October Birthstone – Opal and Tourmaline

You have two choices for October’s birthstone.

Surprising or not, October has not one birthstone but two: Opal and Tourmaline. The first is the more popular one because it is more abundant.

Not many know that Opal is actually the national gemstone of Australia which produces most of these more than 95% of the black and white opals and offers large quantities of other precious color varieties.

The first opals were discovered in what is now Hungary before the Roman Empire appeared. Today’s most popular varieties, the black or gem opal, with brilliant flashes of red, blue, green and gold, were first found in the 19th century in Australia. They’re now exploited all over the world in quarries in Brazil, Mexico, US and Canada.

October Birthstone - Opal

October Birthstone - Opal

Over the millennia, Opal symbolized many things. People thought they would ease childbirth pains and bring strength in battle.

In 19th century Britain, thanks to one of Sir Walter Scott’s novel in which the main character dies because of an opal, people considered that this gem would bring bad luck to anyone born in October.

This myth was finally busted when Queen Victoria decided to offer the October birthstone to each of her daughters, even if they were born in October or not. Once the mines in Australia were discovered, this gem became more popular than ever.

Today, most people purchase Jelly opals because they are the most affordable. They are transparent to translucent. But the most valuable are the black opals which have a large luminescent spot of bright colors with dark background.

October Birthstone - Tourmaline

October Birthstone - Tourmaline

Jewelers avoid treating October’s birthstone to enhance its colors so these gemstones can be quite fragile. However, just avoiding rough surfaces and steam or acid cleaning is ought to keep them safe.

For a nice selection of opal jewels, you should check Gemvara, where you’ll also get the option to get personalized items. It’s totally worth it.

The other October gemstone, tourmaline comes in numerous shapes and sizes. Depending on its color, it is said to bring good luck, positive energy and romance.

Both these precious stones are an extraordinary option for a gift to someone born in October but not only.

Mastewal October 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

It is very nice.I want to know more about opal

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Eugen Lisov October 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Hi Mastewal,

I will add more articles soon, and some will be about opal.

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