Victorian Opal Jewelry
Sir Walter Scott may have started an unfortunate fear that opals could cause bad luck, with an 1829 novel where he featured an opal incident!
”Sir Walter Scott’s bestselling novel, Anne of Geuerstein, written in 1829, was the story of Lady Hermione, who is falsely accused of being a demoness, and dies shortly after a drop of holy water accidentally falls on her opal and destroys its color. The public took this to mean that this genius author was warning of the bad luck an opal can bring, so they stopped buying the beautiful gemstone. Sir Walter Scott succeeded in destroying the European opal market for almost 50 years with really, no real merit whatsoever. Within months of the novel being published, the opal market crashed and prices were down 50%.”
(from Jewels For Me)
However, Queen Victoria loved opals and ignored this popular misconception. She wore them often, and gifted opals to her daughters and daughters-in-law on their marriages. Today we look at a few Victorian opal pieces!
Victorian Opal Diamond Heart Ring Circa 1890
Butter Lane Antiques offers this beautiful opal ring via 1stdibs. It is modelled with a heart-shaped head, set with diamonds and a heart-shaped opal. The simple band is crafted from 18K yellow gold, and the stones are set in silver. The ring has a nice open gallery, which allows light in behind the stones when worn. A typically sweet and sentimental Victorian piece.
Further detail including price can be obtained from 1stdibs where a link to the dealer can also be found.
Jewelry information and image on this page courtesy of Butter Lane Antiques via 1stdibs.
Ready for the Victorian necklace overleaf?