HISTORY AND LORE
Birthstone for October and gem for the 14th wedding anniversary.
Derived from the Latin word opalus, meaning “stone.”
- Thought to have been discovered more than 4,000 years ago.
- Opals have always generated strong passions according to the folklore of many cultures.
- Arabians believed that opals were magical stones that had fallen from the heavens.
- Australian opals are the finest in the world.
- Black opal is the rarest and most valuable.
- Opal is said to be bad luck, this is partially due to a novel written in 1829 by Sir Walter Scott titled Anne of Geierstein. The main character, Lady Hermione, wore a magical opal in her hair. When she was happy the gemstone sparkled beautifully, and gave off red fiery flashes when she was angry. This caused her to be wrongly accused of being a demon, so few drops of holy water were sprinkled on the opal, which lost its brilliance. Lady Hermione fell ill, and was taken to her bed. The following morning all that remained of her and her opal was a pile of ash in her bed.
- Ancient Romans considered the opal the “queen of gemstones”, because it contained the colors of every other gemstone.
- The Romans called opal, cupid paederos, meaning “child as beautiful as love.”
- In Medieval times, all blond maidens wanted an opal necklace for it would guarantee that their hair would never fade or darken.
- Called the Patronus forum or “Patron of Thieves,” opal was thought to make a person invisible whenever they wished.
- Early Romans referred to opals as the Cupid Stone because it suggested the clear complexion of the god of love.
- Opals as amulets are believed to facilitate astral projection, balance the psyche, improve the memory,and to awaken or strengthen clairvoyant powers.
- Among the ancients, opal was a symbol of fidelity.
- :When worn as an amulet, opal was believed to make the wearer immune from disease.
- Ancient Greeks thought opals to be the tears of Zeus.
- Believed that opal gives the gift of foresight and prophecy.
- In India, opal was referred to as the Goddess of the Rainbow, turned to stone.
- Opals are worn to bring inner beauty to the surface.
- Ancient Australian aborigines thought opal to be half serpent and half devil, and the bright fire inside the stone was an attempt to lure them into the devil’s lair.
- In the Middle Ages, opal became known as the Opthalmius, or Eye Stone and was thought to strengthen eyesight.
- In the 1890’s Australia began producing high quality precious opals which began to rival diamonds, so the diamond merchants started rumors that opals were bad luck.
- Opals are used to recall past incarnations, and is favored by many to develop psychic powers.
- Even today, some believe that it is unlucky to buy or wear an opal if it is not your birthstone.
- One myth says the opal came to be when a storm god threw a bolt of lightning.at the rainbow that ended his storm and an explosion of colors fell to the earth, imbedding into the rock.
- Believed that opals clarified, amplified and mirrored feelings, buried emotions and desires.
- Opal has been known to bring happy dreams and to ease the process of change.
- The Orientals referred to opal as the “anchor of hope.”
- According to legend, a huge opal governs the movement of the stars in the heavens.
- One myth states that colors of an opal are responsive to moods and temperatures of its wearer.
- Opal is believed to be a stone of inspiration which enhances the imagination and creativity.
- Believed to be a charm against the Evil Eye.
- Opal is an excellent stone for meditation.
- A favorite stone of magicians and alchemists, opal is a stone of deceptive hopes and illusions, and secret passing superstitions.
- Believed to heighten weak emotions and strengthen the memory.
- Considering the astrological aspect, is worn to strengthen the Venus, which represents sex, love, marriage, romance and emotions.
- Opal is believed to make its wearer more spontaneous and quick in communication.