The opal has a rich and mysterious history behind it. Many people revere this powerful gem… some are even afraid of its amazing virtues. The pale milky opal often has a flash of colors within it; some of the prettiest opals actually have sparkling flecks and multicolored facets that can show every color of the rainbow. The word itself is derived from a Sanskrit word, “upala,” which means “precious stone.”
It is said that those who are born in its ruling month, October, are doubly blessed to enjoy its powers. However, those who are born other times of the year — watch out! The opal can actually give you the opposite of what you desire, or even be dangerous to you. Is this legend based in truth? Read on to find out the whole story.
Opals were actually prized at one time for their other amazing abilities. One ancient legend has it that a necklace made of opals will prevent blonde hair from darkening or fading into other colors. Opals were also known as “patronus forum,” the patron of thieves, as it was said that opals could make the wearer invisible at will. Opals are also associated with religious fervor, thought to strengthen the power of prayer and to instill hope in those who wore it.
The opal crystal has healing powers as well. Like many stones, it has been thought to help ailments of the eye, as well as prevent more serious diseases. It can also provide its bearer with good dreams, as well as loyalty and love from others.
By the way… that reputation for the opal to be harmful? Completely false! The opal’s so-called evil reputation can actually be traced to one source only: A novel called Anne of Geuerstein by Sir Walter Scott is actually to blame for this myth. A character in the story called Lady Hermione was proven to be a demoness when a drop of holy water removed the color from the opal she wore in her hair (which turned red when she was angry, and sparkled when she was happy) and turned it black. The opal was then seen as an evil gemstone with the power to harm others. Within months of the novel’s completion in 1829, the value of opals declined significantly as no one wanted to buy them. But don’t let this fictional story stop you. Enjoy opals — even if you don’t believe in the myths and legends, they’re just gorgeous and wonderful gemstones!