An Opal for October

Oh, the opal. Just one of these intriguing gems can contain "the piercing fire of rubies, the purple brilliancy of the amethyst, and the sea-green of the emerald."

Art Nouveau stick pin with carved opal face by Wilhelm Lucas von Cranach. c. 1900. Currently in the collection of the   Pforzheim Schmuckmuseum  in Germany. 

Art Nouveau stick pin with carved opal face by Wilhelm Lucas von Cranach. c. 1900. Currently in the collection of the  Pforzheim Schmuckmuseum in Germany. 

Once upon a time, a Roman senator by the name of Nonius was in possession of a beautiful opal the size of a hazelnut. The oligarch Marc Antony coveted Nonius's opal, and desired to have it for himself. To avoid having to part with the gem, Nonius took it and fled, leaving behind all his other possessions. We can't say we blame him 

October Opals

Of all of the birthstones, the October Opal has the broadest range of color in a single gemstone. From the blazing orange of a fire opal, the dusky blue-green flash of a black opal, this silica mineraloid does not disappoint. We usually find them cut en cabochon, but finding a faceted opal is not unheard of.

The opal’s reputation has oscillated wildly across the ages. In Medieval times, the opal was believed to have protective qualities, that it possessed the powers of every gemstone whose color was visible in the opal. However, a Victorian novel depicted the stone as a villain’s talisman; public opinion and opal sales soured for decades after.

Now back in our good graces and in our jewelry, opals are an eye-catching way to add a play of color to your collection, and simple opal jewelry usually doesn’t break the bank. Today, most opals are mined in Australia, making it an ethical gemstone option, as well.

Antique and vintage opal and gold rings at Gray & Davis.

Antique and vintage opal and gold rings at Gray & Davis.

Help us say happy birthday to our October friends with opaline flash!