A highly romantic gem it is said to draw the focus of Venus to its wearer making it the perfect stone for lovers and those preparing to wed. It is often used in place of a diamond.
It is believe to be a good luck gem for those who are loyal within a relationship but will bring bad luck to wearers who are unfaithful within the union.
Opal is appointed as the 14th wedding anniversary gemstone and listed as an alternative for the 18th anniversary. Jewelry of this stone is a delightfully symbolic gift for those celebrating either of these matrimonial years.
The beautiful opal is the birthstone for October and appointed in astrology to Libra. It is a gem that can also be worn well by Aquarius signs. Born under the Libra sign it has long been one of my favorite gemstones.
A Gem With a Strong Connection to Water
The opal is a very distinctive stone in that it is a very different composition from other gems. This stone is not a true mineral but rather a mineraloid. It derives this classification because it does not possess the necessary composition to have a crystal like composition.
Also unique is the fact that opals generally retain 6% to 10% water within their composition. Their water content can vary with some of these gems being surprisingly comprised of around 30% water. With water hidden within its hard exterior it is little wonder this stone is believed to connect with mermaids, dolphins, and other creatures of the sea.
To add further to this connection to water is the Greek Mythology of Zeus's tears. Upon winning the battle of the titans Zeus cried tears of happiness which hardened into opalescent stones as they fell to Earth. A symbolically valuable gem opals are the tears of Zeus.
Is Opal Jewelry an Appropriate Fit for You?
I like to refer to opals as the gentle gem. They are a soft stone which can quite easily scratch crack or break so as a jewelry item they do require special attention in their wear and care. For those who don't mind pampering their jewelry pieces the opal is a gem so very worth the effort.
When not in use most opals can be stored safely within the darkness of a jewelry box or in a secular container accompanied by a damp tissue. Due the water within them an opal should never be stored under hot lights or in direct sunlight as this could lead to the gem cracking. Likewise an extreme hot dry climate may not be suitable to the health of this stone.
Opal jewelry pieces should not be cleaned by chemical methods but rather with plain or soapy water. For this soft stone a gentle cloth cleansing is appropriate; never use an abrasive scrub, or strong chemical cleanser. As this gem will easily scratch from small particles of dirt or grit it is important to apply a gentle touch.
Opal Doublet or Triplet?
Interestingly opals although usually sold singular can also be sold layered with other stones or coatings. This can occur for a variety of reasons depending on the additional layer or layers. The material can be naturally attached to the original stone or it can be an applied material.
An opal with one additional layer is referred to as a opal doublet. This additional layer generally lies beneath the opal to add to the stones reflective capabilities. An opal featuring two additional layers is known as an opal triplet and will have additional material beneath the opal as well as a layer or coating over the top. The upper material is generally there to protect the stone and to simplify its care.
Mysticism and Health Benefits
A gem for emotional health the opal is believed to bring insight, clarity, and emotional cleansing to its wearer. Belonging to Venus the opal radiates seductiveness, strength in one's emotions, clearness of mind, and protection for the heart. It is an ideal stone for healing past emotional hurts. Positivity and self assurance are characteristics of its healing properties.
In matters of physical health it is protective of the eyes and purported to heal optical issues and illness. The opal is thought to have many benefits, because it has an array of colors within its depths it is believed to hold within it the healing properties of the many gem stones that contain these same colors. This also fits in with the theme of clarity which so closely connects to this gemstone. Opals can be helpful in many forms of physical healing especially with aspects relating to water.
Its depths glittering with a spectrum of color the opal is believed to connect with the worlds of angels and those who dwell within the sea. It opens communications between these realms. This is a stone that has traditionally been worn by royalty and by high religious figures. It was said to bring the protection of invisibility when needed and this would have on occasion been very important for those in high positions.
Superstition: is an Opal Considered Good or Bad Luck?
Although it is historically a lucky stone many believe that the opal is the exact opposite of this and will refuse to wear jewelry containing this gem. So how did the lucky opal get such a bad reputation?
Historically it is viewed as gifting good luck to its owner. In most ancient cultures and mythology the opal is a highly valued gem worn with great pride for its symbolism and purported health benefits. Not much changed in this belief until in 1824 a best selling novel by Sir Walter Scott wove a tale that left chills racing through those who owned these jewelry pieces. In his tale a mystical opal is destroyed by holy water thus fore telling the death of its owner. Although the novel Anne of Geierstein was a fictional masterpiece the superstition of the opal being bad luck persisted.
The opal is a delicate stone so this does have a small bit to add to this superstition. Logically an owner discovering their opal scratched or broken would consider them self in a circumstance of bad luck. A craftsman creating jewelry could easily crack or fracture an opal which would of course be a simple matter of bad luck to the poor craftsman who found himself with a now unsaleable stone.
Queen Victoria shrugged aside the superstitions and not only continued to wear jewelry made of opal but she also used its romantic symbolism by gifting opal jewelry to each of her daughters on their wedding day.
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