History of Opals in Fashion

Saturday, 19 March 2022
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White Opal Pendant

The Opal derived its name from Opelus which means to see a change in colour.

Whilst the Bedouins believed that opals fell from the sky during thunderstorms, and that they carried lightning, the Greeks thought opals provided protection from disease. Opals have long been associated with purity, hope, loyalty, and truth. Maybe it’s a combination of everything… so, I think it’s better if you decide!

Over time the wearing of Opals has been recognised by many well-known and historically famous people

Napoleon presented his Empress Josephine with the Burning of Troy, History of Opals in Fashion a magnificent opal with brilliant red flashes.

Both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth became a lover of the opal and wore opals throughout their reign. Queen Victoria’s friends and her five daughters were presented with fine opals. Opal became highly sought after because the Royal Court of Britain was regarded as the model for fashion around the world and fine quality opal had recently been discovered in far-off Australia.

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Now over the years other international designers have embraced the wearing of opals into fashion parades and exhibitions.

White Opal PendantI believe that no other gemstone obtains so many different colours in a single stone as the opal does. The play of color comes from opal’s formation process, which is different than many gems. The color comes from the reflection of the scattering of light from the minute, uniformly sized and closely packed silica spheres that make up precious opal. The arrangement of these spheres, which vary in size and pattern, is responsible for the different colors.

The more brilliant the color, or fire, the more valuable the gem. The most familiar opals are nearly opaque white or more translucent white, some having a black or reddish background.

All opals vary greatly in their color of fire. Some have only red and orange lights, some also have green, and some also have yellow and blue lights. Black opals may have all these colors as well as purple. Opals show just about every shade of every color in a variety of combinations. Opals with an abundance of red are usually the most expensive. Those strong in blue and green are equally as beautiful, but less rare, so their price is somewhat less.

Types of Opals and ValueBlue Opal PendantBlack Opal Pendant





Both women and men today are embracing the wearing of opals because of their uniqueness and striking colours.  I am also seeing a changing trend that more brides are choosing the gem for their wedding bands and engagement rings.  After all marriage is about the union two people with different personalities, ideas, and backgrounds, and an opal presents the different colours beautifully and symphonically in one single stone. And it’s this symbolism – not to mention the opal representing loyalty – that makes it the perfect stand out piece for an engagement ring, wedding band, or a necklace or bracelet worn on the day. Please feel free to check out our range of Opals – Click Here

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Author Bio.

Jill Hansen runs Anastasia’s Of Broome and is a highly recognised expert in both the fields of South Sea Pearls and Diamonds. Jill trained in seeding pearls in the Cook Islands by Japanese Pearl Technicians, and established a wholesale pearl business selling pearls all over the world. She pioneered the combination of pearls and diamonds to create Lust™ Pearls, a unique fusion of these two beautiful gemstones. Jill holds the prestigious recognition of being an Antwerp Diamond Broker for selecting and sourcing Diamonds direct from the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp. She is a diamond expert and is happy to use and impart her knowledge to help customers make informed decisions.


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