OPAL EYES: HISTORY OF OPALS

April 11, 2019

OPAL EYES: HISTORY OF OPALS

 

For centuries, opals have been prized as talisman of power, beauty, royalty, and passion....

 

The first known opal relics were located in a cave in Kenya. Geologists believe that these opals originated from Ethiopia around 4000 BC.

 

Opals can be found in more than twenty other countries, including Zambia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Poland, Peru, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, Brazil, and Mexico. One of the largest populations of Opal is found in Australia, which is where all of the opals from our OPAL EYES collection were sourced.

 

 

Early cultures credited opal with magical qualities and traditionally, opal was said to aid its wearer in seeing limitless possibilities. It was believed to clarify by amplifying and mirroring feelings, buried emotions and desires. It was also thought to lessen inhibitions and promote spontaneity. Early cultures believed the opal bestowed powers of foresight and prophecy upon its owner, while in Arabian folklore, it is said that the stone fell from heaven in flashes of lightning. It was considered to be a token of hope and purity.

 

 

First discovered in Australia in 1849, opening up massive interested in Queensland and Lightening Ridge, opals sparked great interested in the folklore of the native people.

 

The native aboriginal people told the dreamtime story of how Opals came to be. The Dreamtime is the Aboriginal understanding of the world, of it's creation, and it's great stories. The Dreamtime is the beginning of knowledge, from which came the laws of existence. We’re honored to share the Dreamtime story by Aboriginal leader, Aunty June Barker.

 

 

 

 

A long time ago in the Dreamtime, one of the most beautiful of all creatures was Pallah-Pallah the butterfly, with her beautiful dazzling multi-colored wings. She lived happily with her family near the reeds of the Corcoran Lake.

She would often wonder the high mountains they could see along way away which were covered in white, and the white on the tops of the mountains would shine when the sun shone on them.

Her husband who was named Ballah-Ballah often told her not to leave the safety of the grasses and reeds that grew around their home on the beautiful clear water lake. But one day when her husband went fishing. Pallah-Pallah thought she would go and have a quick look at the white on the mountains.

When she flew up high everyone looked at her beautiful colored wings and said “she looks like a rainbow”. Pallah-Pallah flew higher and higher, and she could see the mountains covered in white. She was excited and said “ I will go right up there and see this white for myself, then I will return and tell my husband.”

As she reached the high mountains snow began to fall. Snow beat down on the frail and weak Pallah-Pallah. She fell to the ground and the snow covered her. She didn’t die, but lay quiet and went to sleep while the snow fell and buried her.

She lay under the snow until spring came. As the snow melted away so did Pallah-Pallah’ beautiful colors. The colors just disappeared, melting into the snow. As the snows melted down the mountains and across the plains the colors ran with them to disappear into the ground near the lakes and ridges. Pallah-Pallah looked at her wings and they were no longer beautiful.

She returned to her husband and family and everyone was sad to see that she was no longer a beautiful butterfly but a plain moth, just grey and brown. The beautiful colors that disappeared from Pallah-Pallah’s wings went into the ground at the Morillah* – stone ridges and lakes formed the colors of the rainbow on the dazzling opal stones. That is how the opal came to be.

As told by Aunty June Barker Copyright – 1999