Opals come in all sorts of hues, often flashing multiple colors in one stone. One opal color you’ll definitely regret missing out on? Pink! Pink opal is a variety of common opal known for its stunning color, ranging from blush to coral hues.
The nation most closely associated with pink opals is Peru and for good reason. Peruvian pink opals are known for being the most intensely saturated, uniformly colored pink opals available. Peruvian opals are the country’s national gemstone, which shows the pride they carry for these gorgeous jewels. But you don’t have to be from Peru to appreciate these Peruvian gems! One glance will have you falling in love with these soft pink jewels.
Those born in October likely know their traditional birthstone is opal. However, opting for a pink opal birthstone is an exciting way to tweak tradition and stand out from the crowd!
For our astrology lovers, this rosy stone graces Gemini and Aquarius. A pink opal zodiac gemstone can ensure these two air signs get all the connection and friendship they need to thrive.
Anyone who can’t get enough pink will adore a pink opal gemstone. But what is pink opal, what makes it pink, and does it offer any special benefits? Before we go in depth on all the benefits of pink opal, let’s go over some basics. Pink lovers: meet your next obsession!
Pink opal is a natural type of common opal that often contains palygorskite and chalcedony. Palygorskite is a phyllosilicate that resembles opal, while chalcedony is a microcrystalline quartz mineral.
Along with blue opal, pink opal is one of the opal colors Peru is famous for. Peruvian pink opal is known for being the most impressive variety in terms of its rich, bright color. One locale in Peru, the Andean Mountain range, led to the nickname “pink Andean opal,” although “Andean opal” on its own refers to blue-green opals from the area.
How rare is pink opal? Do other nations produce the stone?
Pink opal is one of the rarer opal colors, as only a few nations produce the gemstone. Beyond Peru, Mexico produces beautiful pink opals from Durango and the US produces the pink opal in Idaho and Oregon.
Western Australia produces pink opals as well, though Australian pink opal is actually opalized radiolarite. For reference, radiolarite is a type of sedimentary rock, whereas opal is hydrated silica.
Pink opal appearance may vary based on the source. Peruvian pink opals are milky pink and uniform in color, rarely showing inclusions. Conversely, Australian pink opal shows more inclusions that may create color patterns in white, black, or brown.
Wondering where pink opal color comes from? We’ll cover that next, along with more pink opal properties!
As a common opal, pink opal is primarily composed of hydrated silica. If you’ve heard of quartz, that’s silica. The difference between quartz and opal is the opal's water content, which usually makes up 6-10 percent of the stone.
Pink opal ranges in hue from pastel pink to bubblegum pink, with other colors frequently displayed in color zones or streaks. The colors you’ll usually see making an appearance are white, black, peach, and sometimes yellow. Although, some pink opals may take on a lavender hue.
Color-zoned pink opals are typically opaque but may be translucent. When the color zoning shows dark colors against the pink background, like black dendrite inclusions, the stone may go by the fitting nickname “Peppermint Candy Stone.”
As with any opal formation, pink opal occurs when water evaporates from silica, leaving a gel behind that eventually solidifies into opal. How the pink occurs differs depending on the locale.
Mexican and Peruvian pink opals get their color from small amounts of quinones, organic compounds often found in plants, that enter the stone during formation. American and Australian pink opals get their color from the presence of manganese.
On the Mohs mineral hardness scale, pink opals generally rank similar to other opals at 5 to 6. However, the mixture of chalcedony into many pink opals gives them a 6 ranking, higher than many common opals. Altogether, opals are not a hard gemstone, which means they’re more susceptible to cracks and crazing. That said, opals are cut cabochon (cab) style, which means they are smoothed and polished. Without hard edges seen in cut gemstones like diamonds or rubies, opals have less opportunity for cleavage.
Still, opals and crack and craze if they become too dry, which is why preserving pink opals requires special care, which we’ll guide you through later in this article.
Compared to other gems, pink opal bears a striking resemblance to pink coral and conch pearls. Many activists encourage buyers to opt for pink opal over pink coral or conch pearls to reduce the negative environmental impact.
Speaking of making an impact, let’s explore pink opal’s impact on various cultures over time.
Pink opal has played a role in numerous societies around the world since ancient times, notably in ancient Egypt.
