It’s unfortunate that so many people believe that it’s bad luck to wear opal. This gemstone is one of the most optically impressive on the market, but myths and misinformation have given it a jaded history.
Are opal engagement rings back luck? Is it bad luck to buy yourself an opal? Is it bad luck to wear opal if it’s not your birthstone? The doubtful inquires about this gemstone are disheartening.
With that said, there is a legitimate reason many of these questions developed. In fact, opals are extremely fragile by nature. So long as you educate yourself and take the proper care, you’ll find that opals can offer so much more joy than they do misfortune.
For hundreds of years, opal was revered for its unmatchable beauty and healing powers. However, opal history has also been plagued with curses that have various origins. Some common negative beliefs about opals include:
- It’s bad luck to wear an opal unless it’s your birthstone. Opal is the birthstone of October.
- You should never buy an opal for yourself. It should only be given as a gift.
- Some believe that you should only buy opals for yourself and never give them as a gift.
- An opal will lose its luster after the original owner passes away.
- If an opal engagement ring is purchased, the bride will become a widow in a short time.
- It’s bad luck to wear an opal. Period.
Debunking the Myth
A lot of opal folklore should be taken with a grain of salt. Some believe that jealous diamond traders of the 19th and 20th centuries started these rumors as a way to sell more diamonds.
It’s also likely that some people have had bad experiences with opals. However, this could be due to a lack of proper care and not some overarching curse.
Why Opals Require Special Care
Every gemstone has a hardness that is ranked on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. The hardness of a stone plays into how durable a gemstone is and how it will hold up to everyday wear.
Opals rank 5.5 – 6.5 on the Mohs Scale. The hardest substance on the scale is a diamond that ranks at a 10. Opals are easily scratched, chipped and damaged by any substance that is higher up on the scale. Therefore, this means that diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and even some glass can damage opals.
Given the spectacular nature of the gemstone, it’s worth taking the precautions necessary to maintain the life of the stone. Over the years, jewelers have learned better ways to preserve the stone through the cutting and setting process.
Opal Engagement Ring Tips
The jury is still out on whether opals make better engagement rings than other alternatives. A lot depends on the wearer and how hard they are on their rings. If you want to take a chance on an opal engagement ring, you’ll be rewarded with a remarkable heirloom. However, consider the following opal care advice:
- Take your ring off when dealing with liquids.
- Be careful not to bang the ring on hard surfaces.
- Store the engagement ring away from diamonds and other harder gemstones. These stones could scratch the opal’s surface.
- Do not sleep in an opal engagement ring.
- Consider only wearing the ring on special occasions.
- Avoid activities like gardening, house cleaning, sports, etc, while wearing an opal ring.