The Curse of the Opal

“Did you know it’s unlucky to wear an opal unless your birthday is in October?”  “I think opals are beautiful, but I don’t wear them. I’m superstitious.”  “Opals are cursed, aren’t they?” “Don’t opals have bad energy?”  Oh, the things we hear about opals from our customers at Secrète Fine Jewelry in both our DuPont Circle and our Bethesda locations. Yes, yes, we’ve heard. Opals are apparently spooky, dangerous stones with the power to curse you if you’re not careful.

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Secrète's original black opal, 18k gold, and diamond pendant. This large-scale statement piece is truly one of a kind. The rich blues, greens, and purples in this stone inspire dreams of a magical night sky. 

If you’ve ever seen any of our amazing opal creations, you can easily tell that we don’t believe the lore. In fact, we consider opals to be a blessing of beauty! But let’s get to the bottom of the story.

This necklace, from the Secrète Fine Jewelry catalog, was custom made for one of our dear clients in London. The gigantic black opal is bezel-set in 18k rose gold and surrounded by white diamonds. How could anyone possibly believe that the owner of this necklace isn't very, very lucky?

According to GIA, Sir Walter Scott’s 1829 novel Anne of Geierstein is solely responsible for the rumor. But how? Further literary investigation reveals that (spoiler alert-- is an alert necessary for a book that’s been out of print for over a century?) in one scene, an enchanted lady who wears an opal hair-clip spontaneously combusts in her bed, but apparently not necessarily because of the hair-clip. While that sounds like it might make for a pretty exciting plot twist, could that possibly be the real origin of the rumor? It sounds far fetched, but people have adopted stranger phobias and folklore from novels. Bram Stoker invented most of our vampire myths in Dracula, and Dante basically invented the common theological concept of Purgatory in The Divine Comedy

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Vintage white opal, diamond, and 18k yellow gold rings in Secrète Fine Jewelry's estate collection. Antique opal treasures like these prove that people have been wearing opals for decades, despite the alleged "curse."

The International Gemological Society pushes the mythology back a millennium, citing ancient Roman beliefs that opals wrapped in bay leaves could make you invisible. Since we don’t happen to have a spice rack laying around at Secrète Fine Jewelry, we couldn’t test the theory, but it doesn’t seem too likely. 

This gorgeous black opal and diamond bracelet in rose gold was hand-made by our master jewelry-maker, Mr. Soo in our Bethesda workshop. The quality is guaranteed, the magical properties of opals are not. 

Another source gives a remedy for opal’s bad vibes-- just add diamonds! According to some, when an opal is placed in a setting with diamonds, the positive power of diamonds apparently cancels out the jinx of the opal. We actually totally agree with this: it’s always a good idea, whenever in doubt, to add diamonds.

This Mexican fire opal ring set in 22k yellow gold with diamonds is one of Secrète's favorite designs. Designer Elyahu Araki chose the 22k gold to really highlight the warmth of the orange stone. Fire opals are fantastic because of their glowy, rich color. The diamonds supposedly counteract any bad vibes the opals may have-- couldn't hurt, right?

Numerous other websites tell of varying opal superpowers: they help or hurt eyesight, they’re good for blondes to maintain pretty hair, they are automatic poison detectors, and their shine is intrinsically tied to the life-force of their owners.

This opal pendant at our DuPont Circle store reminds us of a French Impressionist painting of a naked lady at a beach. What do you see? Set in 18k yellow gold in an amazing free-form natural bezel that highlights the unusual, natural coloration of the stone, this necklace will be a show-stopper wherever you choose to wear it. 

We wonder, with a stone so varied, so beautiful, so fragile, and so rare, why is there all of this nonsense (we promise not to call it “fake news”) about opals? Maybe it is simply that their mysterious glow, their unusual geological formation, and their amazing beauty has captured the imagination of people for thousands of years-- maybe the opal is just too beautiful to believe it’s only another gem. We can certainly see why someone would look at this stone and believe it just has to be magical!

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This black opal and diamond ring set in 18k white gold is one of our favorites at our Bethesda location. The stone seems to change color with every angle, giving it a very mysterious and luxurious sense of style.

If you’re looking for a beautiful opal creation, Secrète Fine Jewelry in Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., is uniquely qualified to help. We source our opals directly from a family-owned and operated mine in Australia, and Mr. Soo, our master jewelry-maker, has created flawless and breath-taking opal jewelry for elite clientele across the globe. No jeweler’s work can match Mr. Soo’s care and precision when it comes to opals. Contact us or visit one of our stores today to get started on your own (possibly) magical opal masterpiece.

A client fell in love with the 18k white gold, diamond, and black opal pendant on display in our DuPont Circle store, and it inspired her to have custom earrings designed. We chose 18k rose gold, black opals, and white diamonds to create these amazing earrings with just a hint of negative space between the bezels. Lucky lady!