An Aboriginal dreamtime legend has its own explanation for the creation of opals. It believes that the creator came to earth on a rainbow, to bring the message of peace to all of human kind. When his foot touched the ground, the stones were awakened and started sparkling in every colour of the rainbow.
ZODIAC BIRTHSTONE: Libra – Opal is the birthstone for people born Sept. 23 – Oct. 22nd – October’s child is born for woe,
And life’s vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.
—Gregorian Birthstone Poems
ANNIVERSARIES: October and the gemstone representing the 14th and
18th wedding anniversaries
THE GREAT POWER STONE: Opal symbolizes magic, love, hope, happiness and truth. In ancient times, opals was recognized as a symbol of faithfulness and confidence. The brilliant coloured opal was said to have magic powers because of its play of colour. It was known to strengthen eyesight, protect against contagious diseases, ease sadness and turn pale in the presence of poison.
The OPAL is said to rejuvenate emotional and mental forces and assist with competency and efficiency, fostering creativity and originality.
In Roman times the gem was carried as a good luck charm or talisman, as it was believed that the gem, like the rainbow, brought its owner good fortune. It was also referred to as the “Cupid stone” because it suggested the clear complexion of the god of love.
In the 7 th century it was believed that opals possessed magical properties and centuries later Shakespeare was attributed with the description of opal as “that miracle and queen of gems”.
The Arabs believed that they fell from the sky and the Orientals referred to them as “the anchor of hope”.
Lucky opal – the stone of hope, the birthstone of October. Opal symbolizes magic, love, hope, happiness and truth. The Opal is also recognized as a symbol of faithfulness and confidence. The brilliant coloured opal is considered to enjoy magical powers because of its complex play of colour.
All the evidence demonstrates that throughout history opal has been regarded as the stone of good fortune.
Late in the nineteenth and early in the twentieth century however, possibly for commercial reasons there was a proliferation of damaging reports that opal was an unlucky stone. These were based upon a misinterpretation: –
There can be little doubt that much of the modern superstition regarding the supposed unlucky quality of the opal owes its origin to a careless reading of Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘Anne of Geierstein’. “The wonderful tale…contains nothing to indicate that Scott really meant to represent opal as unlucky.” The Curios Lore of Precious Stones, by George F. Kunz – Isidore Kozminsky in the1922 edition of his book “the Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones” states that: “Perhaps against no other gem has the bigotry of superstitious ignorance so prevailed as against the wonderful opal.”
He also cites several historical references to the talismanic qualities of opal including the following story.
A French baron, who resided in London , owned an opal that had been in the family since the twelfth century. In 1908 he took the opal to the London Pavilion where a soothsayer told him that the opal would bring him good fortune and that he was about to inherit £500,000! The London newspaper “Evening News “ reported that within a few days the soothsayers’ prediction had come true, it also stated that the ancient opal had a feint inscription in old Spanish, which translated to the words “Good Luck”.
Opal derived its name from “Opalus” which means “to see a change in colour”.
Onomacritus, an ancient Greek poet wrote . However, it was the Romans who popularised them over two thousand years ago. Opals from this era are thought to have
come from Cernowitz, a mountainous region in what was at that time Hungary , but now Slovakia . However early Romans believed the source was India , an incorrect belief promoted by traders in order to protect their interests. “the delicate colour and tenderness of the opal reminded him of a loving and beautiful child”
Pliny the Elder wrote the first Natural History of the World in the first century AD. In this most important publication he wrote that Opal was the most highly prized and valuable of all gemstones in the Empire. Pliny wrote that price was set “according to the decree generally set down and pronounced by our nice and costly dames”!
Pliny’s admiration for opal is encapsulated in the following text:
“For in them you shall see the living fire of ruby, the glorious
purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, all
glittering together in an incredible mixture of light”. (Pliny Ist