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Everything You Need To Know About Opal

Discover the history of opal and how to style this iridescent gem.

What is Opal?

The name opal is believed to derive from the Greek word ‘opallios’ which means ‘to see a change in colour’ as well as Sanskrit ‘opal’ meaning precious stone. This October birthstone while dazzling in its colour changing beauty, has in the past earned a unlucky reputation.

Many people believe that opals are a symbol of bad luck, however historic symbolism linked to the stone suggests otherwise. In Arabic legend, opals were believed to have fallen from the sky in bolts of lightening. 

Australian Aborigines believed that the world’s creator came down to earth on a rainbow, leaving these colourful stones where his feet touched the ground.

Opal Gemstone

It wasn’t until Sit Walter Scott’s fictional novel, Anne of Geierstein, was released that sales of opal fell by around 50% in Europe. Reader’s believed that this October birthstone bewitched the novel’s heroine, leading to her dramatic death.

How to Wear Opal

Victoir De Castellane, Creative Director of Dior Fine Jewellery, admits her undying fascination with opals:

“I am crazy about Australian Opals. They look artificial but are completely natural. You get every colour in one stone; that’s economic, non? And the colours are so fluorescent; they’re very strange, almost like a rainbow.”

Victoir De Castellane

We couldn’t agree more. These gems are extremely versatile due to their range of bright hues and reflected colours in each stone. Choose blue for a striking statement piece, black for a dramatic evening look or iridescent white for an every day look.

Blue Opal and CZ Pendant Necklace, £85, R&O, Austin Polka Dot Print Midi Dress, £39, Topshop, Black Suedette High Heels, £20, Faith at Debenhams, Blue Opal and CZ Love Waves Cabochon Ring, £75, R&O. 

Shop Jewellery

Discover stunning opalescent jewellery, expertly crafted by Ruby & Oscar.

Opal Stud Earrings in Sterling Silver
Opal Stud Earrings in Sterling Silver - £79
Heart Shaped Opal Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver
Heart Shaped Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver - £83
Heart Shaped Opal Stud Earrings in Sterling Silver
Heart Shaped Stud Earrings in Sterling Silver - £74
Opal Pendant Necklace in Gold Black Friday Sale
Round Opal Pendant Necklace in 9ct Gold - £199
Opal & Cubic Zirconia Tennis Bracelet
Opal &CZ Cabochon Tennis Bracelet in Sterling Silver - £159
Opal Green Cabochon Pendant Necklace
Green Opal Cabochon Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver - £95

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