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With their sparkly eye-catching appearance, gemstones have been used throughout history for protection and were thought to be imbued with positive influences. However, some jewels have the opposite meaning and are attached to stories of bad luck and misfortune, so as you explore an antique shop or dig through your jewelry box, look out for these three unlucky gemstones.

Via: Wiki Commons

During the Roman Era, opals, with their multi-colored rainbow-like appearance, were used as amulets and thought to be symbols of hope and purity. It was said that Caesar gifted his lovers with opals and these gems ranked second only to emeralds in value. In Scandinavian countries, blonde girls who wore opals in their hair were protected from the cold and sickness, and in many cultures, opals were prescribed to protect peoples’ eyesight. But during Medieval Europe, opals took on a different meaning. Black opals were thought to be used by witches and sorcerers to increase their magical powers to harm victims. Since opals have a luminescent quality similar to the optical eyes of cats, toads, and snakes –- all of whom are associated with the devil –- opals too were thought to be imbued with that same level of evil. Once a talisman of hope, by the 11th-century the opal became the gemstone of thieves, who were thought to use opals to make themselves invisible and with multiple uses, the opal would cloud their judgment and thieves would only want to rob and loot.

Via: Flickr

Just like opals, black diamonds didn’t always have a negative meaning. In Italy, black diamonds had healing qualities, and when touched, could salvage and repair relationships, emotions, or other troubles facing a married couple. The thought was that the black color of the diamond would absorb all negative energies and ailments. There was even a black diamond called the Karloff Noir, which would give good luck and fortune to anyone who touched it. However, the predominant symbol of a black diamond is one of bad luck and again links black diamonds to the eyes of evil animals. In ancient India, black diamonds harbored death, as they resembled the eyes of poisonous animals like snakes and spiders.

Via: Wiki Commons

Pearls are reported to be used in an array of medicinal practices, from curing madness, jaundice, snake bites, and even depression. Despite its healing benefits, pearls are always associated with tears, sadness, and grief, and this correlation is not just in one country. In Japan, pearls are the tears of mermaids and angels, while in Greek mythology, pearls are the tears of gods, and in many cultures, it is said if you wear pearls on your wedding day, you’ll have a future filled with grief.

So as you dig, search, find, and buy gemstones, know that there are always wonky meanings behind each and every stone. Call it a fable or a wives tale, but the history of bad luck and these three stones are quite interesting and complex.

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