The Queens Gem

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Australian opal collection of queen Elizabeth ii England's royal family favorite gem stones

The Australian Opal has always been a favorite to the english royal family.

There are not many gemstones that have folklores as rich as an opal does. Throughout the ages, opal was considered to be a powerful stone that induced mystical vision and enhanced creativity.

The Aboriginal tribes from the Andamooka region in South Australia believed that an opal was born from a rainbow that was brought to the earth by the creator of Dreamtime; a term used by Aborigines to describe the relationship between the natural, spiritual and moral elements of the world. The creator returned to heaven after he conveyed to mankind his hopes for eternal peace. The rock he stood upon absorbed all the colors of the rainbow and turned it into a beautiful opal.

The Romans associated opal with fidelity, hope and purity, while the early Greeks believed it could foretell the future. East Asians revered it as a sacred stone and the Arabs believed that opal came from heaven.

This stone’s popularity dwindled considerably when author Sir Walter Scott’s novel "Anne of Geierstein" was published in the year 1829. The story gave the impression that opal was demonic and wearing it would bring bad luck. It is believed that this caused the opal market to crash and the gem’s price dropped by almost 50 percent.

It regained popularity within a short period of time when Queen Victoria of England laughed at the superstitions that were associated with the stone. She and Napoleon Bonaparte were some of the famous admirers of opal. In fact, it is said that the Queen was so fond of the stone that she gifted them to her daughters as wedding gifts. Today, opal continues to lure people with its sheer beauty.