Opal as a Name

on . Posted in Terminology


OH-pul Meaning: 'precious gem'; 'eye lotion'; 'bearer of change' Gender: Female or Male

Opal n. an amorphous form of hydrated silicon dioxide that can be of almost any colour. It may contain all the primary colours and many more tints and hues besides. It is used as a gemstone. [from Greek Opthalmios, ‘the eye stone’ or ‘eye lotion’; from Latin Opalus, Gk. Opallios ‘to see a change’, from Sanskrit Upala ‘precious stone’. Opal entered the english language as Opal around 1586] – Opaline adj.



A myth from the Aborigines of Australia tells of the birth of Opal: “...the creator came down to Earth on a rainbow, with a message of peace to all the people. And at the very spot, where his foot touched the ground, the stones became alive and started sparkling in all the colours of the rainbow.”

Opal is the embodiment of ' THE SPIRIT OF THE CHILD' - To the ancient Greeks it was known as paederos, the derivation of this meant both 'child' and 'favourite' - inferring that it had the kind of peerless beauty of a child.

"VITZITZILTECPATL", the Aztec term for Opal meaning "the hummingbird stone", aptly refers to the likeness of the sheen and changing colours observed in the plumage of these enchanting birds.

"KALIMAYA" is the Indonesian name for Opal. Derived from the Sanskrit word 'maya' for illusion, and the Javanese 'kali' meaning river, this translates as "River of Illusion".

Related Names:

  • Opala - from Portuguese

  • Opale - Germanic, Gallic and Italian spelling

  • Opali - spelling of plural in Italian



  • Opalina - modern Latin languages version of adj.

  • Opaline - adjective: colourful, playful & soothing


  • Oparu - pronunciation in Japanese

  • Opall - differentiated English spelling

  • Opallios - from Greek

  • Opalos - as the Mexicans call it in Spanish

  • Op(p)al(l)us - from Latin

  • Opel - differentiated spelling

  • Ophal - olde English

  • Opthalmos - from Greek

  • Optallio - olde English

  • Upala - from Sanskrit






Gemstone names, such as Pearl or Ruby, became popular in the 19th century, but Opal was not one of the more fashionable of these names.

Opal has not appeared in the top 1000 baby names since 1960, when it ranked at number 920. Popularity dropped substantially in the 1950s, though popularity had been in decline for several decades.

The name Opal saw the height of its popularity in 1911, when it ranked at number 81.

Opal was occasionally used as a boy’s name in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but it was never as common for boys. In 1911, it ranked as number 885, but it has not appeared on the boy’s chart since then. Opal has maintained a bit more popularity in Australia. In 1997, it ranked at number 679. This is appropriate considering that Opal was proclaimed Australia's National Gemstone in 1993, and Australia is the world's main producer of Opal - 'An Opal hearted country'!

Other Gemstone names, such as Amber and Jet have increased in popularity in the late 20th century, Opal may yet experience a revival.


Opal is the birthstone for the month of October and is associated with the zodiac signs Libra, Leo and Aquarius.

Just as Opals are thought to bring luck if worn by a person born in October or under these signs it may be an appropriate name for babies born therein.


  • Opal, Virginia, USAOpalfire_Omar
  • Opal, Wyoming, USA
  • Opal, Xinjiang, China
  • The Opals: Nickname for the Australia Women’s National Basketball Team.
  • Hurricane Opal: Category 4 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in 1995.
  • Opal: Online Programming for All Libraries
  • Opal Koboi: From the Artemis Fowl series of fictional novels by Eoin Colfer.
  • Opal Fire: Album by musician Omar
  • Opal Fish: Armored catfishes are found in Costa Rica, Panama and South America
  • Opal Glass: opalescent glass with a blueish tinge due to the dffraction of light by its internal structure
  • Opal Nero: Black Sambuca alcoholic spiritsopal_coffee
  • Opal Rose: Opal Guitar inlayed & handcrafted by hollingworth guitars Australia
  • Opal Dream: Peter Cattaneo's movie, starring Vince Colosimo
  • Opal Divine's restaurants bar & pub at3 Austin Texas locations www.opaldivines.com
  • Opal: Lounge bar, DJ., 36 Gloucester Road, Kensington,www.opalbar.co.uk
  • HMAS Opal c.1885
  • Black Opal Stakes - Horse Racing Carnival, Canberra ACT


  • Opal Anchel: Actress
  • Opal Bush: Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader
  • Opal Hill: Professional Golfer
  • Opalinska Catherine: Queen of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1680-1747)
  • Opalinska Wanda: Plays Polish immigrant Wiki Australian_opals_basketball_teamDankowska on the BBC soap-opera "Coronation Street"




- 2 shots or 6cl Gin
- 1 shot or 3cl Orange Juice
- 1/2 shot or 1.5cl Triple Sec
-1/4 to 1/2 tsp Superfine Sugar

(Optional: 2 dashes Orange Bitters)

Glassware: Cocktail Glass

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Active Image


Sources & Image Credits:

Idea adapted from: wiki.name.com/en/Opal

Fergusson, Rosalind. Choose Your Baby’s Name. London: Bloomsbury Books, 1987.




Wallace, Carol McD. The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever. New York: Avon Books, 1998. pp 594-595.

Cocktails: cocktailtimes.com & drinkswap.com



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 productions.tv

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,