on . Posted in Literary History & Mythology

Lucky not Unlucky!

The ownership of so fair an object as a fine Opal must certainly be a source of pleasure and hence add to the good fortune of the owner.

Straight the sons of light prepar'd The nuptial feast, heav'n's opal gates unfolding, Which th' empyreal army shar'd ; And sage Hima'laya shed blissful tears ... - Sir William Jones, 1807.

thumbnailcai0jde4.jpganne_of_geiersteinSir Walter Scott (1771-1832), chivalrous Scottish author of 'Rob Roy' & 'Ivanhoe', who in 1829 published his novel ‘Anne of Geierstein’, in which opal was used brilliantly to reflect the changing fortunes of the heroine. Anne, a socerers daughter, died and her Opal turned ashey grey at once. The subtlety of this metaphor was lost on the literary flunkeys of the time whose careless reading led to a proliferation of damaging reports that opal was possessed of evil influence and an unlucky stone.

Individual stones have been accursed before: the Koh-i-noor, the Hope Diamond, the Arabian Curse - but the whole Opal family was for a time damned out of hand.


Peer_GyntIbsen, Henrik (1828-1906) Norwegian playwright and poet who is often called the father of modern drama. His works concentrated on individuals in realistic psychological conflict rather than on groups. 'Peer Gynt' (1867) - A dramatic fantasy written in verse about the adventures of the legendary Norse folklore figure, Peer Gynt. In the play , the dancing girl when offered the gift of a soul to enable her to ascend into heaven and become a real Houri as a reward for the wonderful dancing, replied, tartly, that she would "greatly prefer the Opal in the prophets' turban"

Isidore Kozminsky author of ‘The Magic and Science of Jewels and Stones’ published in 1921 wrote: “Perhaps against no other gem has bigotry of superstitious ignorance so prevailed as against the wonderful Opal”

During Classical Roman times Opal was worn as a talisman and believed to protect its’ wearer from danger. Throughout the ages, Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity. However to this day one hears superstitious statements regarding Opal such as it should only be worn if it is a gift from another person. The most valid explanation for superstition regarding Opal may well be found in the fact that some lapidaries and gem-setters to whom Opals have been entrusted may have been so unfortunate as to fracture them during the cutting and smithing processes. A lack of basic technical knowledge and inexperience is generally to blame for this. Expert jewellers accept responsibility for, and exercise specialist care when handling any gemstone.

I am Opal, the bearer of good fortune. When the universe was completed, God scraped together the colours on his palette, creating me - a gemstone of mystical, flashing hues. In my presence love abounds and my touch will soothe away sadness and envy.


Ruskin, John (1819-1900) famous art and social critic  who authored over 250 works on various topics, including architecture, was extremely influential in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Ruskin's theories were followed by the Arts & Crafts movement which was dedicated to reform in design and to the dignity of the individual craftsman in reaction to mechanization and mass-production.

In his 'Ethics of the Dust', John Ruskin wrote "place a piece of rock Opal on the table in your workroom and if you examine it sometimes in the sunshine, it will show you the most lovely colors that can be seen in the world." 

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The Opal is a kind of touchstone whereby the shallow and the arrogant are rebuked, for it hath no charms for them.


Dorothea MacKeller (1885-1968) was just a teenager when she wrote – ‘My Country’ – 

dorothea_mckellar.jpga simple evocative poem that has become Australia's unofficial spoken national anthem. Contrary to popular belief the poem was not written in a bout of homesickness on a visit to England. Rather it is a patriotic stance written in annoyance and anger about anti-Australianism and references to the mother country in the well heeled colonial society circles from whence she came.

An Opal hearted country a wilful lavish land, all those who have not loved her you will not understand.

john_steinbeck_on_opals"There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an Opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of the day, so do I." - John Steinbeck from 'Travels with Charley: In Search of America'.

The American writer John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. (1902-1968), widely known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 'The Grapes of Wrath', successfully directed on screen by John Ford. Steinbeck produced 27 books and in the space of a decade wrote half a dozen masterpieces of fiction including 'East of Eden' and the novella 'Of Mice and Men'. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1962.

"A house, like an Opal, takes on the colors of the day.” - John Steinbeck from 'The Winter of Our Discontent'.


Sue-White opals29 June 2013
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Thank you for your email and membership.
It is great to know that you are out there promoting Australia's National gemstone & NSW emblem.
Keep up the good work, I love your concept.
Sue White - Orana Glitz & Glamour Extravaganza Inc Assn.

15 march 2013
Hi Peter,
Colourful characters are key,
your Facebook page and the photos look like there are some fantastic people!
We loved the look of Tarzan of Opalton.
Gemma Brady - Boundless

Alexander fink.PhysicsPHD opal28 Nov 2012
I would like to welcome your information page on opal,
with detailed information about nearly everything their is to know in a general term.
Alexander Fink PhD - Dept. of Physics La Trobe University

5 August 2010
Hi from another opal lover.
Just wanted to say I love your site, a wealth of information.
I always send people to your page for opal info.
Kind Regards
Sean Tapner - Planet Opal

8 july 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Will be recommending your website as a primary reference to 15 Macquarie Uni media students who will be doing a PR project for us as part of their assessment soon.
Best wishes
Renata - Opalminded

Opalminded recommend opalsinformation6 June 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent, 
Greetings from Opal Minded In Sydney.
We are all very impressed with your website – one of the best things that has happened to this Industry for a long time. 
We would love to share it with the visitors to our website. 
Would you mind If we post with us links to your website, 
also on our facebook and twitter. 
Best wishes
Renata, John, Nelly, Fabrice and Summer

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 
Good Morning,
I have just found your wonderful website.
I produce a monthly e-newsletter which is circulated to the Tourism businesses in Coober Pedy and neighbouring stations plus the Info Centres around SA & the NT.
I wondered if I could use some of your Opal info in my October Edition (Opal Month), mainly the parts in your “About Opal” section – names, spiritual info etc.
I would obviously reference it to your website noting the address so others could read your site. 
Sandra Harris
Tourism Officer - Coober Pedy Information Centre

5 April 2010
I am wanting to use your site in an assignment as it is a superb example
of a site to use for a primary teaching unit on gemstones.
Many thanks,