What Is October Birthstone? Understanding Opal And Tourmaline
When it comes to birthstones, October is unique in that it has two: opal and tourmaline. Both of these gemstones are known for their striking colors and unique features, making them popular choices for jewelry and other decorative items.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what is October birthstone and explore the history, properties, and symbolism of opal and tourmaline.
What Is A Birthstone?
Before we delve into the specifics of October birthstones, it's important to understand what a birthstone is. A birthstone is a gemstone that is associated with a particular month of the year. The concept of birthstones has been around for centuries, and different cultures and traditions have their own variations of the birthstone list.
The modern birthstone list that is widely used today was established in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the United States. This list features a different gemstone for each month, with some months having more than one stone.
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What Is October Birthstone?
As mentioned earlier, October is one of the few months that has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. Both of these gemstones have unique properties and characteristics that make them prized possessions for collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.
Opal - The Shimmering Gemstone
Opal is a unique gemstone that is known for its iridescence and play of color. This gemstone is composed of silica spheres that diffract light, creating a mesmerizing display of colors that seem to shift and change depending on the angle of the light.
Opal is found in many parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico, and the United States. Australia is the largest producer of opals, and the gemstone is a significant part of the country's cultural and economic heritage.
In ancient times, opal was considered a powerful talisman that could provide protection and good luck to its wearer. It was also believed to have healing properties and was used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.
Opal is a relatively soft gemstone, with a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. This means that it requires special care and should be protected from scratches and impacts. Opals are also sensitive to heat and can crack or change color if exposed to high temperatures.
Tourmaline - The Multi-Colored Gemstone
Tourmaline is a versatile gemstone that comes in a wide range of colors, from pink and red to green and blue. It is a complex mineral that contains several elements, including aluminum, boron, and lithium.
Tourmaline is found in many parts of the world, including Brazil, Afghanistan, and the United States. It is a popular gemstone for jewelry because of its hardness (7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) and durability.
Tourmaline has a long history of use in different cultures and traditions. In ancient times, it was believed to have protective properties and was used to ward off negative energy and evil spirits. It was also used as a healing stone and was believed to help with various ailments, including headaches, anxiety, and depression.
The Symbolism Of October Birthstones
Opal and tourmaline have different meanings and symbolism, but both of them are associated with positivity, creativity, and emotional healing.
Opal is said to enhance imagination and creativity, making it a favorite among artists, writers, and musicians. It is also believed to help with emotional healing and to promote feelings of love, joy, and happiness.
Tourmaline, on the other hand, is associated with protection, balance, and self-confidence. It is said to help with emotional stability and to ward off negative energy and harmful emotions. Tourmaline is also believed to promote a sense of calm and tranquility, making it an ideal stone for meditation and relaxation.
Opal and tourmaline are both stones of hope and optimism, and they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity to their wearers. They are also thought to have a grounding effect, helping to anchor the wearer in the present moment and to connect them to the earth.
Opal And Tourmaline Jewelry
Opal and tourmaline are both popular gemstones for jewelry because of their unique beauty and versatility. Opals are often used in pendants, earrings, and rings, while tourmaline is popular for bracelets, necklaces, and statement pieces.
When choosing opal or tourmaline jewelry, it's important to consider the quality of the stone. Look for stones with bright, vivid colors and a high level of iridescence for opals. For tourmaline, look for stones with good clarity and saturation.
It's also important to choose a setting that will protect the stone and showcase its unique features. Opals, in particular, should be set in a protective bezel to prevent chipping or cracking. Tourmaline, on the other hand, can be set in a variety of ways, including prongs, bezels, and channel settings.
The History Of October Birthstones
Opal and tourmaline have been prized gemstones for centuries and have a rich history of symbolism and folklore. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the history and symbolism of October birthstones.
Opal Symbolism And Folklore
Opals have been treasured for their unique beauty since ancient times. In ancient Rome, opals were known as the "Queen of Gems" because they contained the colors of all other gemstones. Opals were also prized by ancient Greeks and believed to bring good fortune and protect the wearer from harm.
In the Middle Ages, opals were thought to have healing powers and were used to treat various ailments. They were also believed to have protective properties, particularly for those traveling at night.
During the 19th century, opals became a symbol of love and hope. In the Victorian era, opals were often given as engagement rings, as they were thought to symbolize fidelity and faithfulness.
Opals also have a dark side to their symbolism. In some cultures, opals were believed to bring bad luck or even death to the wearer. This superstition is thought to have originated in the 1829 novel "Anne of Geierstein" by Sir Walter Scott, in which opal is cursed and causes the death of the character wearing it.
Tourmaline Symbolism And Folklore
Tourmaline has a fascinating history of symbolism and folklore as well. In ancient times, tourmaline was believed to have healing properties and was used to treat various ailments, particularly those related to the nervous system.
In the Middle Ages, tourmaline was believed to protect against danger and harm, particularly during travel. It was also thought to have magical properties and was used in various spells and rituals.
Tourmaline was particularly popular in the 18th century when it was believed to have the power to attract wealth and success. It was also believed to promote creativity and inspiration, making it a popular stone among artists and writers.
Today, tourmaline is still valued for its healing properties and is believed to promote emotional well-being and balance. It is also thought to have a grounding effect and to help connect the wearer to the earth and nature.
OCTOBER Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline | Jill Maurer
Caring For Opal And Tourmaline
Opal and tourmaline are both relatively soft gemstones compared to other stones like diamonds or sapphires. Therefore, they require special care to keep them looking their best.
Opals should be protected from scratches and impacts, so it's important to store them in a soft pouch or cloth. They should also be kept away from heat and direct sunlight, which can cause the stone to crack or change color.
Tourmaline is a bit more durable than opal but should still be treated with care. Avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals or sudden changes in temperature, which can cause the stone to crack or break. When cleaning tourmaline, use mild soap and warm water, and avoid using ultrasonic cleaners or steamers.
People Also Ask
What Is The Meaning Of Black Opal?
Black opal is a type of opal that has a dark body color, typically ranging from dark gray to black.
How Can You Tell If My Opal Is Real?
To determine if an opal is real, you can look for the characteristic play of color, which is a shifting pattern of light and color that is unique to opals.
What Are The Different Types Of Tourmaline?
There are many different types of tourmaline, including black tourmaline, green tourmaline, pink tourmaline, blue tourmaline, and many others.
Can Tourmaline Be Used For Healing?
Tourmaline is believed to have healing properties and is used in various forms of alternative medicine, including crystal healing and Reiki.
October birthstones are a beautiful and unique group of gemstones that have captured the hearts of jewelry enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Whether you prefer the shimmering iridescence of opal or the vibrant colors of tourmaline, there is something special about these gemstones that makes them perfect for any occasion. Understanding what is October birthstone and its history, properties, and symbolism can help you appreciate its beauty and choose the perfect piece of jewelry to wear or give as a gift.