Opal is the epitome of iridescence and elegance because of its mesmerizing cosmic colors. While it has the excellent properties to serve glamour to anyone who wears it, there are myths about the bad luck it has as engagement rings. These myths cannot be taken lightly as engagement is a crucial part of a couple’s union. It is the preparatory stage before marriage and it needs to be significant. Here is everything you need to know about opal – its myths, facts, durability, and jewelry care.
Common Myths About Opal
Opal has been known as one of the most elegant gemstones and there were testimonies about its healing power. But it also carries a lot of myths and superstitions that are from different cultures of origin. Listed are some of the emerging myths about opal:
- Opal is the birthstone of October. There is a belief that opal will give bad luck if it is worn by someone who is not born in October.
- If you are someone born in October and want to wear your birthstone, you should not buy it for yourself. Someone should give jewelry with the opal gemstone for you or it will bring bad luck to you.
- Opal will keep its vibrance through the years but will lose its luster after its owner passes away and its luck will not be passed to another person.
- If a bride-to-be is given a ring with an opal gemstone, the bride-to-be is believed to become a widow soon after the wedding.
Opal is also associated with death back in the 19th century. There is a story that originated in Europe that associates opal to the misfortune of a royal family in Spain. The story is about Spanish King Alfonso XII who allegedly died because of wearing an opal ring that was a gift to him. The ring was suspected to have come from a dark and mysterious origin. It is believed to have killed every member of the royal family who wore it.
Contrary to that myth, it was found out that there is a deadly Cholera outbreak during those times. The disease is uncontrollably spreading across the land. This is the reason behind numerous deaths including the death of the Spanish King.
Is Opal Bad Luck?
There are no scientific or concrete facts to support the claim that opal brings bad luck. It is not proven to bring bad luck and it is wiser to believe that it does not. Luck is a matter of perspective. Luck is found in the optimistic outlook about your relationship.
Some people testify to their bad experiences with opal, but these are subjective problems that can be addressed by making careful decisions and responsible actions. After all, a relationship is built strong only through genuine love, respect, and trust in one another. Although engagement rings play a significant part as the token of love, the success of a relationship is not dependent solely on a piece of engagement jewelry.
Debunking Myths About Opal
Contrary to the opal folklore and myths, it has been recognized and upheld as a symbol of hope and purity. It is also believed to protect children from wild animals and ease problems with bad eyesight through its magical luster. Even in the time of the Roman Empire, Caesars gave opal to their wives as it is believed to bring good luck and to ward off evil spirits.
There are a lot of other positive claims about this gemstone. It was also believed to be the stone of prophecy. In opal lies the power to see what lies ahead. Another belief is associated with its color. Its rainbow projected colors are believed to be the symbol of the good fortune it will bring to anyone who wears it.
Is Opal Good For Engagement Rings?
There are various facts about opal that make it one of the best gemstones for jewelry, especially for engagement rings.
- Opal is a versatile gem and it can be used for various engagement ring designs. It is soft and has no rigid crystal structure. It is mostly found as cabochon or stones that are smooth and polished.
- Opal has strong flecks of colors. Its hues are distinctive even if it has less intense shades. This is what makes it look gorgeous on any bride-to-be who will wear it.
Types of Opal
Opal is a very versatile gemstone. In fact, there are different types of opal to choose from as your engagement ring. Each has its own unique and mesmerizing beauty that will gorgeously fit a bride-to-be.
- Black Opal is the most expensive kind of opal gemstone. Its base color or background behind the hues is only either black or dark blue. The dark base color of this stone allows the hues of its color to appear vividly.
- Crystal Opal is the kind of opal gemstone that is transparent to semi-transparent. It appears as a bright and sleek gem with light-colored hues looking like a beam of colors passing through it.
- White Opal is a well-known piece in the United States. It makes up great commercial sales even among other countries. It appears as a translucent milky white, light gray, or pale yellow. This kind of opal has a distinct and even pattern of hues on its surface.
- Boulder Opal is the most natural-looking one. You can find it attached to its host ironstone or sandstone. Having its host stones holding it and serving as the background makes the play of colors and hues appear more vibrant.
- Water Opal is also called Jelly Opal. It is translucent but does not have bright flashes of color that are similar to crystal opal. It often wears a resemblance to a moonstone.
- Fire Opal varies from red, orange, and yellow colors. It has a fiery aura that makes the play of color appear fierce and sophisticated.
Popular Opal Engagement Ring Designs
There are popular designs of opal engagement rings to choose from:
- Cubic zirconia or a single opal with a small diamond
- Opal Solitaire rings
- Wideband arrangement with multi-opal rings
- Opal in classic shapes
- Opal in freeform or unique with no definite shapes
- Opal engraved in white gold or yellow gold
- Opal in figural shapes such as flowers, butterflies, and/or animal eyes design
- Delicate and vintage style opal or Filigree engagement rings
Tips For Buying An Opal Engagement Ring
Opal can make a lasting engagement ring if you will be wise in choosing and maintaining it. It is difficult to distinguish what is true and what is fake when there are numerous offers in the market. Get to know how you can choose wisely and guarantee yourself to buy the best quality opal engagement ring.
- Make sure to choose a rub-over setting. A bezel setting is one of the best choices you can make. Opal is a naturally soft gemstone and it needs a strong realm to hold it in place. Choosing your opal engagement ring in a bezel setting also secures that it will not easily break or become damaged by an impact. Holding it tightly in place secures that it will not be worn down or out of place.
- Pick boulder opal as much as possible. Boulder opal is harder than any other kind of opal. Its stone host holds it in place and secures it by its ironstone or sandstone backing. While other kinds of opal are not of less value or beauty, boulder opal is long-wearing and more robust. It has no shape, its freeform creates a unique fashion statement and significance when worn.
- Opal is naturally soft and the more exposed your opal gemstone is, the more it is prone to impact. Make sure to buy an opal engagement ring with a lower cabochon or dome on top so it is less likely to be damaged.
How To Care For Opal Engagement Rings
The hardest stone according to the Mohs scale is diamond that is at rank 10. Opal is at rank 5.5-6.5 which means it is one of the softest gemstones. If it will be worn daily or for special occasions, it requires extra care than that of regular jewelry.
There are lab-created opals available in the market and they are stronger than the natural ones. Although there are harder ones, they are still softer gemstones among others. It will be a wiser choice to keep it maintained by a jeweler. Regular cleaning and other maintenance practices will keep its luster over time. Let the experts take care of your jewelry as it needs their delicate touch.
In the individual aspect here are a set of care practices to make sure your opal engagement ring and other opal jewelry are maintained and preserved with their truest beauty.
- Do not wear your opal jewelry when doing work that is heavy on your hand.
- Do not soak your opal jewelry in water.
- Do not expose your opal jewelry to harmful chemicals.
- Keep it in a dry place with no chance of accumulating moisture.
- Wipe it with a soft cloth every after use or if you wear it daily, wipe it regularly.
Now that you know that the myth of opal engagement rings is false, you might be interested to learn about the superstition seeing an engagement ring before the proposal.