For some reason there is more mis-in the public
domain about opal than any other gemstone. Beginning with the idea
of the gem being a harbinger of bad luck. Some say that the "bad
luck" rap is the result of lapidaries who simply did not want to
work with the gem because of its tendency toward brittleness it was
"bad luck" to cut.
regarding the 'bad luck' business, it is more likely that it started
with the cracking of the stones in women's rings resulting from
being set with prongs - a pressure mounting that was doomed to
failure after the opal started drying a little. opals contain as
little as 4% or as much as 20% [sinkankas' 'mineralogy'] and when
even a little of that water dries up the infrastructure is weakened
and collapses or cracks. which is why i set all of mine in strong
bezels with a padding of e6000 adhesive under each stone - the
material sets but never hardens so there is always a shock absorbent
buffer under the opal. which could explain why of the google amount
of opals i've cut, polished, bezel set & sold, not a one has cracked.
to those of you who think that "g-l-u-e" is anathema, i have a
suggestion: join the 21st century. ive people, you've got a life, use it!