As we approach the month of October, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of my favorite gemstones, and one of the two birthstones for October- opal. Opal is chiefly known for its kaleidoscopic multi-colored flashes, called play-of-color. The most valuable opals are those which display all colors at once. It is fitting that opal is one of the birthstones for October. As the leaves begin to change and the autumnal trees display their unique varieties of color heralding Halloween with all of its supernatural associations, opal's colorful phenomenon and folklore are truly symbolic of the season.
Opal has a rich and storied history steeped in tradition and legend. Revered in countries throughout the world, it seems that every culture has their own mythology regarding opals. The Romans believed opals were a symbol of love and hope, while the Greeks believed opals were the tears of Zeus, and gave their wearers the gift of prophecy and kept them free of disease. Asian cultures referred to opal as the “Anchor of Hope.” There are ancient Indian legends about the gods and opals, Aboriginal Australian legends about opals and sinister magic, Arabic legends which say opals fell from the sky in flashes of lightning, and folktales which proclaimed opals gave their wearers supernatural powers, such as invisibility, making opal the amulet of spies and thieves.
Europeans have long considered the opal to be a gem of purity and truth and it was even once believed that opals had the power to preserve life and the color of blonde hair! There are some people, however, who may have heard that it is unlucky for anybody to wear opals that were not born in the month of October, yet this particular superstition comes from a novel by Sit Walter Scott written in the 1800s that is not based on any ancient legend or belief. Actually, throughout history, opal has long been considered to be one of the luckiest and most mystical of all gems. The Bard himself wrote in Twelfth Night that opal was “The Queen of Gemstones,” since it displayed the colors of all other gems at once.
In the AP Colored Stones gallery we feature a variety of opals that are sure to inspire your creativity and ignite your imagination. One of the characteristics of opals that I appreciate most is the fact that every opal is unique and evokes a different feeling or emotion in anybody who admires it. Just as humans all have distinct fingerprints, every opal displays its own unique pattern and flashes of color. With such incredible beauty and individuality, it is no wonder that opal has long enjoyed a rich cultural heritage and popular standing as one of the most highly coveted of all gems.
You will find a number of opals and many other gemstones in our catalog
To order one of our opals (or any other stone in our gallery), please contact us at (607) 232-2364 or use our contact page (http://www.apcoloredstones.com/contact-us.html.)