You may know that opals are the birthstone for those born in October, as well as popular gifts to commemorate the 14th and 18th year of marriage. But, do you know all of these other opal fun facts?
Opals have inspired tall tales ranging from the belief that opals are :
- The Creator’s footprint at the base of a rainbow (Australian aborigine),
- Tears of Zeus (ancient Greeks)
- Trapped lightning (ancient Arabs)
Look Down Under or Way Up Above for Opals
Australia is home to 97% of opals found on this planet. Recently, NASA announced that opal deposits were discovered on Mars. Since opals have high water content, this suggests that Mars had water at some point and could have supported life.
To prevent opals from drying out of cracking, store them in sealed plastic bags with a damp napkin, when you won’t be wearing them for long periods of time.
Iridescent opals were believed to bring luck and foresight to the wearer because it contains the virtues of all gemstones in its color spectrum.
Opals come in Black, Crystal, Boulder or White/Milk types. But Black opals are most valuable because they are mined only in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales.
Ancient Home Remedies
In the middle ages, opals were thought to have healing powers to strengthen eyesight. Young, fair-haired girls also wore opals in their hair to protect its blond color.
- Elizabeth Taylor had a steadfast love affair with Australian opals.
- Andy Warhol featured opal, the rainbow gem, in an exhibit of photos taken through a microscope.
- John Rockefeller drew inspiration from his collection of rare opal jewelry.
- Mark Anthony coveted a beautiful opal owned by Roman Senator Nonius, that the latter didn’t part with, even under the duress of death.
- Queen Victoria gave opals as wedding presents.