October Birthstone: Opal and Tourmaline

Curious what the October Birthstone is? In this post, we will explore its meaning, hidden properties and, of course, its uses. October is one of the few months to have not one but two birthstones: Tourmaline and Opal. So without further a due, let us see what October Birthstone signifies.

What Is the Birthstone for October?

To answer what is the October birthstone, we must first see what this gem is made of. The October Birthstone is represented by both Tourmaline and Opal.

Tourmaline is part of the cyclosilicate category. In other words, it is composed of potassium, lithium, sodium, magnesium, iron, aluminum and silicate minerals. Opal, on the other hand, is part of the mineraloid category. It is a shapeless form of silica. This is due to its water content that ranges between 3% to 21%. As a result, it is classified as a mineraloid and can be found within limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl and basalt.

As regards the representative color for the October birthstones, these are two of the most radiant semi-precious gems from around the world. The October birthstone color spectrum translates into a broad visual variety of choices that adds to their charm. So the birthstone color for October can range from blue and green to red and yellow.

October Birthstone Natural Origins

Now let’s take a look at where these gems are mined. Both October birthstones are mined in a significant number of countries. Tourmaline is predominantly mined in Brazil, Nigeria, Kenya, the United States of America, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Opal can be found in Australia, Ethiopia, the United States of America (predominantly in Nevada), Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Opal has been known to be commercialized since 250 BC, through traders from the Bosporus. They claimed to have gained the gems from India. Tourmalines, however, were much later commercialized. Being brought to Europe from Sri Lanka by the Dutch East India Company since the early 1700’s.

October Birthstones: Etymology

The name Tourmaline comes from the words “Turmali” and “Thoramalli”, used by two of the largest ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, the Tamil and Sinhalese. One of the oldest references to Opal, on the other hand, comes from the Sanskrit word “Upala”. The Romans are known to have commonly used the words “opalus” to describe the semi-precious stone. Other references include the Ancient Greeks, who used the word “Opallios”. However, this term has been used only after the Romans conquered Greece in 180 BC.

October Birthstone

October Birthstone Lore, Unusual Properties & Miraculous Uses

The October birthstone meaning may vary. Both the Tourmaline and the Opal are considered to have unique properties since ancient times. Opal was the symbol of hope for ancient Romans. In the Orient, Opal was also known as the “Anchor of Hope”. Some of its properties include:

  • The power to grant invisibility.
  • Changes color according to the mental and health dispositions of those who wear it.

Even though Tourmaline has been recently discovered, as opposed to Opal, there are a few attributes that this semi-precious stone is believed to grant. Tourmaline is also known as the “Peace Stone”. Its properties include:

  • The ability to remove aggressiveness, jealousy, anger and fear.
  • Whoever wears it experiences a state of peace.
  • Enhances the creative vision of anyone who wears it.

Opal and Tourmaline are the birthstones for the month October, thus for the people born under the signs of Scorpio and Libra.

Due to its use since Antiquity, Opal has been surrounded by a few superstitions across the ages. During the Dark Ages, the gem was considered a stone that grants luck. This belief came from the fact that Opal contains the colors of all gemstones out there, as well as their virtues. It was believed that it grants the power of invisibility, thus making it very popular with spies and thieves.

In Russia, however, Opal was considered a bad gemstone for it embodies the evil eye. An interesting legend states that Queen Cleopatra worn a set of opals to seduce Mark Anthony, who was part of the second Roman Triumvirate alongside Octavian and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Queen Victoria is also known to have used opals. Her crown was encrusted with this gem to protect her against evil forces and enemies.

The other birthstone for October, Tourmaline, possesses some interesting features. If warmed, the stone will attract ash, paper or lint. This is due to the gems ability to the charged with static electricity. Benjamin Franklin is known to have used this gem in many of his experiments and studies about electricity. Tourmaline was also used by chemists in the 19th century. It was used to polarize light by diverting rays onto the polished and cut surface of the gem.

October Birthstone Color Symbolism

Octobers Birthstones come in a variety of colors. Tourmaline is also dubbed the “Rainbow Gem” due to the wide variety of colors it has. The “Anchor of Hope” was believed by some to have fallen from the heavens when lightning hit the Earth.

The first October birthstone mentioned, Tourmaline, comes in a variety of forms and colors. It can range from red-purple Rubellite to blue Indicolite. Another popular Tourmaline is the Bi-Color Tourmaline and the most common is the black Schorl. The Paraiba tourmaline is one of the most expensive and hard to get gems.

Opal also comes in a variety of forms and colors. Some of the most famous opal gems are the Fire Opal, which is a transparent translucent gem, ranging from yellow to orange and red. The region Andamooka in Australia produces the so-called opal “triplet” due to the multiple colors ranging from blue to green. The two most often seen forms of Opal are “doublets” and “triplets”. They are called in such a way due to the number of layers they possess. Therefore, a doublet has two layers, the top one containing genuine opal.

These gems are considered to change their colors according to the health and mental state of the wearer. So regardless of the color they possess, they are believed to protect users from negative emotions, help them keep balance and enhance creativity. Thus, the birthstone for October can offer many benefits.

October Birthstone Jewelry Guide

October birthstone opal has been used as a gemstone since Antiquity. Even though tourmaline is a more recent discovery, it is also primarily used as a healing gemstone. So if you are a Scorpio or Libra, these gems will look fabulous on you. There are many October birthstone rings, necklaces or earrings to choose from and charm the viewers. The birthstone color for October can encompass all the rainbow colors.

  • October Birthstone Ring

October Birthstone

Opal and Tourmaline Rings are unique jewelry items. Above we can see the intricacies of a golden encrusted opal ring.

  • October Birthstone Necklace

October Birthstone

If you actually want to stand out and bring a little bit of the grandeur of the Ancients, such as Queen Cleopatra, then opt for a Tourmaline or Opal necklace, as the one shown above. We guarantee it will draw the eyesight of many.

This brings to an end our article on October birthstone. For more information on the birthstones of other months make sure to check our complete Birthstone Jewelry Guide.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4.