Gem of the Month

October Birthstone: Opal


There are several October birthstones, depending on which tradition you want to look at. Those who believe in the older meanings of gems scoff at the modern list since those gems have no astrological significance. The modern list, which was created in 1912, has as its October birthstone, the Opal. This beautiful, iridescent gem changes color depending on the lighting, which is one of its defning characteristics. Because of this color shifting Opal Jewelry, in the right settings, can be stunning.

Australia produces about 95% of the world’s opal supply. The aborigines of that country say that the opal was created where a rainbow touched the earth. This certainly explains the cascade of color in fine opal specimens. Opal is a relatively soft gem so it can easily be scratched or scraped.

In Europe, the Opal has been considered an unlucky stone for centuries and it is said that only those born in the month of October are able to wear an Opal without receiving the ill-luck attached to this stone. Contrary to European beliefs, the Opal is seen as a stone of luck and a stone of hope and faithfulness in Asia. In Greece it was believed that this stone contained the spirit of truth and that it revealed the truth to its wearer. This stone is also seen as the stone belonging to the God of Love Eros or Cupid. The Australian Aborigines and Native Americans use the Opal to obtain a trance state and to bring about their dreamtime and/or vision quests.