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October Birthstone – Opal

Brief Guide to October Birthstone

Opal is the October birthstone. The word opal is derived from the Latin word opalus meaning precious stone. Ancient kings treasured opal for its beauty and firey colors. Opal is said to be a symbol of hope and beauty. Pink tourmaline is the alternate birthstone for October.

Opal is the most colorful of all gemstones due to the myriad of colors that are displayed. No two opals are alike. Precious opal is rare and is prized as a gemstone.

It is a common myth that if you wear opal and it is not your birthstone, it will bring you bad luck. Another myth is that opal jewelry must be soaked in water or it will lose its firey shimmery luster.

These days, most people have some choices when it comes to their birthstones. While many people choose to go with the traditional listing for birth stone selections, others have more fun with the modern listing that developed in the early years of the 20th century. Still others prefer a more recent listing, referred to as the alternate list. The nice thing is that people can choose from one list or the other, or even choose to claim a whole round of birthstones as their own.

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October Modern and Traditional Birthstone

When it comes to the month of October, the options are pretty straightforward. The opal is considered to be the October birthstone for both the traditional and modern options. For persons who want to go with a bit of light color, the pink tourmaline is the October birthstone of choice. Both stones have a lot to recommend them. In the case of the opal, many people consider this stone to be one of the more regal and dignified choices for jewelry pieces. The nature of the opal is so strongly identified with the feminine tradition that in generations past, it was not unusual for families to bestow the name of Opal onto one of their daughters. The simple elegance of the stone makes it the perfect pairing with a simple black dress, adding an element of style and grace. In less formal settings, the opal is a simple compliment to everything from a sweater and jeans to office wear.

The pink tourmaline is also associated often with the feminine, and can be a subtle touch of color when worn as stones in a bracelet or ring. Generally, the pink tourmaline works best in some sort of a simple setting, and is considered to be especially lovely with settings made of silver or white gold. A sense of delicacy is associated with pink tourmaline, as well as a feeling of peace and tranquility. As a birthstone associated with the autumn of the year, with its return to routine after the summer and just before the turbulence of the major holidays, the pink tourmaline as a symbol of tranquility may be just the ticket.

Birthstone Overview

Moder Name : Opal or Tourmaline
Traditional Name : Tourmaline
Mystic Name : Jasper
Ayurvedic Name : Opal
Other Names : Pink Tourmaline, Zircon, Aquamarine

There are several October birthstones, depending on which tradition you want to look at. Those who believe in the older meanings of gems scoff at the modern list since those gems have no astrological significance. The modern list, which was created in 1912, has as its October birthstone, the Opal. This beautiful, iridescent gem changes color depending on the lighting, which is one of its defning characteristics. Because of this color shifting Opal Jewelry, in the right settings, can be stunning.

Australia produces about 95% of the world's opal supply. The aborigines of that country say that the opal was created where a rainbow touched the earth. This certainly explains the cascade of color in fine opal specimens. (Black opal rivals the price of diamonds for very fine specimens.) While the black opal isn't really black, it does have a dark base color. Given their shimmer and fire fine Black Opal Jewelry is particularly exotic.

October birthstone rings, custom designed or off the shelf, make a very fine gift for a mother, grandmother, or any other family member. There are some very nice opal birthstone rings made for men, as well. An opal necklace is a great gift, as well.

Floating Opal Jewelry is another idea. The opal floats in a glass sphere filled with glycerine or fine oil. The liquid really brings out the dazzle and iridescence of the opals inside.

Care Of Opal Jewelry

Opal is a relatively soft gem so it can easily be scratched or scraped. So care should be taken not to knock it around. Wearing opal jewelry while rock climbing is probably not a good idea!

Probably the best way to clean your opal jewelry is with water and little white vinegar. Rinse carefully and dry with a soft cloth.

Some people suggest immersing opals in water every now and then (since water is part of its chemical structure,) but this isn't a good idea for certain opals. These are more opal clusters rather than solid gems and the water might damage the glue that holds the clusters together.


is the October birthstone in other traditions and is also the national gemstone of the USA (and the State Gemstone of Maine.)

The tourmaline mineral group is chemically one of the most complicated groups of silicate minerals. It is a complex silicate of aluminium and boron, but because of isomorphous replacement (solid solution), its composition varies widely with sodium, calcium, iron, magnesium, lithium and other elements entering into the structure...

Tourmaline comes in a great variety of colors, depending on the minerals present when the gem crystalized. Colors can range from almost black to yellow or pink. Some crystals may even be multi-colored. One type, that is green on the outside and pink in the center, is called watermelon tourmaline.

Since tourmaline comes in such a wide variety of colors tourmaline jewelry can be chosen to go with practically any clothing or setting. Tourmaline birthstone jewelry is for your wife or mother or sister or anyone who likes jewelry. One of the nice things about these birthstones is that you can get such jewelry without breaking your budget.