Tel.   015395 66201

Opals have often been at the mercy of changing opinions and perceptions. Adored by some and despised by others, opals have been referred to as galaxies and fireworks, while examples have been given names such as Flame Queen and Halley’s Comet.

Over time, extensive lore and superstition have developed around them, with the Ancient Greeks believing they guarded the wearer
from disease while giving the gift of prophecy. In Arabic legend, opals are believed to have fallen from heaven in lightning. Europeans considered them a symbol of hope, purity, and truth.

Queen Victoria believed this and gifted her daughter a set of opal jewellery on the occasion of her wedding. This was also due to the fact that opals were a favourite of Prince Albert, who often gifted Victoria opal jewellery.

Unfortunately, opals have often been associated with negative superstitions, such as bringing bad luck, likely because they are prone to cracking and chipping.

On Queen Victoria’s death and Edward VII and his wife, Queen Alexandra’s accession, the only known opal tiara in the British collection was lost. The Oriental Circlet tiara, another gift from Prince Albert to Victoria, was set with diamonds and opals. However, the new Queen Alexandra deemed them bad luck and so had them removed and replaced with rubies.

Thankfully, many antique opal jewellery pieces have survived; a lovely example is lot 822, which achieved £210 in the recent Antique and Vintage Jewellery auction. The rich gold and blue-hue opals complement each other well, making it an excellent addition to someone’s collection as a period piece.

Other highlights from the auction follow below. If you have similar items you are considering selling, please get in touch with Specialist Valuers Rowan and Jackie on 015395 66201 or via email.

A 9ct gold belcher link chain sold by 1818 Auctioneers in their online jewellery auction

A 9ct gold belcher link chain

Sold: £1280
A five stone graduated old cut diamond ring sold by 1818 Auctioneers for £1240 in their online jewellery auction

A five stone graduated old cut diamond ring

Sold: £1240

A 1980's three coloured yellow metal articulated bracelet

Sold: £960