The October Birthstones – Opal & Tourmaline

An opal gemstone

As you move into October, here in the UK at least, you are getting into the colder months. If you’re planning to buy some jewellery for someone with an October birthday why not go the extra mile and get something that uses their birthstone. But first, you will need to know what it is…

What is the October Birthstone?

The birthstone for October is the Opal.

What is an Opal?

The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit word “upala”, meaning “precious stone,” as well as the Greek word “Opallios,” which means “to see a change of colour.”

The colour of an opal is incredibly varied due to its internal structure which diffracts light. You can find opals of a single colour, multiple colours, or even every colour of the rainbow.

The colour of an opal will determine it’s worth.  Traditionally red is considered the most prized colour, followed by orange and green respectively. However, desirability is usually down to the individual wearer and their likes.

To give you a better idea of how to evaluate an opal, this chart from GIA will help.

colour of an opal

Opal’s date back to 4000 BC. It is thought that the earliest discovery of opals most likely came from Ethiopia. In the Old World, nearly all of the opal’s that came to Europe and the Middle East were from Hungary. This changed when the Conquistadors brought opal’s mined in Mexico, Honduras and Peru back to New World Spain. Today 90{2304df0ea09e20b7dafdb01426a9520a1abbb6f09cda0b56a738c36965412fc1} of opal’s are mined in Australia.

opalAs well as being the birthstone for October an opal is traditionally given as a stone to celebrate the 14th year of marriage.

An opal is considered to be a stone that provides inspiration, as well as enhancing memory, imagination and creativity.

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