April 25th is World Penguin Day, a day chosen because it coincides with their annual northward migration. Penguins have stolen the hearts of many worldwide, with their waddles and tuxedo like markings..
A Penguin is a totem animal for lovers it is believed that they choose to mate for life. The token pebble the penguin males present to their partner as part of their courtship rituals is as significant as the rings that human couples exchange
Penguins are becoming increasingly adopted as a Christmas animal, looking cute and cheery alongside the reindeers and polar bears on decorations and wrapping paper. Modern interpretations have associated them with Santa in the North Pole, despite the fact their habitats are only in the southern hemisphere.
The theory behind the origins of the word penguin is that it was the same word used for the now extinct great auk, which looked like penguins. It may have come from Welsh “pen gwyn, meaning ‘white head’, or the Latin pinguis meaning ‘fat’.
In Maori mythology, Tawaki was a god that walked the earth in human form. The small penguin it stands a mere 55cm tall. Legend has it that Tawaki’s fellow human beings did not realise he was a god until “he ascended a lofty hill, threw aside his vile garments and clothed himself in lightning“. The yellow crest on his head does resemble a lightening flash
Natural Opalite or “common opal”, is exceedingly rare and occurs in volcanic ash in countries such as Africa and Brazil and Turkey. Natural Opalite shares the same basic chemical properties as Opal. It is made of tiny spheres of Silicon Dioxide which stack onto each other in a pyramid grid shape. This grid is what allows the cat’s eye effect to be displayed when the stone is cut into a high domed cabochon.
However, to counter the scarcity man-made Opalite is exceptionally good substitute being a mixture of mineral dolomite and metal and has a special lustre and bluish hue. Opalite is known by many names argenon, sea opal, opal moonstone, moonstone, Tiffany’s Stone (from the Jewellery store known for wrapping all its products in baby blue paper) or the Ice Cream stone because it radiates an air of coolness.
Opalite has a translucent or a milky white tone but can appear to be blue or sky blue when placed against a dark background. When placed against a light background, it is milky white with an orange or pink glow
Our cute little fellow stands 50 mm x35 mm x 20mm