Opals are lucky

All evidence demonstrates that throughout history opal has been regarded as the stone of good fortune.

In this century, however, it has been suggested by some that opals are an unlucky stone, this is based on a misunderstanding.

There can be little doubt that much of the modern superstition regarding the supposed unlucky quality of the opal owes its origin to a careless reading of Sir Walter Scott's novel "Anne of Geierstein". The wonderful tale contains nothing to indicate that Scott really meant to represent opal as unlucky. Scott used an opal to reflect brilliantly the changing fortunes of the heroine but this was unappreciated by a world of literary flunkies, who in their own minds conjured up the idea that the opal could have properties of evil influence, the result was remarkably absurd. Twelve months after the publication of Scott's novel, opal was down to half its former high value and falling rapidly out of fashion, such was the superstition that opal is unlucky.

In Roman times the gem was carried as a good luck charm or talisman, as it was believed that the gem, like the rainbow, brought its owner good fortune. It was referred to as the "Cupid Stone" because it suggested the clear complexion of the God of Love.

In the seventh century it was believed that opals possessed magical properties and centuries later Shakespeare was attributed with the description of opal as "that miracle and queen of gems". The Arabs believed that they fell from the sky and the Orientals referred to them as "The Anchor of Hope", lucky opal the stone of hope, the birthstone of October.

Opal is precious

Precious high quality opal is rare. Today, high quality Black Opal rivals diamonds in value and ranks as one of the most precious of all the gems. Many gem lovers and investors around the world now regard fine Black Opal as the most precious of gems.

Top quality precious opal is so valuable that US $100 million worth of opal could be spread over a dinner table and most of the table would show through.

Of all gemstones found in Australia the opal holds pride of place and it's quality is admittedly the best in the world. The play of colour, intensity and variety of pattern bring infinitely superior to opal mined elsewhere.

There are five main types of Australian opal: White opal, Crystal opal, Black opal, Boulder opal and opal Matrix.

Black opal was first mined at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales in 1903. Opal derived its name from "Opalus" which meant "to see change of colour". They were popularized by the Romans and this early opal is thought to have come from "Cernowitz" a mountainous region in Hungary, now Czechoslovakia.

Mark Anthony loved opal. Indeed, it is said that he so coveted an opal owned by Senator Nonius that Mark Anthony banished the Senator after he refused to sell the almond sized stone , reputed to be worth 2,000,000 Sesterce (US $80,000).

Precious opal has been used in the crowns of kings, the crown jewels of France and the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor. Napoleon presented his Empress Josephine with the "Burning of Troy" a magnificent opal with brilliant red flashes. Queen Victoria became a lover of opal and wore opals throughout her reign, her friends and her five daughters were frequently presented with fine opals.

As early as the first century A.D. the Roman Pliny wrote: "For in them you shall see the living fire of ruby, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the sea green of the emerald, all glittering together in an incredible mixture of light."

No other gemstone can display all the colours of the spectrum in such an infinite variety of shades, patterns and brilliance. No two black opals are identical.