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(Information, Facts, Lore, History, Myths)

Opal GemstoneOpal is one of the most incredible and unique stones that ever existed and these exclusive beauties stand apart from every other gemstone that exists in the world. Such is the distinct magnificence of an opal. The interesting thing about these stones is that where other stone exist in a single hue opals have a heady mix of colors all blended into a single and impossibly beautiful stone, the exclusive opal. In earlier times opals were the most valued and sought after of all gemstones and were placed before even diamonds and pearls.

The name opal in itself reflects the characteristics of the stone. In Sanskrit ‘upala’ means precious stone and in Greek ‘Opallios’ means ‘to see a change of color’. Called the queen of gems opal was considered by the Romans to be a symbol of purity and hope. It was also said to cure one from diseases, being fortified with strong therapeutic powers.

Sadly, opal has been an infamous stone and it is a common belief that these wonderful stones bring devastation to an entire family if even one member happens to sport it. This myth came along after a few unfortunate incidents coincidentally happened to those who wore opal. This superstition most likely stemmed from the fact that these stones being dry broke during the process of cutting and polishing and hence were considered ominous.

There were also some distinguished individuals who did not much bother about these fallacies the best example being Queen Victoria. She truly fancied opals and wore them generously besides having a personal collection of these fine gems. She also gave them away as wedding gifts to her daughters.

Truly a gem of the royals; opals were quite generously used in crowns that graced the many rulers. The striking ‘Orphanus’ adorned the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and is said to have been behind safeguarding the regal honor. In fact Napoleon gifted a red one with dazzling flashes called ‘The Burning of Troy’ to his Empress Josephine.

The Romans are said to have been totally in love and completely in awe of opals so much so that Mark Antony in his quest for a particular opal belonging to Senator Nonius dismissed him when the latter did not agree to sell the particular gem to him. It was meant to be a gift for his lady love Cleopatra and Mark Antony found it difficult to digest such an insult. Opals were so sought after that another Roman Emperor is believed to have traded one third of his kingdom in exchange of a sole opal.

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