Since ancient times, birthstones (gemstones) have been associated with a birth month and with them, is said to come luck and prosperity.
October is one of our favourite birthstone months at McKinney’s Jewellery with Opal at the helm. Known also as a Wish Stone, it is said to promote love and happiness by granting wishes.
Often referred to as the “Queen of Gems,” opal is a completely unique gemstone with an internal structure which makes it diffract light.
Depending on the conditions under which it was formed, Opal can take on many colours from clear through white, grey, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, black opals are the rarest, whereas white and greens are the most common. Opals vary in optical density from opaque to semi-transparent.
Australian opal is said to account for 95–97% of the world’s supply of precious opal, with much of this coming from Coober Pedy in South Australia and Lightning Ridge in western NSW.
In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose colour was represented in the colour spectrum of the opal.
Once said to be the most valuable stone in existence, it fell rapidly out of favour following the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein in 1829. In the novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott’s novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death. Within a year of publication, the sale of opals in Europe dropped by 50%, and remained low for some decades afterwards.
Today opal is very much in fashion with younger generations often choosing it as their engagement stone of choice.
Margot McKinney has a number of pieces of bespoke jewellery crafted from Australian boulder opal which is very unique, rare and extremely colourful. Boulder opal, first discovered in the Queensland town of Blackall in1869, is mined from the large ironstone boulders under the ground hence the name ‘boulder’.
Come in store and try on our opal rings, earrings and necklaces – you may find yourself rewarded with a month of luck and prosperity!