OpalsMay 18, 2015
Opals & Superstition
A recently conducted survey revealed a rather surprising result: many of us are superstitious. So I ask you: are you superstitious? Would you cross the road to avoid walking under a ladder; do you throw spilled salt over your shoulder; do you fear a black cat crossing your path; do you cross your fingers for luck; do you believe certain colours, numbers and days of the week to be unlucky – e.g. Friday the 13th?
And what are your thoughts/views about gemstones since many of them are also tainted with superstitions, both good and bad?
The gem that has suffered the most because of superstition is the White Opal that is said to be an unlucky stone unless worn by someone whose birthday is in October, accompanied by diamonds, or paid for by the receiver even if it is a gift.
A payment was believed to remove the curse. But this curse was not always the case for the ancient Romans believed exactly the opposite: that Opals were talismans of good fortune and tokens of hope and purity. Also, Queen Victoria loved Opals and gave them to each of her daughters on their wedding days and nothing bad happened to them.
But whatever your belief about the White Opal, there is no denying that it is one of the most beautiful and mysterious precious stones in the world in colours that are truly magical. Additionally, there is a mystical quality in the colours of the White Opal as in the case or example of the famous Butterfly Stone or Red Admiral Stone – so named because of its resemblance to the British butterfly, the Red Admiral – as its vibrant red colours are visible from all angles and when turned on its side it appears to change shape to reveal a picture of a Spanish dancer in traditional ruffled dress.
Opal Variations & Varieties
Opal variations are practically unlimited because of their many different colours that continually change in unique ways to create a rainbow effect of colour, known as opalizing, and always with the same sparkle and shine. There are also many varieties of Opals differentiated by experts or gemologists as Dark or Black Opals, Milk or Crystal Opals, Boulder Opals, Rock Opals, Hyalite Opals, Resin Opals, White or Light Opals, Peruvian or Blue Opals, and the transparent Fire Opals. All of these Opals, except the Fire Opal, have that continually changing play of colours that makes them such fascinating gems while those Opals that lack this typically-Opal feature are known as “Common Opals”.
Some Opal History
As I said above, Opals have been known since antiquity so no surprise that Pliny, the famous Roman author, praised them saying Opals combine the best possible characteristics of all other gemstones – the purple of the Amethyst, the golden yellow of the Topaz, the deep blue of the Sapphire, and the shine and sparkle of the Almandine – to make them the most beautiful of all gemstones. Equally interesting is the history of the Fire Opal that also dates back to ancient times, specifically ancient India, the ancient Persian kingdom, and the ancient peoples of central America where they were admired as symbols of the most fervent love and believed to have been created in the waters of paradise. As for the superstitions of bad luck, consider this:
Opals have long been thought to have the power to heal, solve depressions and help the wearer find true, real love. Additionally, Opals are beneficial for those born under the zodiac sign of Cancer with Black Opals recommended for those born for under Scorpio, and for those born under the sign of Aries, the Boulder Opal is a lucky stone for you.
A word of caution though if you’re thinking of buying an Opal: you need to see an expert – I recommend Joe at LL Private Jewellers – because only an expert knows about the many criteria involved in determining the price of an Opal. These criteria include the play of colour (most important), the colours and their patterns; the beauty of the patterning; the thickness of the Opal layer, the opalizing effect; the body colour whether transparent, translucent or opaque, etc.
Please for more information about opals call LL Private Jewellers at 604-684-6343.