Shrouded in mystery, superstition and legend, opals might be the most revered and feared stone in history!
The birthstone for October, the word opal comes from the Latin word opalus, meaning precious stone, and from the Greek work opallios, meaning to change color.
This intriguing fiery stone has a rich, storied past transcending cultures and time. Ancient Romans believed opals brought about good fortune and represented hope and purity, while Ancient Greeks believed that opals had a supernatural origin and would bestow the wearer with the gift of foresight and prophecy, as well as guard them from disease.
According to Arabic legend, opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning; and in Medieval times, some believed that opals could make the wearer invisible whenever they wished.
Opals were the engagement ring stone of choice until the early 19th century when they fell out of favor thanks to Sir Walter Scotts' 1828 book, "Anne of Geierstein," in which an opal hair ornament brought misfortune and ruin to its owner.
The best selling novel not only started the superstition that opals were bad luck but also single-handedly took down the opal market to the point where they were shunned by members of society.
However, after a huge 1870s opal discovery in Australia -- a British territory at the time -- Queen Victoria began wearing opal jewelry to dispel the superstition. She also presented her friends and five daughters with beautiful opal jewelry to show that there was no merit behind the myth -- and once again, opals saw a rise in popularity.
This stunning opal cabochon solitaire is so fiery it looks like there is an entire rainbow encapsulated in the stone. Dazzling shades of red, blue, yellow and green swirl around with every movement. The pictures do not do this ring justice!
Opal is belcher set in a simple, yet elegant 10k yellow gold band, which truly allows the stone to be the star of the show.
Date: 1900s Materials: 10k Gold, Opal Cabochon Size: 6.5 Markings: Unidentified Maker's Mark Condition: Very Good
Shank has light surface scratches consistent with age and wear. When we received this ring, the opal was so scratched it was cloudy and dull. We hand polished the stone to bring back its brilliant fire, however since opal is a relatively soft stone, some of the scratches are still present. They are not noticeable to the naked eye or when worn, but they are visible under magnification.