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Balancing Acts — Libra and the Controlled Fire of the Opal

Opal Essence

For centuries, mankind has been intrigued by the opal. Unlike other gems, such as ruby or emerald, that present a single color, opals feature a kaleidoscopic flash of hues that creates a mysterious allure. The strange chromatic combination has led to a mystical understanding of the stone so that in virtually all cultures the opal has been considered magical.


Opal and Diamond Fish Brooch in Platinum

We classify opals in several different categories. The most common in jewelry is the white opal, a pale, or creamy stone that features an interior play of colors – usually blues, greens, yellows and oranges. On the other side of the spectrum is the black opal, which features a dark base tone of blue-black and a play of color similar to that of a white opal. A third type is the fire or Mexican opal which features an orange to red cast and may or may not display an inner fire.


Theo Fennel Fire Opal Bombe Ring

Until relatively recently, the opal was considered to have any number of virtues. It was thought to be especially helpful in treating eye illnesses and has been thought, by various cultures, to have gained its inner fire by having captured rainbows, or even lightning, within the body of the stone. Often, virtues that were linked to other gemstones (such as an emerald or sapphire) were ascribed to the opal if the opal displayed the colors of that gemstone. The change in colors also led to the belief that an opal would reflect the mood and health condition of the wearer.


Black Boulder Opal and Diamond Ring

In the 19th century, opals developed an undeserved negative reputation. They were considered to be unlucky and, despite being worn often by Queen Victoria during her reign, the stigma held into the early 20th century. This reputation of the stone as a bad omen has many possible roots: from medieval Russian ideas that it symbolized the Evil Eye, to popular novelist Sir Walter Scott’s very negative depiction of the stone in his Anne of Geierstein, to the multiple deaths within the Spanish royal family in the late 19th Century – blamed on an opal given by the king to the queen on their wedding day.

Opal and Diamond Ring

Opal and Diamond Ring, via our Instagram

Luckily, most no longer subcribe to the negative superstitions regarding this brilliant stone and it has made a huge comeback within the last few years – especially this year! Very high end designers have used this colorful gem in the most cutting edge of designs which have helped to make the opal synonymous with luxurious modernity.


Opals are the birthstone for the month of October, which features Libra as the dominant Zodiac sign. Represented by the scales, the Libra personality is very concerned with staying on an even keel. Balance is the key to this sign, and while striving for objectivity in all things, Libras have a tendency to define themselves as fair and compromising. As an air sign, Libra is associated with intellectualism and communication – socializing is a must and they are keen to learn multiple viewpoints to better balance their understanding of various subjects.


Marcus & Co. Black Opal and Diamond Brooch in Platinum

Of course, it’s not all work and studiousness for the posh Libra. Ruled by Venus, this Zodiac sign is very interested in pleasurable pursuits. Culture, refinement and the pursuit of the beautiful in all things is of the utmost concern to the Libra. They are attracted to beauty wherever they may find it and are well known for their style, grace and charm. Like the opal, a polished and serene exterior provides an ideal backdrop for fiery inner passion and beauty.


Oscar Heyman Black Opal and Diamond Ring in 18K Gold

Furthermore to both the stone and the sign, balance is highly important. Opals are sensitive to temperature and certain environmental factors and it is important to keep them well-stabilized to ensure a long life. Libra are in active pursuit of this balance and work hard to stabilize their own immediate environment. It is from this position of stability that that both the Libra and the opal are best able to shine.

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