Opal History & Lore ~
Pliny the Elder in his writings tells of a Roman senator called Nonius who, in 35 BC, owned a ring set with a particularly beautiful opal the size of a hazelnut and valued at 2,000,000 sesterces. Roman General Mark Antony decided he must have Nonius' opal, but when Nonius refused to sell, the enraged Antony banished him. Nonius fled Rome, leaving behind all his possesions, save the opal ring which was the cause of his exile.
Opal has been thought to have healing powers in many world cultures, and in the middle ages, it became known as the Opthalmius, or Eye Stone, and was thought to strenghten eyesight. Blonde maidens wore opals to protect their hair from fading or darkening.
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