The Birthstone for October
Some months have more than one birthstone, just like October. It has two powerful healing crystals that influence the zodiac signs Libra and Scorpio. The first October birthstone is Opal, it is a beautiful and rare stone and tourmaline is a secondary stone that helps against negative energy.
Opal is considered a seductive stone because of its connection with desires and eroticism. It helps to maintain balance when it comes to love and passion. Wearing a piece of opal jewelry can bring loyalty and faithfulness in any relationship.
On the other hand, tourmaline is a popular stress reliever gemstone. It helps in increasing the mental awareness of a person and improving their immune system. Also, it can reduce any toxin-related illnesses.
The planet of Venus rules Libra, and wearing opal jewelry can help you find balance in everything. While wearing a tourmaline as an amulet support Scorpio in managing their life every day. It’s like no matter how bad your day can be, using these gemstones keeps you away from resentment.
What’s The Color of the October Birthstone?
Identifying each color within the opal is almost impossible because of its wide collection, however, there are common categories of this stone and here are some of them:
White Opals – milky white tone that emits beautiful pastel colors
Black Opals – a dark tone which reflects gray, blue, and green colors
Blue Opals – light to deep blue tone with an orange, sandy, earth colors
Pink Opals – peach and salmon tone with black and deep orange-spotted colors
Tricolor Opals – rare silver with satin colors
All tourmaline’s color display what they call pleochroism which mean, color changes in different angles, and here are some of them:
Black or Bluish-Black to Deep Brown – iron-rich tourmalines
Brown to Yellow – magnesium-rich tourmalines
Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, and Pink – lithium-rich tourmalines
Green to Pink – watermelon tourmaline
Neon-Blue – Paraiba tourmaline
October Birthstone: Opal & Tourmaline Etymology, History, and Folklore
There are two origins of opal, one’s from the Sanskrit, and the others from the Greek. From the Sanskrit word “upala” which means precious stone, Romans believe that it is the most powerful amongst all gemstones. They called it “opalus” because it contains all the colors of gemstones.
For Greeks, there’s an argument between the origins of the opal. Some prefer the word “opallios”, meaning, to see a change of color or the opal’s iridescence. On the contrary, other Greeks used the word “paederos” that has the meaning of precious stones. They refuse to use “opalus” because they believed it came to Roman who invaded their lands.
Due to its rare features, Romans used opal to show authority in society and thought that this gem is the most expensive and powerful stone. The first known relics of opals were found in Kenya and geologists believed that it originates from Ethiopia. Thousands of years later, Ethiopian opals were exposed and introduced to the market.
In medieval times, opals are believed to cure eye disease, boost the immune system, and empower the mind. Ancient women wear opal jewelry such as necklaces to prevent their blond hair from darkening or fading. They even though that using opal can make anyone invisible if they wish, which they called Patronus.
From the myths of the Native Australian, it is said that the Creator came down to Earth through the rainbow to share peace with humankind. The ground where his foot touched, opals came to life shining in different colors. For Arabs, opals are magic stones that came from lighting then fall during thunderstorms.
When Zeus defeated the titans, his tears of joy turned into opals as believed in Greek mythology. As for Aztecs, Fire Opal is renowned as the Stone of the Bird Paradise which could restore the cycle of creation and destruction. However, some legends claimed that opal brings bad luck and considered an evil stone.
Spanish and Portuguese discovered green and blue tourmaline in the 16th century while looking for gold. They mistook it as emerald and sapphire and so traders find ways to differentiate these stones. Using a Sri Lankan word “turmali’ meaning “mixed gems”, they used it to refer to crystal gems found on the island of Ceylon.
Dutch traders began to import tourmalines to Europe in the 1600s as the demand for these stones started to increase. In the year 193, tourmaline was popular in the United States, particularly in Maine and California until it was recognized as an American gemstone. However, despite its growing fame, China became the main source of tourmaline in the 19th century.
But in half of the 20th century, miners discovered large tourmaline deposits in Brazil. The demand dramatically expanded until tourmaline mines appear almost all around the world. In the 1950s, fine tourmalines were produced in Madagascar, Tanzania, Russia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
For centuries, many cultures had different beliefs about the power of tourmalines. In ancient India, they used tourmaline as a tool to help them see good things. And today, this gemstone serves as a charm to protect people from any cause of danger.
The Spiritual Meaning of October Birthstone
Among the ancient history, opal symbolizes loyalty and assurance then, later on, became related to religious emotional prayers. The color of opal has different therapeutic powers, red to stop bleeding, and green to cure illnesses. Romans carried opal stones as a lucky charm as they believed to bring good fortune just like the rainbow.
Transparent yellow-orange opal, commonly known as honey opal, was mined in Dubník and the Tokaj Mountains in Hungary. The production eventually slowed down until there’s no more Hungarian opal that existed by the 18th century. After that, Australia took over quickly and became the world’s main source of opal.
