Birthstones are specific gemstones associated with each month of the year. Some months, like October, have more than one birthstone, offering you more choice if you would like to celebrate an occasion with birthstone jewelry.
Birthstones by Month
June: pearl and alexandrite
October: opal and tourmaline
November: topaz and citrine
December: tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise
Each birthstone has a history, legend, and/or special characteristics. October birthstones are no exception.
October Birthstone: Opal
Opal is a beautiful gemstone that is available in a range of colors, often with multiple colors in the same stone. The word opal has several derivations, one of which is the Greek word “opallus,” which means “to be a change.” This likely signifies opal’s changing hues and many variations.
Opal Composition and Significance
Opals are a relatively soft gemstone, formed in near-surface volcanic rock. Generally exhibiting an array of colors, opals flash an impressive rainbow with movement and light. Opals are said to be associated with hope, innocence, purity, and faith.
Opals can range in color from creamy white to black and often contain blazes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. There is tremendous beauty in these contrasting and intermingling colors. Particularly prized are black opals, part of the “schorl” species found primarily in Australia, and “fire opals,” a burnt orange color perfect for autumn, primarily found in Mexico.
October Birthstone: Tourmaline
Tourmaline is a radiant October birthstone with a rich history. Originally mined in Sri Lanka, tourmaline became a popular gemstone in Europe for its variety in shape, color presentation, and depth.
Tourmaline Composition and Significance
The word tourmaline comes from Singhalese (Sri Lankan) and means “something of the earth.” Regarded for bringing peace to its wearer, tourmaline occurs in nature as long prisms or crystals, in varying widths.
Tourmaline is another October birthstone that comes in a broad range of colors, from bold red to mesmerizing teal. Like opal, this gemstone is often treasured for displaying more than one hue, as in “watermelon tourmaline,” which, as the name implies, shows both pink and green.
Selecting and Wearing October Birthstones
Selecting or designing jewelry based on birthstone is loving and meaningful. Thinking of celebrating a birth, engagement, wedding, or other occasion or milestone with an October birthstone? Consider setting a loose opal or tourmaline into a ring or a pendant for a special gift. Or, if you like the idea of jewelry with a romantic past, opt for an antique tourmaline ring for a hand-selected piece from the past with endless hope for the future.
Opal Photograph by Hannes Grobe via Wikimedia Commons