Opals…bad luck or not?

Over the ages opals have taken a “bum rap” and have been called everything from cursed, and bad omens to unlucky to wear (especially if it’s not your birthstone).   Humbug! 

I believe that much of the modern mystique comes from a story about disgruntled diamond traders who also played a big hand in fueling the bad luck myth in the mid 1800’s through one of the oldest marketing tactics around – word of mouth.  Queen Victoria was a wildly popular monarch who married her “Prince” in 1840. For her wedding jewelry bright colorful jewels were chosen and in the late 1840’s opals were discovered in Australia.  While in the bloom of her youth the young queen loved opals. As nature’s kaleidoscope opal comes in many body tones, and in many colors.  

In addition the beginning of the  20th century saw large amounts of opal making its way to markets in the USA, Europe and England. This burgeoning market caused all kinds of consternation to the new diamond cartel De Beers.  In response to the large supply and insatiable demand for opal they panicked because of the popularity of opal at that time.  They feared that it would become more popular than diamonds. To ensure diamonds held on to their market, De Beers avidly propagated the rumor that opals were bad luck and promoted the lie.   Their campaign was so successful that many people today think opal is bad luck. De Beers proved that whispering down the lane works.  It’s also possible that opals “bad luck” reputation was perpetuated by diamond dealers since opal is softer than a diamond (6 on the Mohs scale for most opals vs 10 for the hardness of Diamonds)  In my opinion there is no stone luckier or more beautiful than an opal.  Mother Nature has created a feast for your senses in many colors. Hopefully, now that you have a little knowledge you can make up your mind?