Opal is believed to have originated from the Sanskrit word upala, meaning a “precious stone." The dramatic shifting play-of-color within the stone has inspired writers to compare the gem to fireworks, galaxies and volcanoes. Bedouins once believed opal gems held lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. Ancient Greeks thought opals bestowed the gift of prophesy and protection from disease. It has been long maintained that opal is a symbol of purity, hope and truth.