Humans have adorned themselves with natural opals for thousands of years, and it’s only natural that some myths and misconceptions may have formed over time about these impossibly beautiful gemstones. The jewellers at our opal store in Sydney are here to dispel some of those myths.
Myth 1: Opals are fragile and prone to damage
Natural opals develop from silica and a tiny percentage of water, and once formed they are generally very stable. Australian opals in particular are some of the strongest and most stable opal structures in the world. Typically, if an opal is going to crack it will happen in the ground or soon after being mined. Some things that can affect opals are extremely dry conditions and extreme temperatures (for example, fire). A good opal jeweller will only select and showcase opals of a high quality and stability.
At Volle Jewellery, we keep all our opals for a few years in our safe before we mount them into jewellery. This is to make sure that our opals will keep in perfect stable condition forever.
Myth 2: Opals are bad luck
While there are plenty of stories about opals bringing bad luck, for every negative belief about opals there is a positive one. The ancient Aztecs and Egyptians saw opals as exceptional gemstones and bearers of good fortune. Opals also symbolised purity and hope to the Romans, foresight to the Greeks, and were carried as good luck charms in the Middle Ages.
Myth 3: Opals need to be soaked in water or oil, or shouldn’t be exposed to water at all
While they each contain a little H2O, opals are non-porous and impervious to oil and water. They require no soaking; only polishing with a soft cloth from time to time. If displaying a slightly dull surface your solid opal may eventually require repolishing after five to ten years of being worn, which professional opal jewellers can assist with.
Myth 4: Opals all come from the same place
Opals have been found all over the world from Mexico to New South Wales, although 95% of the world supply comes from Australia and this is prized due to its quality and strength. Even within Australia, opals from different regions are incredibly diverse. White opals are typically found in South Australia, while the distinctive black opals are found in Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. Queensland develops unusual colours and shapes with the boulder opal.
Myth 5: Opals are out of style
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Australian opals are sought our all over the world by jewellery lovers and collectors alike. Adele, Taylor Swift and Cate Blanchett are all well-known wearers of opals on the red carpet. Our opal rings in Sydney are an increasingly popular choice for anniversaries and wedding rings. Opals are more beloved than ever, and with their shimmering rainbows of shifting colour it’s very easy to see why.
If you’re looking for Sydney opal shops with a wide selection of the best opals Australia has to offer, visit Vollé Jewellery on York Street or in the Queen Victoria Building and explore our full showcase of loose opals and opal jewellery. We’d love to help you find a perfect opal of your very own.