Do you believe in superstitions? According to a survey conducted in the US in 2019, 27 percent of respondents stated they believe finding a four-leaf clover means luck, while 18 percent believed that opening an umbrella indoors brings bad luck. Do you believe that opals are considered bad luck by the wearer? Some still do and they live in our hometown of Roanoke, VA.
Opals are truly one-of-a-kind. Gemstone books tell you that opals cannot be mistaken for any other gem. They glow and sparkle with a rainbow of colors, ethereal and enigmatic. To look into the depths of a precious opal is to perhaps see the way Impressionist painters saw a world full of movement and color. The Queen of Gems, otherwise known as opals, are uniquely beautiful gemstones and have been embraced throughout history. Is there any truth to the omen that opals bring about bad luck? We did some research and found out the truth about this superstition.
A few weeks ago we had a client who was shopping for his wife's birthday which was in August. He wanted to invest in a pendant since she wasn't too fond of earrings or rings. He was memesmorized by the opals that we had in our gemstone collection but he was hesitant. The husband mentioned that he believed it was considered bad luck to purchase an opal as a birthday gift if it wasn't your birthstone. He thought opals are only safe to wear if you were born in October. We have always heard of this superstition from time-to-time so we thought we'd research how this myth came to be. Did our client purchase the opal pendant? Keep reading to find out.
Where did opal's bad luck story begin?
Over the past 200 years superstitions about the opal have many sources giving this Australian gemstone a bad rap. However, the western world still is mistaken about the opal curse. There are common superstitions such as:
- Opals should never be given or accepted as a gift
- If opals are gifted, bad luck can be negated by handing its giver a small sum of money to turn it into a financial transaction to break the curse
- Engagement rings must never contain an opal or else the bride will quickly become a widow
- White or milky opals are regarded as jinked, but black opals are thought extreamly lucky
- Setting opals with diamonds negates the stone's ability to draw sorrow to the wearer as diamonds are said to have power over the opals
- Opals turn pale in the presence of poison and lose their shine once their owner dies
The fascinating story of of opals delves into luck and lore that starts in ancient times. During this time, opals had favoriable legends and was regarded as the luckiest and most macigal of all the gemstones.
During the times of Caesar, Rome gifted opals as a token of good fortune, hope and purity. The Greeks were facinated with the opal's power to bring prophesy upon their owners and Egyptians loved their positive and powerful attributes. The Arabs of Mohammed's tie were also captivated by the beauty and mysticism believing that opals were carried to earth on bolts of lightning. Lastly, Queen Victoria was a lover of these gems in the 19th century and owned a personal collection.
How did the opal superstitions begin?
The most popular superstitions of the opal being bad luck began in the 19th century with author Sir Walter Scott in Anne of Geierstein (1829). he wrote about a tragic character who wore an opal in her hair that would ultimately be her undoing.The Baroness in the story wears an opal with supernatural powers and dies when a drop of water falls onto the opal and drains the stone of its color. This popular book caused people to begin to associate the opal with bad luck and even death! Coincidently, sales of the gemstone fell by 50% and remained low for 20 years. The opals reputation was further tarnished in the 19th century during the Black Plague as Europeans believed that the fall of monarchies, famine, pestilence were certain by those that wore this bright and colorful gem.
In the 20th century there were many opals making their way into the USA, Europe and England causing the diamond specialists of De Beers to panic at the opals possible prospects. Discouraged diamond specialists fueled the bad luck myth using the best marketing strategy, word-of-mouth and De Beers propagated these rumors with gusto. Sadly, the unfortunate belief inherited for generations of family members bought into the De Beers rumor and has been passed down through the generations. We, however, do not believe that this dynamic stone is any bearer of bad luck.
As we inquired more about our customer's belief we assured him we've never seen any evidence to support this belief. So did our client choose to purchase the opal pendant? Short answer, No!
Looking for a a special opal pendant, ring or earring? Visit our gemstone collection at our showroom at 4347 Starkey Road, Raonoke VA, located beside Buffalo Wild Wings at Old Country Plaza.