Birthstones have become super popular recently, from stacking rings with a stone for every birth month of the close members of your family, to pendants, earrings as gifts for people who you are not quite sure what to give them but want something meaningful, not just the box of chocolates and bottle of prosecco!
Do you know anything about opals? Did you know that Opal means a precious stone which brings good luck (but actually many people believe it is bad luck to wear them). Australia has the vast majority of opals and it is a mineral gel that is found in rock formations like limestone and basalt.
Looking back through history, the Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning although in the Middle Ages they believed that they were beneficial for eyesight and some people even believed that it would render you invisible - handy if you were a thief or a spy! In fact, they often wore opals as talismans! Handy for me, wearing opals if you were blond stopped your hair losing its colour - I'll mention that one to my hairdresser next time I see her!
Opals have had a very mixed history, they break very easily as they are only 5.5 or 6 on the Mohs scale (a scale used to measure the hardness of gemstones). Many people say they bring tears as working with them often results in the jeweller's tears as they crack so easily. It is said that if you are not born in October then it is bad luck to wear them, or if you are in a new relationship you shouldn't wear an opal. however if you are in a long term relationship you should be ok! Queen Victoria made wearing opals popular and she gave them as wedding presents, in fact they are suggested to be an alternative engagement ring. Queen Alexandra was much more superstitious than her predecessor and she had all the opals removed from the tiara and had them replaced with rubies
All birthstones are said to have health benefits and opals are no exception, they are said to encourage freedom and independence, to ease childbirth (imagine being given a free opal on the NHS as you approach the delivery suite!) and hels treat infections and fevers.
Whatever the background to opals they are a stunning gemstone. From white opals to Australian boulder opals to pink opals. These are just a few of the ones I have set. Take a look at opals on my brand new online shop and revamped website courtesy of www.dreamecom.com
Enjoy October and the change in seasons, maybe treat yourself to an opal - especially if you are a blond spy who wears glasses and is in a long term relationship!