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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

October Birthstone: Opal

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October Birthstone: Opal

Throughout history, there are as many different legends about the opal as there are colors in this precious gem.

There is an Indian legend about the origin of the opal. Quoted from "Gemstones" by Willard Heaps: "...the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva once vied in jealous love for a beautiful woman. This angered the Eternal, who changed the fair mortal into a creature made of mist. Thereupon each of the three gods endowed her with his own colorso as to be able to recognize her.

Brahma gave her the glorious blue of the heavens, Vishnu enriched her with the splendor of gold, and Shiva lent her his flaming red. But all this was in vain, since the lovely phantom was whisked away by the winds. Finally, the Eternal took pity on her and transformed her into a stone,the opal, that sparkles in all the colors of the rainbow."

In Australia,a legend existed of a huge opal that governs the stars and guides human love, as well as controls the gold in all the mines. The Aborigines have an altogether different legend concerning the opal. They believed it to be the devil that lurks in the ground made up of half man and half serpent that lures men to destruction.

Arabs believed the wearer of an opal had the power of invisibility; hence it became a popular talisman of thieves and spies.

The Romans considered the gem to be a symbol of love and hope. In the orients, it was called the anchor of hope. The two beliefs of love and hope, above all the others has carried over into today's beliefs.

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