It is appropriate that opal, the gem notable for its unique play of color, possesses a vibrant history and myriad myths. The Arabs believed opal fell from the sky during thunderstorms and brought protection to those who carried it. The ancient Romans considered the opal a symbol of hope and purity, calling it the Queen of Gems. Greeks believed the gems were formed from the joyful teardrops of Zeus—the king of the gods—and held the gift of prophecy. At one point, opal was even thought to have the power to preserve the color of blond hair. None of which explains why, among the superstitious, opal still carries a reputation for being rather unlucky. Today, October’s birthstone is thought to enhance creativity, bring balance to your life, and help wearers find and keep true love. A myth? Only the wearer knows for sure.

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