Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Birthstone: Opal

October Birthstone : Opal
Birthstone Color: Multi-colored 

Astrological sign of Libra The sign of the Scales
Dates: September 23 - October 23 

Peruvian Opal Earrings
Peruvian Opal Chalcedony jewelry, Amazonite,golden pearl, clay floral on Vintage brass filigree dragonfly gold earrings - The DragonFly Gal

Alternate Birthstones of Libra: Peridot, Agate Aquamarine,  Tourmaline and Sapphire

October's birthstone treats the eye to an explosion of shimmering colors, not unlike those of a magnificent rainbow following a summer rain.  The Opal derives its name from the Latin word "opalus," meaning precious jewel.  Prized for its unique ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light, the Opal was called "Cupid Paederos" by the Romans, meaning a child beautiful as love.  One legendary explanation for this gemstone's origin is that it fell from heaven in a flash of fiery lightning.  

Opal bracelet
Opal Bracelet - Multi Strand Fire Opal with Wirework in Fine Silver

Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers.  They were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight.  These gemstones were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares.  

The Opal dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed.  As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal.  This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.  Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily.   

Opal Crystal Earrings
Dangle Earrings Opal Crystal Galactic

Most of the world's Opal deposits are found in Southern Australia.  Other sources of this gemstone are Brazil, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and Nevada. Quality Opal is very expensive, made more so by the caution that must be exercised in cutting, polishing and setting it into jewelry.   

A gift of Opal is symbolic of faithfulness and confidence.  And the powerful energy radiating from this fiery gemstone will surely illuminate any occasion!

Opal Heart Necklace

Positive characteristics

Negative traits

SPECIAL CARE INSTRUCTIONS Very heat sensitive, clean with warm or room temperature soap and water. Avoid wearing gem where it will get rough treatment. 

by Linda Blatchford, Jewelry Designer


  1. Opal is my Birthstone, and while I'm pleased w/ the "Charming and Refined" characteristics, the "Frivolous and Deceitful" ... not so much. lol
    And hey - since when is "Flirtatious" a negative trait ;D

    1. Happy Birthday, Charming and Refined Jill :)

    2. ROFL Too funny! I agree with the charming and refined :) And yes flirtatious is fine! hihi

  2. I love opals. I have several Fire Opals and while I seldom wear jewelry, I do pull those out upon occasion.
    Great information.

  3. Good info here, not one of my faves but it is pretty. @Jill I can see how flirtatious can be a negative lol.

  4. I love opals, and it's my Mother's birthstone. I think she is "all of the above traits" LOL, but she might not agree.

    1. Gina, happy birthday to your "all of the above" mom

  5. Thank for all of the wonderful information! Opal is my birthstone, and I love it!

  6. love it!! so glad fall is here and i love october colors!!

  7. I love Opal! Its one of my favourite gems. Thanks for the info!

  8. Great information about such a beautiful gem!

  9. Very informative. Have never been a fan of opals but enjoyed your article. Made of 30% water.. no wonder it's so easily breakable!

  10. Beautiful stone and great info! Thank you!

  11. Opals are so pretty - and what great examples you featured!

  12. My mother's favorite! Thanks for the info.

  13. I love opals esp those with a bit of green flash it's the gemstone that started my obsession with jewellery

  14. I love opals and have a few opal chips in a vase. They are so pretty!!

  15. I also love opals, and fire opals... Thanks Linda for taking the time to give this post and to respond to all the comments :)

  16. I love opals but I can't imagine eating them. (lol) Thanks for the interesting info.

  17. Love the opal. My daughter's birthstone. Thanks for taking the time to share. Great information.

  18. Beautiful post on opals, a very pretty stone.

  19. omg, didnt know my earrings wre featured !! Thank You so much Linda..and yes Opals are among my most absolute favorite gemstones. lovely !!