Celestial, kaleidoscopic, spectral: Opal’s phenomenal polychromatic character is unlike any other gemstone. The official October birthstone is a phenomenal stone, or a gem that changes its appearance when its elemental, inherent characteristics interact with the physics of light
Writers have often compared opals to volcanoes, galaxies, and fireworks. The ancient Romans named it Opalus, a term synonymous with “precious stone,” and believed it symbolized love and hope. In 75 AD, Roman scholar Pliny also admired how the fiery gem encompassed the red of ruby, the green of emerald, the yellow of topaz, the blue of sapphire and the purple of amethyst.
The significance of opal spans across many cultures, and has acquired a reputation of supernatural origin and special powers. Arabic lore describes how opal fell from the heavens in sparks of lightning, the ancient Greeks alleged opals would bestow the gift of prophecy and good health upon their wearers. Europeans have long believed the gem stood for courage, purity and truth.
While some consider opal unlucky to be worn by anyone other than a person born in October, this particular superstition comes from the 19th century Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott, and not from any ancient legend or experience. In fact, opal has largely been viewed as the luckiest and most mystical of all gems because it displays every color imaginable.
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