For many years I had not been a fan of opals and I strongly disliked the jewellery they were set in. Just the mention of opals reminded me of the blackened-silver dolphin pieces that you often find in tourist shops at the Rocks. People often tell me how disappointed they are when their birthstone is opal and how they would never wear one. In years gone by, for a wide variety of superstitious reasons, opals were considered bad luck and ill omens and still today, there seems to be a prejudice against the gemstone – but why such a bad rap?
Approximately 90% of the world’s opals are from Australia and like many gemstones, no two opals are the same. Their size, cut, colour and quality vary greatly with the black opals (mainly from Lightning Ridge) being the most valued. As with any gemstones, it is important to do your research and understand exactly what you are buying. For example, there is a large difference in price and quality between a boulder opal, a doublet and a triplet.
I have a newfound appreciation for the stone and am loving the modern jewellery style that is accompanying them. Often, due to their uniquely cut shape, custom pieces need to be crafted and therefore “one of a kind” heirlooms are created. If you do not like opals, I believe you probably just haven’t seen a really good one – with all of their spectral colours they truly are a magical stone and can distract you for hours with their play of rainbow colours.
PS – for all the October babies who don’t like opals, do not fret because you also have Tourmaline as a birthstone!
Until next time