Anyone who knows me well enough, or pays attention at the very least, knows I never take my grandmother’s opal and diamond ring off my right finger. I found it while perusing through her jewelry drawers sometime in high school and absolutely fell in love with it. Opals, with their ever changing colors that almost seem to glow at times, are a stone to me that seem to possess so much magic. Yet what’s baffling to me is that despite the compliments I get on my ring nearly on a daily basis, you seldom ever see people wearing opals anymore. The only places you really come across opals are in vintage jewelry stores. How is it that such a beautiful stone is overlooked by nearly every prominent jewelry designer?
|My favorite ring
Recently, when asking this question, it was called to my attention that there is the “myth of the opal,” perhaps justifying (for some) why they simply won’t wear it. I had never heard of this myth before, but seeing as the ring hasn’t really come off in years, I figured I might as well find out whether I’m cursed or not..Not that it really matters because I love it so much that I’m willing to take that risk. (If someone told you you’re Rolex Oyster was cursed would you stop wearing it? Didn’t think so…)
So now, I present you with the list of opal myths and facts courtesy of opaltrader.com
Myth……… It is bad luck to wear an opal.
Fact……… This rumor may have originated around the mid 1800’s, when Sir Walter Scott published a novel called Anne of Geierstein. In his novel he used an opal to reflect the changing fortunes of the heroin. Critics of his novel conjured up the idea that opal could have an evil influence due to some of the heroin’s misfortunes. This dramatically reduced the value of opal at the time. Amazingly, this myth started by book critics so long ago still exists today.
Myth……… It is bad luck to receive an opal.
Fact………. It was also considered that receiving an opal as a gift would cancel out any bad luck that it carried. In any case, the opal’s reputation of carrying good or bad luck has ranged to both extremes over time. There is nothing to prove that unfortunate things happen to those who wear opals – some people just have over-suspicious imaginations! While not supernatural, the mysterious opal is certainly a stone to be revered and wondered at.
Myth……… It is unlucky to wear an opal if it is not your birthstone.
Fact………. The opal is the traditional birthstone of people born in October (***My birth date is in March), however it likewise has been considered that wearing your opal birthstone actually shields you from any bad luck that it carries. The bad luck myth could have also been influenced by the opal’s fragility – having nothing to do with magic.
Myth……… The colors of an opal are responsive to moods or temperatures of the wearer.
Fact……… These factors will not change an opal’s color, although change of viewpoint, orientation or lighting condition can reveal different hues. This optical phenomena due to the opal’s structure gives the curious property called ‘play of color’.
Myth……… An opal of red/blue or green/blue alone is less valuable than an opal with all the colors of the spectrum.
Fact……… Pattern and brilliance are the major factors in determining an opal’s value, not color.
Myth……… Opals are available in stockpiles managed by large companies.
Fact……… On the contrary, opal mining is done by individuals and syndicates. Therefore there are no stockpiles and prices reflect their true market-driven value.