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Though January gemstones are ruby and garnet, thinking of "winter" stones we imagine white pearls, white chalcedony, marble onyx, white jasper and nephrite jade. But there is one more gemstone - milky opal that is often called kaholong and looks like porcelain.
The group of fine opals includes quite a number of wonderful gemstones, which share one characteristic: they shine and sparkle in a continually changing play of colors. In order to best bring out the play of color in a fine opal, the stones are cut and polished to round or oval cabochons, or any other softly domed shape, depending on the raw material. Only the best qualities of fire opal, however, are suited to faceting.
Milky opal or kaholong emits an exceptionally soft shine. Kaholong has been one of the favorite precious gemstones for many centuries. It was highly valued in ancient India for its pure whiteness, which is also the reason why kaholong was called "solid milk of sacred cow". The Buddhists associate kaholong with lotus, a symbol of pure soul.
White and greens are the most common opals. Australia produces around 97% of the world's opal. 90% is called "light opal" or white and crystal opal. White makes up 60% of the opal productions but cannot be found in all of the opal fields.
It's said that kaholong is good for someone who wants to forget anything. If you want to forgive yourself the past mistakes and begin a new life, make (don't buy, make!) something from kaholong. When your job is over, you'll really "clear your mind". Sure, that is a joke... but not only a joke!