelly opal

Jelly Opal Value

When it comes to opal value, a few things are true:

  • The brighter the opal, the higher the value. 

  • The redder the opal, the higher the value.

  • Australia tends to have the priciest opals.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules, but they’re a good starting point to value our jelly opal.

Are jelly opals expensive? Jelly opals are precious stones, but their prices aren’t always as high as their other precious opal sisters. It really depends on the individual stone and play-of-color. For example, Mexican jelly fire opals range from super inexpensive to a pretty penny if they have more fiery, red colors. 

Jazz Up Your Style with Jelly Opals! 

Love jelly sandals? Add some new jelly to your style while channeling calm and soothing energy with jelly opal jewelry. With options varying from a raw water opal to a thick, polished cabochon, or clear, blueish jelly opals to the Mexican, red-toned beauties; the options for water opal jewelry are endless.

Have trouble choosing? Personally, we love jelly opal earrings — they offer a glimmer of magic right at the side of your head, offering a shimmering piece of divinity every time you turn!

Ready to shop for magical jelly opals? Find them here!

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