A Brief History of Opals

Written by Adeline Hocine — October 04, 2016

We've officially surpassed the season of air conditioning as a necessity to our survival and made it to the hot latte and sweater weather associated with fall. While most may identify October by its corresponding astrological sign, we here at Local Eclectic get excited for an entirely different reason. This is the month of opals; that time of year when those born in October have an excuse to stock up on their fire-filled beauty of a birthstone. Each month, we celebrate a different birthstone, but October happens to be one of our favorites. Read on for a little history lesson. 

The first opal was found in 400AD in a cave in Kenya, and is thought to have been brought over from Ethiopia. As more of these gemstones continued to be discovered, they quickly became symbols of wealth, due to their stunning beauty. 

Throughout history, opals have also been regarded as symbols of love, hope, purity, prosperity, truth, and luck. Some have even believed that opals possess magical powers. This wide range of beliefs is due largely in part to its translucent nature, allowing the stone to reflect nearly any color on the spectrum of the rainbow. 

The most common sources for opals are often Australia and Ethiopia. Although the first opal wasn't discovered in Australia until 1849, it continues to be one of the largest importers of the stone. Opals can also be found naturally in Hungary, the Middle East, Mexico, and Peru. 

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