Through the ages referred to as, ‘The tears of Zeus”, and believed by the Bedouins to be filled with Lightning, the kaleidoscopic play of colour trapped within Opals has made them a source of fascination for centuries.
Most modern references suggest it is adapted from the Sanskrit word "Upala” which literally translates to the word “jewel”. The argument for the Sanskrit origin is strong. The term first appears in Roman references around 250 BC, at a time when the opal was valued above all other gems. The word itself has two meanings, one is related to "seeing" and forms the basis of the English words like "opaque"; the other is "other" as in "alias" and "alter". It is claimed that opalus combined these uses, meaning "to see a change in colour".