Opals are beautiful gemstones found in nature in a wide range of colors. Because of their pretty looks, Opals have been the center of many superstitions, some were good and some were bad, Opals have always had a mixed set of beliefs attributed to them.
Back in the Middle Ages carrying an opal was considered to bring good luck. Due to their many colors it was believed to possess the virtues of many different gemstones whose color was present in the opal. Some writers and poets claimed that the opal had curative effect on evil eyes, protected vulnerable people from wild animals, and made relationships more intense.
In the northern parts of Europe, girls used to wear Opal accessories, because it was thought the Opal protected them from the harsh climate.
They were believed by the Greeks to come from heavens and were used in divination and prophecy. Wealthy Romans gave opals to their wives to wear as talismans. It was carried as a good luck charm since the Romans thought that due its rainbow-like appearance the Opal could bring its owner good fortune. To the Romans, the Opal was also considered as a token of hope.
The Opals were originally thought to possess magical qualities and bring its wearer foresight.They were also used to help timid and shy people be more open in social situations, because the Opal was thought to amplify feelings and desires, thus promoting spontaneity.
There was a time in which the Opals were associated with famine and pestilence. During the times of the Black Plague, it was thought that an Opal’s colors were most intense when its owner was close to death, and if its owner died, the Opal would lose its brilliance.
The Opal’s reputation received another hit on 1829, when Sir Walter Scott published his novel Anne of Geierstein. In this novel, the Baroness of Arnheim uses a talisman made of Opal bestowed with magical powers, and when a drop of holy water tarnishes the talisman, the opal loses its colors and the Baroness dies just a moment thereafter. Because of that scene, people started to associate opals with bad omen and death. This novel was so popular, that it alone had a bad influence on opal sales just within a year of its publishing.
To this day, the prejudice against Opals is oddly present. Some jewelers won’t even sell them and are even avoided by the most superstitious customers. It is important to know that even if the Opal still has some “bad press”, not all of the Opal’s properties were thought to be bad, and it is the owner who decides what to think about it.
If someone decides to wear an Opal as an accessory, then that person will decide what the Opal represents, because not only the Opal has a wide variety of superstitions around it, it also has a unique and natural beauty in its many colors.
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