Birthstone of October: Opal: Precious vs Common

Opal is an ancient stone that comes in many forms. Opals are categorized into Precious Opal and Common Opal. To distinguish between the two categories:

Common Opal can come in a variety of colors such as white, green, blue, brown, and pink, just to name a few. While opal in general is famous for its flash and play of color, common opal does not have this colorful display. Green Opal, Fire Opal (Jelly Opal), Pink Opal, Blue Opal, Brown Opal and Black Opal are examples of the common variety. They are easy to find in nature. Precious Opals, on the other hand, are rare. Regardless of the color that they come in, its the flash and play of color that people find irresistible. They can be found in white and black. These opals are highly sought out and often come with a high price tag.

Opals in general are the traditional birthstone of those born in October. While opals are found all over the world, 90% of the world's output of opal comes from Australia. They are associated with the heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakra. Opal in general belong to the zodiac of Libra, Scorpio, Pisces, and Cancer.

Opal’s Powers: Stirring of Passions, Creativity, and Adventure

Some opals have an audacious nature. Those with the fire and the play of color can be called on to stir the passions and creative fires in our lives. If you have been feeling stuck in a rut and don't feel like you have the energy or desire to play, create, or express yourself, carry opal as you go through your day. It can assist in cleansing the auric field and is useful as a psychic shield. Opal can enhance memory, vitality, and vigor in life. If you want to go on adventure, take some fire opal with you, it will enhance courage and excitement, bringing you an experience worth writing home about.

Opal can also bring in playfulness and curiosity into your daily life. When life weighs down on us with responsibility, financial circumstance, drama etc., we can forget how to enjoy things. Many people believe that we have one life on this earth, making the most of that time is an essential part of living. The fires of opal help to burn away the hum drum and grumpiness, it can bring about the love for life. It can bring about the savoring of a beautiful series of moments. helping us to realize that there is no good in a life that is nothing but work and drudgery. So cast off the suit and tie, let your hair down, and go tie dye something.

Healing Crystals: Opal's Emotional Healing Properties

Much like Aquamarine, Iolite, and Topaz, Opal can help us navigate the emotional realms and our truths, so that we can facilitate healing in this life. Since Opal is a form of Hydrated Silica, it has both the elements of water and earth. The emotional realm belongs to the element of water and the realm of truth belongs to the element of earth. Our emotions are powerful things. They can take us on wild rides. When they are silenced or blocked off, they can transform into traumas and fears that hold us back from our truest, highest selves. Opal can assist with the courage to identify our feelings and have an awareness for what is really beneath the surface. Their earth aspect also can hold space for us and to speak truthfully what we feel. It can helps us to also speak about who we truly are. Opals can also help us to dive into our past and understand the events of our lives that have shaped who we are. In their way, they can show us the useful aspects of our experience so that we may integrate them in to our present circumstances. Overall, opals can help to facilitate emotional healing, as well as personal and spiritual growth. It should be noted, however, that if the person utilizing opal is not alignment or balance, they should also have a grounding stone with them such as Hematite, Red Jasper, Tiger Eye etc. as they do this work.

Opal’s Spiritual & Metaphysical Properties

Opals, in some circles, are believed to be a "Magician's Stone", particularly Black Opals. It magnifies and amplifies the intentions of the holder. It is said that you should be clear with your intentions both consciously and subconsciously, because this stone can manifest with strength. Robert Simmons says that it harkens to the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."

Opal in general is linked to the cosmic consciousness. It can assist us with connecting to our guides be they heavenly, other worldly, or animal. If it is your aim to grow in spirit and develop your spiritual truth, an opal is a precious stone to have in your collection. Both White and Blue opal (common) can bring clarity and the calming that is needed to focus the mind in spiritual pursuits. Blue opal can also assist with understanding of the spiritual messages we receive, not just in meditation, but in daily life.

Opal Folklore: Good Luck vs. Bad Luck

There is an interesting aspect of this ancient stone regarding its value when it comes to luck. It is said that opals of any kind are bad luck. When we dig into history a bit, we find that there are several possible reasons as to how this idea began.

A popular theory is that opals became bad luck after the release of Anne of Geierstein or the Maiden of the Mist by Sir Walter Scott in 1829. In this story, an enchantress of sorts - Lady Hermione wore an opal in her hair every day. On the day of her daughter's christening, drops of holy water landed on the opal. Lady Hermione fainted and within a few hours, her body was nothing but ashes. All that remained of her was the opal she wore in her hair.

Another theory goes back to the days of the Roman Emperor, Constantine. He wore an opal in his crown. He believed that it protected his body, life, imperial power and that it gave him the ability to be rendered invisible. Such stealth is useful for protecting oneself, but it is also useful, if someone is trying to go unnoticed while committing a crime. For many years, because of this belief, it was considered a popular stone amongst thieves.

One final theory is that the rumor of bad luck had to do with the war of sales and trade. For a long time, the popularity of opal took of the world of gemstones. Those who were tradesmen of other stones began to see a decrease in sales, such as Jade. It is said, that they created the story that opals were bad luck.

In truth, those who work with opal, know that opal brings so many beautiful things into our lives. It can assist, strengthen, light the creative fire, help us to make sense of our past and emotions. It is also said to promote financial well being. If luck is where "preparation meets opportunity", opal brings the preparation in full force, and at times, the opportunity.

How to Work with Opal

One of the most enjoyable ways to work with Opal is to wear it. Self-decoration is a time honored practice that includes intention and love. It is available in jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. When you wear this stone, you carry wisdom, truth, focus, and intuition with. Simply touch the piece that you are wearing if you need a moment to pause and “tap in”.

Another way, perhaps more efficient, to work with Opal is simply to carry it in your pocket. Opal jewelry can be expensive, especially Precious Opal. Purchasing a raw or tumbled Opal can be more cost effective. The point is to have it accessible. Just having it near you is enough to feel and call on its energy. You can also keep it by your bedside, especially if you want to travel far in your dreams. If you are feeling lost, stressed, confused, or manipulated, take some time to meditate with it. You can do this while holding it in your hand.

Another way you can work with Opal (or any gemstone) is to research the stone. Not just the properties or the healing aspects, but the lore of the gem from different cultures throughout history and the world. Looking up geological and mineralogical information is useful as well. There is power in understanding. Once you have learned what others have discovered, you can observe how Opal is showing up in your path, then compare and contrast. As you do this, you will begin to make your own connections, meanings, and discoveries about the properties of Opal.

Care and Cleaning

Opals have a certain delicate nature. They may pack a punch in terms of their properties and legends, but their Moh's hardness is 5 to 6.5. It can be scratched easily, so it is a good practice to be mindful when placing it with other stones or jewelry. In terms of cleaning, use only warm and soapy water. Pat it dry with a soft cloth.

October 03, 2022 — Denise Welling