What Are the Four Main Types of Opal?


There are many stones out there that are said to heal the body and mind in many different ways, and opal is no exception. The name “opal” is considered to have possibly originated from a couple different places – it may have been derived from the Sanskrit word “upala” which means “precious stone”, or named after Ops, the Roman goddess of fertility. Needless to say, opal has an ancient history of being a coveted stone.

Opal is known as the “eye stone” because it is said to have the ability to help heal eye and vision problems. Opal is one of many stones you can get on healing stone jewelry websites, however, it is not as hard as other stones so it must be handled with great care.

Opal gets its colors from a prism-like environment found within the stone. It gives people a cleansing, refreshing feeling when its effects are seen and felt. The radiant colors seen in opals are due to moisture found inside the stone. Excessive exposure to heat and/or sunlight can cause this color to fade over time.

There are four primary types of opal that exist, which further branch out into different varieties. These types of opal are as follows:

Common Opal

A common opal typically shows off just one color, and doesn’t sport any other color to give it special visual effects. This is why it is not as cherished and highly regarded like other kinds of opal. Common opal is also widely mined and made available in various parts of the world. The colors you would find in common opals include blue, pink, purple, and other shades within that color range. The rarest of common opals is the Peruvian opal, which has an aqua-blue or sea-green color to it.

Precious Opal

Precious opals are the rarest kind of opal to find, and the most valuable for making into jewelry. Precious opal is also called “rainbow opal” as it reflects light into all the colors of the spectrum. This happens due to hardened silica found inside the stone that forms in a grid pattern. The more colorful the opal and brighter the light it emits, the more valuable it is. Subtypes of precious opal include black opal, boulder opal, and Ethiopian opal.

Fire Opal

Fire opal is available in red, orange, and yellow, and can either be transparent, translucent, or both. These opals aren’t named for any type of visual effect, but rather for its warm colors that are associated with fire and heat. Unlike precious opals, most fire opals do not have any cool visual effects or light patterns going on. Fire opals are very affordable and are easy to find in online healing stone shops.

Precious Fire Opal

Precious fire opal is a combination of precious opal and fire opal, taking the best traits of both to create a stunning appearance. The colors found in a precious opal are mixed with the transparency, or translucency, that fire opals possess. Precious fire opals are even harder to come across than precious opals, making them the rarest and most valuable of all opals.


Opals have a vast history in many parts of the world. Opals are notable for having healing properties for conditions related to the eyes. Opals are also reputable for their abilities to project light into an array of colors due to their internal structure. There are four types of primary opals that exist: common opal, precious opal, fire opal, and precious fire opal.