According to National Geographic, pharaohs in ancient Egypt would take on huge construction projects, building large temples, monuments, and tombs. This undertaking was based on the belief that pharaohs would become gods after death and needed to prepare a place for themselves in the afterlife.
Another reason for pharaohs building large monuments or temples was to simply show off their power and inspire awe in their citizens, similarly to the motivation behind conquering another nation.
Before the pharaoh would begin construction or conquest, he would be adorned in a pink opal crown. Egyptians called pink opal the “Hope Stone,” so crowning the pharaoh with the stone was a way to wish him luck and show faith in his efforts.
Pink opal played a part in ancient Roman politics as well. Romans thought pink opal benefits balanced or neutralized emotions, so political leaders used pink opal jewelry to ensure romantic relationships wouldn’t get in the way of political proceedings.
Over in the west, indigenous tribes in the Americas held pink opal with sacred reverence. Cherokee tribes of North America honored pink opal as one of their seven sacred gemstones. Inca tribes in South America used pink opal to communicate with deities or spirits, particularly the Mother Goddess, Pachamama.
Shifting to modern times, what is the spiritual meaning of pink opal now?
As an opal gemstone, pink opal inherently symbolizes protection. Along with other pink gemstones, pink opal represents love, gentleness, and healing.
However, pink opal’s meaning slightly differs from other pink stones. Take pink opal vs. rose quartz, for instance. While both stones represent love and healing, rose quartz generally symbolizes compassion and romance, while pink opal is more about being kind to yourself.
One nickname for pink opal, “The Stone of Spiritual Awakening,” is rooted in its purported connection to the divine. According to Greek mythology, opals formed from the joyful tears Zeus wept after defeating the Titans, and other cultures saw opals as blessings dropped from heaven.
Similarly, some Egyptian beliefs surrounding pink opal metaphysical properties remain today, as pink opal is still a “Hope Stone” to many modern energy healers.
It can be hard to focus on your hopes for the future when you’re bogged down with worries or emotional wounds that need attention.
So, how do you use pink opal for healing?
Pink opal healing properties focus on the heart, in particular by bringing empathy, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Have you ever helped someone else when you felt down and discovered the healing effects of shifting your focus this way? You’re not alone! In fact, a 2016 psychological study published in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that giving had greater stress-reducing benefits than receiving.
When you’re dealing with stress, pink opal can remind you to take a step back to help others. The stone can inspire empathy and bring clarity, allowing you to be an open-minded, compassionate friend to someone in need.
Of course, you still have to take care of yourself. Pink opal can provide healing by balancing emotions and soothing anxiety.
If your emotional distress is rooted in guilt, pink opal can help there, too. As the “Peace and Penance Stone,” pink opal helps us forgive ourselves for mistakes of the past and look toward our hopes for the future instead.
On a physical level, pink opal is purported to aid heart conditions, be it an irregular heartbeat or circulation issues. Additionally, the stone may boost stamina and calm an upset stomach.
More into energy healing? We’ve got you covered!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, pink opal is great for balancing the heart chakra.
Located at the sternum, the heart chakra is the center of compassion and spiritual connection. You’ll know the chakra is unbalanced if you start to feel isolated, numb, or overwhelmed by negative thoughts.
When you use pink opal to balance the heart chakra, you can open yourself to meaningful connections with others and accept the ebbs and flows of life with peace.
If you’re using pink opal for healing, you’ll want to cleanse it regularly.
When you use crystals for healing, the stone absorbs negative energies so you don’t have to. However, too many energies can make the stone “full,” and unable to do its job. Cleansing the stone gets rid of those energies so you can continue using it!
You have a few options for cleansing pink opal:
Hold your pink opal under running water for 1-2 minutes. If possible, a stream or river is the best choice, but tap water will do the trick.
Bury your opal in soil overnight, either outside or in a plant pot indoors.
Burn some sage or incense and smudge the stone with the smoke.
That covers everything you need to know about pink opal! Whether you’re looking to rock a pink opal bracelet to rep your zodiac sign or need some heart healing, we guarantee you’ll fall in love with this beautiful stone! Plus, you’ll benefit from pink opal’s abundant healing properties and durability. Paint your world in hues of blush with pink opal!
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