October birthstone – Opal

The other birthstone of the month of October is the Opal...


All the splendor of nature can be found in the variety of Opal. Fire and lightning, all the colours of the rainbow are in this marvelous stone. Composed of silica gel, which is colourless, Opal can contain coloured impurities. 

Meaning and history

The name of this stone is thought to have originated in India, the source of the first Opals brought to the Western world where, in Sanskrit, it was called upala, a "precious stone". 
In ancient Rome, this name became Opalus. Most Opals are prized for their changing colours in rainbow hues - a phenomenon known as "colour play".

Opal's incredible play of colours has inspired writers to compare it to fireworks, galaxies and volcanoes. Bedouins once believed that Opal contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. The ancient Greeks believed that Opals conferred the gift of prophecy and protected against disease. Europeans have long regarded the Opal as a symbol of purity, hope and truth. A few hundred years ago, Opals were believed to embody the virtues and powers of all coloured stones.

Where can I find it? Origin

Australian mines are the most productive. Ethiopia, Mexico and Brazil are also important sources. Other deposits have been discovered in Central Europe, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, Turkey and the United States.

Hardness & Maintenance

Its hardness varies from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.  Care for your Opal with lukewarm water. 
Even a natural Opal can fracture if exposed to high heat or sudden temperature changes. Remember to store it separately, to prevent jewellery set with harder gemstones from scratching the Opal.

The ideal metal to go with your Opal

It's true that Opals are very often worn with silver or white gold jewellery, because these metals with their soft, cool tones harmonise perfectly with Opals and reveal all their light.


A stone of protection, Opal is commonly known as the 'stone of 1,000 lights'.  So don't hesitate to wear it to assess your state of mind and mood. It could be a surprising improvement

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