Opal is one of the world’s most phenomenal and beautiful gemstones; in colour, pattern and rarity. As such, many cultures have associated opals with supernatural powers. The Ancient Greeks believed opals bestowed the gift of prophecy and protection. Arabic legend says it falls from the heavens in flashes of lighting. Europeans consider the gem a symbol of hope, purity and truth.
Let me straight away dispel the myth they are unlucky; this superstition derives from a 19th Century novel by Walter Scott called Anne of Geieirstein, in the story Anne wore a magical opal that was touched by holy water, she falls ill and the next morning is gone, with a pile of ash in her place. In fact conversely throughout history opals have been considered magical because of their beautiful show of colours. Indeed they once thought to preserve the life and colour of blonde hair – so I need to wear my opals more often!
For me personally as they are the birthstone for October, the month my lovely Mum was born, they are source of endless fascination and appreciation. Let me explain more about them.