Outstanding Opals: October’s Beautiful Birthstone

Picture this: a long, long time ago, you’re in a desert country. The night covers everything you can see. There are many, many stars. Most hang in place, but one special star let loose its hold on heaven and goes streaking across the sky. When it hits the ground, an opal is formed.

That legend speaks to the specialness of opals. While ancient people believe that the color-shifting gemstones had their origins in space, today we know that most opals are from Australia. When you’re in The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest, you’ll find stunning opal jewelry in our Previously Enjoyed Collection, which features estate and designer jewelry at amazing prices.

Are Opals Bad Luck? A Look at that Superstition – and Sir Walter Scott!

Opals are so beautiful that almost everyone wants to wear them. Yet some people hesitate because they’ve heard it’s bad luck to wear opals if your birthday isn’t in October. Well, we had to find out the truth about this situation, so we did a little investigation.

It turns out that the whole “Opals are bad luck” thing comes from a romance novel called “Anne of Geierstein.” In this story, Lady Hermione – no relation to Hermione from Harry Potter – always wore a gorgeous opal in her hair. She was under a magical enchantment, and when she was sprinkled with Holy Water – which is the type of thing you’d do back in the 1800’s – both she and the opal dissolved into a pile of ashes.

That’s it. One guy – Sir Walter Scott, who actually searched for and found the lost Crown Jewels of Scotland in between writing all of his novels – used opals in the description of a character who met a bad end in a made-up story. Pretty weak grounds for a superstition, if you ask us. We say wear your opals with confidence – but just to be safe, please avoid magical enchantments and holy water while wearing your jewelry.

Opal Jewelry: Wear & Care

Opals are very unique gemstones and they come in a variety of colors. The most common opals are predominately blue and green; fire opals feature strong red flashes. Opals aren’t cut the way most gemstones are with a variety of facets. Instead, they’re set in their natural form, which tends to be round or oval shaped.

Opals are soft stones. This means they’re ideal for use in pendants and earrings, where the risk of knocking against any hard surface is minimized. Many jewelry designers feature opals in rings as well; we’ve found as long as you’re reasonably mindful when wearing them, opal rings can be quite durable.

Opals contain a fair amount of water. This means you’ll want to store them carefully. It’s important to protect opals from extreme temperatures: it’s not good for the stones to get too cold or too hot. Keep them out of direct sunlight. To clean opals, wipe them gently with a soft cloth before and after wearing. This will keep your opals looking beautiful for a long time.