E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Opal of Alphonso XII. (of Spain)
seemed to be fatal. The king, on his wedding day, presented an opal ring to his wife (Mercedes, daughter of the Duke of Montpensier), but her death occurred soon afterwards. Before the funeral the king gave the ring to his sister (Maria del Pilar), who died a few days afterwards. The king then presented the ring to his sister-in-law (the Princess Christina, Youngest daughter of the Duke of Montpensier), who died within three months. Alphonso, astounded at these fatalities, resolved to wear the ring himself, but died also within a very short time. The Queen Regent then attached the ring to a gold chain, which she suspended on the neck of the Virgin of Almudena of Madrid. (See FATAL GIFTS.)