There is a myth about the opal that says that it is unlucky to wear it if it is not your birthstone. Well October babies- we should consider ourselves a lucky bunch! What a beautiful and magical stone we have to call our own! Almost like a reflection of the changing autumn leaves, the array of dancing colors in this wondrous gem is what makes it so beautiful. The ancient opal myth could be due to the fact that the opal may have possibly often fallen on some misfortune, cracking or breaking due to its fragile nature and not because of any related evil magic. However, opal itself does have a magical quality. Like a finger print- no one opal is alike. Each precious opal has its own play of color that distinguishes itself from others and unlike other gems; its beauty is one that can be seen even before a lapidary cuts it.
The color of an opal is composed of two elements; its background color and its play of color. The background color can be black or white, upon which are superimposed patches of color. Opals can range from transparent to opaque.
They are generally cut, as cabochons rather than being faceted like other gemstones. The fragile opal is often assembled- glued to a backing- either to help bring out the play of color or to make it more durable.
In storing these precious gems, be kind to your opals. Opals are very sensitive to dehydration. This can cause them to crack and its play of color to fade. It is wise to store your opals with a humid sponge or in hermetically sealed containers. It is even suggested to soak your opals in some water from time to time.
Since opals are such fragile stones it is never recommended that you clean your opal jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner- but rather just use warm soapy water. Make sure to properly rinse the soap off and dry them with a soft cloth.
Being an October baby myself, I sometimes feel proud that the ancient myth does not apply to me and that I can fully enjoy and relish in the possible powers of such a beautiful gem!