Opals are the traditional October birthstone. Because each opal is unique in appearance, jewelry pieces featuring opal gemstones are both beautiful and one of a kind. Opals range in color from milky white to deepest blue, punctuated with flashes of every color in the rainbow. Opals display as much fire as diamonds but with dramatic differences. While diamonds seem to radiate cold brilliance, opals emanate warmth and color.
People have admired the beauty of opals for many millennia. According to the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), the Australian aborigines have a legend about opals:
... which can be traced back in its origins to a time long before our memory, to the ancient dream-time of the Australian aborigines. It is reported in their legends that the creator came down to Earth on a rainbow, in order to bring the message of peace to all the humans. And at the very spot, where his foot touched the ground, the stones became alive and started sparkling in all the colors of the rainbow. That was the birth of the Opals.
The word opal most likely comes to us by way of a Sanskrit word meaning "valuable stone", which is the probable root of the Latin "opalus". Pliny the Elder referred to opals in his writings, describing them in part as being:
Made up of the glories of the most precious gems, to describe it is a matter of inexpressible difficulty: there is in it the gentler fire of the Ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the Amethyst, there is the sea-green of the Emerald, all shining together in an incredible union...
During the Middle Ages, people wore opals for good luck. Plus, blonde women believed opals would protect their hair color and they were also thought to improve vision. And although some people believe opals bring bad luck, this is a relatively recent superstition with roots only going back as far as the 1831 novel Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. For most of history, opals have been cherished for their fiery appearance and rare beauty. Today, opals are considered precious gemstones, and a piece of jewelry fashioned from this radiant stone is a treasure to last a lifetime.
For information about custom-made opal Swarovski crystal birthstone jewelry, please contact us today.