Why opals are enjoying a style renaissance

Three weeks ago marked the end of October, the month typically celebrated with the OpalBut Opals are not just for those who are October-born. Surfacing as one of the key jewellery trends in the designer showrooms at Paris fashion week last month, opals were presented by many notable names including Noor Fares, Fernando Jorge and Pippa Small. So throw fictitious superstitions aside, because here are 5 reasons to invest in this colourful gemstone.

The opal superstition is not based on reality

For many years people believed it was unlucky to wear an opal if it was not your birthstone. This myth most likely derived from Sir Walter Scott’s fictional novel, Anne of Geuerstein, written in 1829. In the story, Lady Hermione, who is falsely accused of being a demoness, is reduced to ashes after holy water falls onto the opal she wears; destroying it’s colour. And so too, the opal’s popularity for many years.

You want a piece of history

Queen Victoria dismissed superstitions by gifting opals to her daughters and the woman at court. Bentley and Skinner, a London based dealer that specialises in Victorian, Edwardian, art nouveaux and art deco jewellery, say that for them, “opals are always in demand, due to the popularity of the stone during these periods”. We can thank Queen Victoria for making them fashionable again.

You are celebrating 14 years of marriage

A tradition not so well known; the opal is the gemstone you should be considering if you have spent almost a decade and a half with your betrothed. Often associated with fidelity - myth has it that the opal will loose it’s luster when worn by someone who is unfaithful to the giver.

You need inspiration

Like most stones, the opal has had many beliefs attributed to it. The early Greeks believed it gave foresight to it’s owner. In the Middle East the stone was thought to be cast down from heaven with flashes of lightning whilst for the Romans, the stone symbolised hope. When it comes to crystal healing, the opal is believed to aid in treating infections and fevers. It is also said to strengthen the memory, give inspiration and enhance creativity.

You want to bring some colour to your jewellery box

America jeweller Andrea Fohrman, who created a line of cocktail rings based on an opal ring that belonged to her grandmother says “to me it is about the variation of colour that comes from an opal.” And it is this variation of colour  that gives the opal it’s name which derived from the Latin “Opalus" and the Greek “Opallios" meaning "to see a colour change”. A precious opal, can be recognised by the rainbow-like colours that change depending on the angle of observation. This is normally referred to as the “play of colour”.