Australia contributes over 90% of the production of opal in the market. Queensland and New South Wales are the primary producers of the October stone since 1870 up until today. Aside from Australia, you can also found opal in Mexico, USA, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
The secondary stone tourmaline provides healing and protection energy. Shaman called it receptive stone because of its ability to soothe, calm, and promote meditation and wisdom. Tourmaline is well-known to aid body circulation, immunes system, and in relieving stress.
The Health Benefits and Healing Properties of the October Birthstone
October birthstone fights infections and strengthens the immune system. It is very effective in purifying internal organs such as kidneys. Opal is also beneficial in promoting good memory, eyesight, skin, hair, and nails.
Associated with female hormones, opal eliminated any kind of discomfort regarding menopausal, childbirth, and premenstrual syndrome. Moreover, opal helps to balance your body’s water content to avoid getting dehydrated. If you need to stabilize patients with Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction then use opal to regain their control over such conditions.
The healing properties of tourmaline are to maintain the digestive and pulmonary system healthy. This October birthstone can treat adrenal and mental disorders such as trauma, depression, and anxiety.
Blue tourmaline helps to clear your mind and green tourmaline revitalizes your body by strengthening the immune system. Black tourmaline removes all the toxins in your body and pink tourmaline keeps the heart healthy and strong. Lastly, red tourmalines improve a reproductive system, blood circulation, and cardiovascular health.
The Durability of the October Birthstone
According to the Mohs Hardness Scale, opal ranges from 5 to 6.5. It is softer than other gemstones such as quartz and topaz which makes it vulnerable. Opal can easily get scratches and cracks from other materials.
The opal stone is composed of 3 to 30 percent of the water that means it has a poor rating in toughness. Soaking it up in the water, oil, or any liquid may break the gem easily. It is prone to chips and fractures so avoid putting the stone in places with high temperatures or low humidity.
When it comes to resistance to chemical, intense heat or line may cause crazing or fracture lines to opal. A sudden change of temperature have also a bad effect on the stone. It can easily be attacked by acid or alkaline solution that usually found in cleaning solutions.
Using the Mohs Hardness Scale, tourmaline ranks 7 to 7.5 which makes it harder than opal. Since it’s slightly harder than quartz, tourmaline can’t get easily scratch or lose its shine. Also, it doesn’t have any cleavage planes which means it a hard crystal.
Overall, tourmaline is rated as fair which is ideal for jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and earrings. Although considered as a hard gem, tourmaline should be protected from chips and cracks. Proper cleaning and storing of tourmaline can help the gemstone to last long.
While tourmaline is stable to light and chemicals, the sudden change in temperature can cause fractures in the stone. Heat can damage the gem and could result in discoloration. Some tourmaline needs to be treated well to improve its color.
Caring and Cleaning October Birthstone
How to Clean Opal
Due to its vulnerability, the safest way to clean opal stone is with warm soapy water. You can use a soft brush to thoroughly clean the stone and soft cloth to dry. Make sure to remove all your opal jewelry before doing a task such as exercising, swimming, bathing, and even putting makeups and perfumes.
How to Store Opal
To prolong the beauty of opal, you must store them away from durable materials that may cause scratch or chips. Place them in a jewelry box with a soft cushion or any soft covering. You can also try an acid-free paper envelope or paper parcel organizer to store them properly.
How to Clean Tourmaline
Although tourmaline stones do not undergo many types of treatment like opals, its cleaning method is the same as other stone. Warm water with soap, along with a soft brush and soft cloth to dry is the proper way to clean it. However, due to its pyroelectric property, tourmaline is more prone to grime and dirt and should be cleaned more frequently compared to other gems.
How to Store Tourmaline
As always, remove any jewelry or gemstones before doing harsh physical activities like sports. Doing so can avoid any scratches not only on tourmaline gems but with other stones as well. It’s best to wrap the gemstones with a soft cloth before storing them in a fabric-lines jewelry box.
The Cost of October Birthstone
The price of gemstones is usually based on colors, cuts, and clarity. If you are looking for a 1-carat Ethiopian black opal ring, you can get it for only $20. However, if you prefer a unique Australian multicolor opal ring, then you can have it for $500.
For common 0.7-carat orange tourmaline earrings from Mozambique, you can have it for just $60. If you want a 2.5-carat green tourmaline ring, it is marketed for $200. And if money is not a problem, owning a 13-carat pink tourmaline will cost you $2,000.
Opal and Tourmaline are precious stones perfect for pendants, earrings, and rings. Each stone has a perfect and unique design. Queen of Gems as they call these October birthstones due to their beautiful and magical colors that change when the light catches the right spot.
Make sure to get an opal or tourmaline and experience the power in your life! Good luck!
Felicia EisnnicherI am the Lead Author and Editor at Gemstagram. I am responsible for creating and editing content about the power of gems and crystals. I also teach about self-knowing, self-understanding and personal empowerment through numerology. My mission is to help people understand the power of gems and crystals, and how they can use that power to improve their lives. I believe that by understanding ourselves better, we can become more empowered individuals who are able to create our own destiny.
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