Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Flight of Whimsy: The Gemstone Opal as a Comic Book Heroine

In my other life I am a theatre director.  And recently I have been directing a play where one of the main characters is a D&D playing, rap writing, comic book nerd.  And I have consequently been talking about Superman more than at any other time in my life.  Usually my conversations center on diamonds but my mind is a porous thing so I inevitably find my self-having the silliest super hero thought digressions as I prepare blogs for the coming months.

Early 20th Century Black Ring 
Usually when I research a gemstone for a blog I focus on the quality of the stone, the biography of the stone, its word origin and the legends surrounding famous examples of said stone.  I may read the more outrageous information but I usually do not include it in my blog but today as I was reading about opals in the context of my newfound interest in Superman something shifted.  Her qualities (you see I have already begun to anthropomorphize her) began to jump out at me and I began to formulate this vision of a justice league like cast of characters based on gemstones and their most extreme legendary qualities.

Beautiful Uncut Opals
And so I decided to follow that idea down the rabbit hole as I began to create my first character Queen Opal hailing from Queensland Australia where legend tells of a woman, Isobel Robinson, who traded in opals.  She walked round the town of Eulo wearing a gold belt as thick as an arm studded with opals the size of Victorian Pennies.  She went by the name the Eulo Queen and it was said she glittered when she walked. Shakespeare, after all, called opals "that miracle and queen of gems". 

Painting of the Eulo Queen
Queen Opal is a blond because Nordic and Medieval legend holds that a blond woman should wear opals in her hair or round her neck to retain the luster of her locks and to protect herself from inclement weather.  And of course she is fantastically beautiful because so are opals.

And in her origin story Queen Opal came to earth on a bolt of lightening as it was popularly believed in ancient Arabic culture that this was the origin of opals.

But what are her super powers you ask?  This is where it gets fun.  There are many, almost too many to list.  First of all she would have the power of invisibility.  The Bishop Marbode of Rennes is quoted "It (Opals) gifts the bearer with acutest sight; But clouds all other eyes with thickest night."

What Queen Opal Might Look Like in Super Hero Form
She also has the gift of teleportation.  I'm not sure where that legend hailed from but it was what provoked my fits of fancy as I read a brief sentence telling of this legend and immediately pictured my new gemstone superhero bopping from place to place with the flash of green or pink in her milky white beauty signaling her movement.  And then of course my mind wandered even further. 

We have the occasional young boy come into our store excited by all the jewels before him, not for their intrinsic beauty like their mother, but because he sees that other quality people have seen in jewels for years—magic.  They see the magic of "The Hobbit" and Bilbo Baggin's ring or the ring Harry Potter seeks.  And I thought how much could I make this boy's eyes alight if I could say sure—with this ring you could teleport.

Edwardian Opal & Pearl Ring
And okay I can't really say that but opals are so beautiful you feel like they would have the power to teleport you.

But my digression keeps multiplying so back to the qualities of our superhero Queen Opal.  Like the opal of legend she can clarify, amply and mirror feelings, buried emotions and desires and she lesson inhibitions and promotes spontaneity.  She also enhances psychic ability and promotes good eyesight.  She protects children from predatory animals and she banishes evil and the evil eye.  She is in fact very cool.  She is also a symbol of hope, innocence and purity.

Edwardian Opal Ring
Like any super hero, she does have her evil detractors.  Many have tried to malign her with false legends of bad luck.  Misguided lovers of diamonds afraid that she will outshine their favorite spread rumors that she will bring them doom but Queen Opal retains her beauty and her purity ultimately winning out over her nemesis with her flashes of brilliance and her super powers and her lasting beauty.

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