The October Birthstone is actually two birthstones, Tourmaline and Opal. These both offer an amazing range of colours to suit the personality of every October baby of any age.
Tourmaline – October Birthstone 1
Tourmaline is a favourite gemstone for many because it’s available in a rainbow of beautiful colours.
Tourmaline lives up to its name, which means “mixed stone”. With a rainbow of colours, Tourmaline can easily enhance any jewellery collection. Cranberry red, hot magenta, bubblegum pink, peach and orange, canary yellow, mint, grass and forest green, ocean blue, violet: Tourmaline is all of these and more.
Tourmaline is also known for displaying several colors in one gemstone. These bi-colour or tri-colour gems are formed in many combinations and are highly prized. One multi-colour variety is known as Watermelon Tourmaline and features green, pink, and white colour bands. To resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink centre, white ring, and green edge.
Opal – October Birthstone 2
Opal gemstones are truly unique because each individual gem is adorned with a one-of-a-kind colour combination.
In ancient times, the Opal was known as the Queen of Gems because it encompassed the colours of all other gems. Each Opal is truly one-of-a-kind; as unique as our fingerprints. Some prefer the calming flashes of blues and greens; others love the bright reds and yellows. With its rainbow of colours, as you turn and move the Opal the colour plays and shifts, giving you a gem that can be worn with a plethora of ensembles.
Brightly colored Sri Lankan gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. Tourmalines were used by chemists in the 19th century to polarize light by shining rays onto a cut and polished surface of the gem.
Opal – Australia’s National Gemstone
As well as an October Birthstone, Opal is also the National Gemstone of Australia which holds a national collection. The image above shows a part of that collection.
Australia’s Lightning Ridge is known for its rare and stunning black Opals. The ideal Opal is one that displays broad patterns covering the surface, with all the colours of the rainbow, including red. Since Opals are the most individual gemstone with its range of colours be sure to choose one that showcases your colour preference and pattern.
In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose colour was represented in the colour spectrum of the opal. It was also said to confer the power of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand.
Following the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein in 1829, opal acquired a less auspicious reputation. In Scott’s novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon thereafter. Due to the popularity of Scott’s novel, people began to associate opals with bad luck and death.
Even as recently as the beginning of the 20th century, it was believed that when a Russian saw an opal among other goods offered for sale, he or she should not buy anything more, as the opal was believed to embody the evil eye.
Nowadays, we recognise the beauty of opal and such superstitions are relegated to history.
While opalite is NOT the same as opal, it can be a more affordable alternative for the October birthstone.
Opalite is a trade name for synthetic opalised glass. Opalite is a clear or milky coloured iridescent glass, or sometimes even plastic, that is available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The glass appears to be yellowish red when held up to the light and has a blue glow against dark backgrounds. This is a phenomenon known as Opalescence, named after the appearance of Opals.
Opalite is a man-made material that is readily available but it can often be mistaken for other more valuable gemstones.
Healing properties of Opal and Opalite
Both Opal and Opalite are wonderfully serene crystals, good for depression and relationships.
they are stones of love, but only reward faithful lovers. They are said to help form lasting romantic bonds.
Opal and Opalite are believed to alleviate depression, soothe frayed nerves and help us to step away from anxiety. They bring inner peace and a sense of calm in any situation.