From the Sanskrit `upala` meaning stone or precious stone. Precious Opal is derived from closely packed silicate crystals and water which form together in a matrix over thousands of years. The resulting Opal beads have layers upon layers which give the `Play of Color` associated with the finest of this gemstone. As light refracts and reflects off the differing layers the rainbow colors are seen. Opal has body colors that can be white, grey, colorless, or black and can be translucent to opal in quality. Opal usually has a dull to waxy luster. Opal comes from silicate rich environments where through time the depletion of liquid forms a layered silicate mineral. Opal may form with small fern-like Dendritic inclusions creating scenic patterns within the body, when this occurs the resulting gem is called a Dendritic Opal. Because of opal`s high water content, do not store opals in a moisture deprived area (such as a safety deposit box) which will cause the stone to dry out and crack. Opals love to be worn as they absorb moisture from the environment and become more beautiful over time.