Centuries ago, the opal was thought to bring good luck. In fact, it was believed that opal brought its owner good fortune, hope and purity. It was well documented in Roman history that Caesars gave their wives opal for good luck. But in the 19th and 20th century, opal’s charm took a turn for the worse.
While other crystals and gemstones were prized for their healing qualities, opal was linked with dire omens and sinister malevolence.
The opal’s nasty reputation likely came from countless tales of bad luck and stories of superstition. Diamond merchants started spreading rumors to prevent people from buying them. According to them, it’s bad luck to wear opals, even more so if it’s not your birthstone. One of the worst blows in opals reputation came when the story about a Spanish king gave an opal to his wife, who died shortly after. Then, he gave the ring to his grandmother. Unfortunately, she also expired immediately. After the funeral, the ring was passed on to the king’s sister and then his sister-in-law, who both died mysteriously later on. Finally, the king decided to end his misery by slipping to ring on his finger. People believed that it was the opal ring that brought about these fatalities, when in fact, they died because of cholera. This sullies the opal’s already sordid reputation.
No gem was more vilified than the poor opal. To this day, a glimmer of the rumors and superstitions still survive. But as we entered the age of reason and science, people have then realized that the belief that opal causes bad luck is nothing more than an urban myth. Opal is a beautiful stone that deserve to be appreciated without prejudice.
Today, people from all over the world are embracing opals for their beauty and symbolism. They are especially favored by Asians, particularly the Japanese and Chinese, who believe they are lucky for business.