First may I say the old wives’ tale that opal is bad luck unless it is your birthstone is simply untrue. The origin of this myth is thought to be Europe.When the opal first made an appearance on the jewelry market with its beautiful play of color and uniqueness it became popular with the buying public.It is believed that the diamond dealers of the day made up the story of bad luck associated with the stone to drive prospective buyers away.The opal has known worldwide popularity for years.It has enjoyed particular success in Japan where it is actually a very popular stone often used as the stone in an engagement ring. Many also believe opal is very fragile.It is in the same range as Jade and Amethyst. It is more durable than Turquoise.Opals have been known to crack and craze.Some people keep their opals in water to prevent or reverse crazing.It is a debate as to whether or not this helps in preventing or restoring an opal with crazing. Opal became popular in the 1800’s.Australia is the primary source for opal however it has been discovered in other regions of the world as well, such as Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. Each location with its various minerals and other factors create different looking opals. American and Canadian Opals are mined in British Columbia, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, and Louisiana.Other countries in which opal is found include Honduras, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. It is not often opals are faceted and the most common faceted opal is the Mexican Fire Opal. Most fire opals do not have the signature play of color found in all other opals. They are usually a beautiful deep red orange stone. When selecting an opal you want to look for bright flashes of color with an appealing pattern to the fire.I would also recommend you do some homework on the internet to see the different kinds of opals and decide which you prefer. In the marketplace you will find natural, treated, synthetic and simulant opals. Natural which has no treatment other than being cut and polished. Treated Opal has had some outside material introduced into the stone, such as dye to darken the stone. Synthetic Opal a man-mad lab-grown Opal which has the same mineral components as a natural Opal.Opal simulants are simulated Opals which are made to look like an opal down the play of color but are totally different material and are often mostly plastic.