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Opal

Birthstone:
October

Wedding anniversary:
14th

Origin:
Australia, Mexico

Chemical Formula:
SiO₂·nH₂O

Mineral:
Silica

MOHS Hardness Scale:
5.5-6.5

Healing Properties:
Love, Loyalty, Peace, Consciousness, Faithfulness

Opal is an emotional stone and reflects the mood of the wearer.  It intensifies emotions and releases inhibitions.  Encourages both freedom and independence.  Opal enhances cosmic consciousness and induces psychic and mystical visions.  It stimulates originality and creativity.  Helps to release anger and claim self worth, aiding in accessing and expressing one’s true self.  Opal strengthens memory.  It encourages an interest in the arts.  Wearing Opal brings loyalty, faithfulness and spontaneity.

History and Myth:
The term opal is believed to have originated from the Sanskrit word upala, which means precious stone, the Greeks called it Opallios, that means to perceive a change of colour. Amazingly both cultures had very familiar sounding names for the beautiful gemstone.
The ancient Greeks believed that opal came from the tears of Zeus the God of lightning after winning a battle against the Titans. His tears turned into opal when they landed upon earth.
Indians believed that opal was the Goddess of Rainbows who turned herself into stone to escape the advances of the other gods.
The Australia aborigines believed that opal was the Rainbow Serpent and were fearful of the stone.
Many cultures have credited opal with supernatural origins and powers. Arabic legends say it falls from the heavens in flashes of lightning. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans have long considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity and truth.
Traditionally opal has been known as a stone of foresight with the Greeks believing that it provided the gift of insight. During the medieval ages fair haired women from Germany and Scandinavia wore opals to protect their hair from losing its colour. Some countries consider opal the anchor of hope so you will see opals set in jewellery piece shaped like anchor with opal set in the fork of the anchor. 
Shakespeare referred to opals as The Queen Of Gems. 
In 7th century the opal was considered magical stone. Opal has been referred to as the eye stone. Ancient Arab tribes thought opals were sent form the heaven to earth on lightning bolt. Australian aborigines thought that the creator stepped on earth and left these opals behind his foot steps. Ancient Greeks thought the opal bestowed powers foresight and vision. Romans considered the opal as the cupid stone and one empower had opals in his crown. Caesars even gave their wives an opal for good luck as the cupid stone suggested connection with God of Love. Queen Victoria loved opals with passion.
Lot of people don’t realize that it was De Beers who started a marketing campaign in Australia after the second war. Before than Australians were opal lovers and bought mainly crystal, opal from Cooper Pedy and had started to buy black opals from Lightning Ridge. De Beers had strong marketing strategy to sell opals as unlucky and for every man to buy his fiancé a diamond that cost one month’s salary. This has to be one of the best marketing campaigns ever undertaken as now we know diamonds are not so unique or special For every girl wearing diamond under carat there must be millions also wearing a diamond the same so how can it be a precious gem? Late 2007 De Beers lost court case and had to refund 6% of purchase price to diamond buyers as they controlled the market, which is illegal. There is 295 million dollars put aside for this court case but if lot buyers apply they will only get small amount as its billion-dollar market.
According to Arabian legend, opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning. In Greek mythology, Gyges found an opal ring that made him invisible. He then killed the king of Lydia and married the queen. Despite the implications of this myth, opals are affiliated with hope, purity, and truth.
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