Are Opals Really Bad Luck?

Most opal mining is done around Cooper Pedy I believe, that australian post-apocalyptic underground town.
Did a quick Google, and found Opel was named after the German businessman Adam Opel who founded the company. But is his name a derivation of "opal"? Was there a time when opals were considered good enough to be named after?

The German word for the gemstone 'opal' is 'opal', not 'opel' ...

Opel is a family name ...
Opel Name Meaning
German (Saxony): from a short form of Albert or Adalbert.
It's opals all the way down! But not Opels.

So how did opals get their name? Does it have a bad luck connotation?
It's opals all the way down! But not Opels.

So how did opals get their name? Does it have a bad luck connotation?
According to google:
Its name is derived from the Sanskrit उपल or upala, which means "jewel". It came into use along with other gemstone names during the late Victorian era.
More recent than I thought, then. But still no relation to ill fortune.
Although fantastical stories of witches and sorcerers strengthening their magical powers with black opals exist, and Medieval Europeans believed opal to resemble the 'Evil Eye', the most popular source of the story that opal is bad luck began with the great 19th century author Sir Walter Scott.

In 1829, Scott wrote a novel called Anne of Geierstein in which a character named the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. According to the story, the Baroness dies when a drop of holy water falls onto the opal and drains the stone of its colour.
I have a theory that Scott is responsible for a great deal of our current legends and folklore. This is more proof! :D
I was looking for faux opals but they were all really rubbish so I made some with some of my fancy nail varnish. They look even better in the flesh.


  • F187C348-C058-430E-89DA-47686F444533.jpeg
    144.1 KB · Views: 8
  • 5856C590-CA52-4258-B311-576653D62DCF.jpeg
    189.8 KB · Views: 8
  • A357B53E-163B-4557-953B-1280ABC84167.jpeg
    121.9 KB · Views: 6
Are opals really bad luck? Yes, emphatically.

In my experience, obviously. Your mileage may vary.
Care to provide details? Or have you done so on other threads already?
Care to share your method? They look excellent.

maximus otter
I bought these jewellery pieces and just painted the back of the glass bit with a flakie (it has foil pieces in it) nail varnish.


  • 8EDCAAF1-FAFD-45AC-B796-83DE015D7C69.jpeg
    168.6 KB · Views: 7
  • 63040600-D6B6-44DB-8B6B-0F8E1E30D373.jpeg
    83.5 KB · Views: 9
Care to provide details? Or have you done so on other threads already?
My wife liked opals. The engagement ring I bought her had opals on it. Because she never took it off eventually the opals cracked and melted, as they do, so I had it remade in diamonds and sapphires. Whereupon an awful run of bad luck changed. In fact the next few years were great. Then on a business trip to Australia I bought her a set of opal earrings and a pendant. From pretty much that point (with hindsight) everything went pear-shaped. So I won't be buying any future close friend any opal jewellery - not that the opportunity is likely to arise in any case.
The De Boers diamond company control pretty much all of the world wide diamond market and control the price in a similar way that OPEC control the price of oil, by limiting the supply, they also had a fantastic marketing campaign 'diamonds are a girls best friend'

"Diamonds are forever" was the De Beers slogan.

"Diamonds are a girls best friend" was a song by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
My late mother had an opal ring which she never wore* as she considered them unlucky (unless they are your birthstone).

As I was born in October she gave it to me when I was in my late teens. As it was far too small to fit even on my little finger I wore it around my neck on a chain.

Eighteen months or so later she demanded it back - at least in her eyes I had had bad luck ever since she'd given it to me.

Personally, I wasn't aware of any particular run of luck during that period; just the usual mix of good, bad, and indifferent, but she was adamant that my fortunes had declined and that it was the fault of the ring. :)

* As to why she had it - I think that it might have been an early gift from my father; who would have been totally unaware (and uncaring) of any superstitions regarding gemstones.