Tuesday, 22 April 2014

ABC Wednesday, O for Opals

 Historical superstitions( From Wikipedia)

In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.

 

It was also said to confer the power of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand. Following the publication of Sir Walter Scott's Anne of Geierstein in 1829, however, opal acquired a less auspicious reputation. In Scott's novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colorless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott's novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death. Within a year of the publishing of Scott's novel in April 1829, the sale of opals in Europe dropped by 50%, and remained low for the next twenty years or so.


Even as recently as the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that when a Russian saw an opal among other goods offered for sale, he or she should not buy anything more since the opal was believed to embody the evil eye.

Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the sign of Scorpio and Libra.

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world's supply. This includes the production of the state of South Australia, which accounts for approximately 80% of the world's supply.



















Opal is used as a gem in jewelry




Queen Maxima of the Netherlands often wears opals











































There are  opals in many colours.






With thanks to Denise Nesbitt,  who created ABC, and Roger, who took over from her. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar. This week we are looking for words beginning with O.

 

 


 

 

 

22 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

As always your post is full of beauty and information -- they are such beautiful stones. (Beautiful enough for your beautiful Queen).

Sylvia K said...

What a wonderful and fascinating post for the day, Wil -- and yes, as always!! Beautiful stones! Thank you so much for sharing! I hope you have a great week!!

Cloudia said...

Great post, Wil

Am fascinated by shiny objects



ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral

=^..^=

Roger Owen Green said...

colorful and informative

The Weaver of Grass said...

I adore opals Wil, but then, i am a Scorpio.

Carver said...

Beautiful opals and a very informative post. Carver ABCW-Team

ellen b. said...

Very interesting post about opals! Love your header, too.

Indrani said...

Wonderful informative post. I am now tempted to have a piece of jewelery with Opal. :)

Susan Moore said...

Opals in their natural form are my favorite, many gorgeous colors!

Leslie: said...

I'm an October Libra and have a gorgeous opal and diamond ring that my late husband gave me for Christmas one year. I plan on giving it to my daughter when she turns 40 years old as it is also her birthstone.

Leslie
abcw team

Jane Hards Photography said...

Fascinating, informative and a variety of colour. I ill never look at opals in the same light again.

Photo Cache said...

love colored gemstones. opal is october's birthstone and my niece is eager to purchase one for herself.

AmitAag said...

Oh boy! Great Opals...and an apt post:)
http://amitaag.blogspot.in/2014/04/the-big-o.html

K V V S MURTHY said...

Great pics of of Opals...!

Tanya Breese said...

i always heard that it was bad luck to wear one unless it was your birthstone...what an intersting rock it is!

Norma Ruttan said...

what a lovely queen to demonstrate the beauty of the opal! thanks for some history about the opal- I'd never heard any of it.

Gattina said...

I love opals too, I have a necklace and a ring.

Lisa said...

My all-time favorite gemstone! Perhaps even above a diamond! They are gorgeous. Great photos. I'd love to find on in the Australian outback. That would be thrilling.

Pat - Arkansas said...

While Opal is not my birthstone, it is that of my eldest daughter. Good luck/bad luck; it matters not -- I think opals are the loveliest of gemstones.
Beautiful photos and interesting information, Wil.

colleen said...

So many different kinds. I especially like the blue ones. Magical.

Vicki Lane said...

Such beautiful, magical-looking gems!

I've enjoyed catching up a bit with your posts and am happy to learn that your family in Australia are okay.

All your posts are wonderful little informative essays!

Trubes said...

Hello Reader Wil,
That was a most interesting post. I can remember my Grandma saying Opals brought bad luck but didn't tell me why and one would never question Grandma's vast knowledge of omens and jiggery pokery!
I know of the 'evil Eye', which I believe emanated from Turkey. You will see replicas of a blue eye in tourist shops sold as souveneirs, usually in the form of a necklace or key ring.
The Turks regard people with blue eyes bring good luck.
I have blue eyes and I can't tell you the amount of times I've literally been hauled into restaurants, whilst on holiday in Turkey, seated at their 'best' table and told I wood ward away evil and bring them prosperity....Needless to say we would get a free bottle of wine and a healthy discount off our bill....
Methinks it is a sales ploy, considering the amount of blue eyed Scandinavian tourists that visit Turkey!

Best wishes,
Di.x