From Halloween, to thanksgiving in the US, to even beginning to prepare for Christmas, October is a month full of festivity. According to national and international statistics, October is also one of the busiest months for birthdays. So what is the October birthstone? And what does it mean to be born in October?
Opal is the birthstone of October and its name is derived from the Latin word ‘Opalus’ which means 'to see changing colours.' Compared to burning sunsets and celestial star systems, opal gemstones contain flashes of kaleidoscopic colours that need to be seen to be believed. Loved by many for their uniqueness, no two genuine opal stones are ever the same. With their individual qualities and with many varieties, this beautiful gemstone perfectly matches the seasonal transition into Autumn/Winter.
A History of October’s Gems
It has been said that ancient civilizations believed wearing opals would grant them the ability to see into the future and even to grant invisibility. This belief became very popular in the middle ages when opal became known as the “eyestone.” Opal necklaces would be worn as talismans as it was believed the gemstones would enhance vision. After this period, opals began to decline in popularity - it's hard to believe that a stone that was once thought to hold the power of all gems was actually perceived as bad luck.
It was Queen Victoria who brought opals into the forefront of fashion again and even kept her own collection. Other royals such as Princess Mary and Duchess of Gloucester also started to wear opal jewels and often offered them as gifts.
The first known opal gems were said to be found in Kenya, however, opals are now mined in over 20 countries but have become synonymous with just one. Over the last 100 years, Australia has dominated opal mining, with the largest opal depositories dotted all over the country. A gemstone held in such high regard, even the Australian women’s senior national basketball team is called The Opals.
But with over 15 different kinds of opal, these magical stones can be found across the globe. Striking red fire opals are the national gemstone of Mexico. Ethiopia is also known for its welo opals, with a truly unique play of colour that can give the impression of a world within each gem.
Your October Stone
October birthstones are the envy of many gemstone lovers for their distinct look and colourful attraction. Opals are the kind of gems that start conversations and bring that wow factor. They really do need to be seen to be believed. Celebrate an October birthday with a modern heirloom in opal that will turn heads for years to come. Discover Gemondo's collection of beautiful opal jewellery here.
We wish you all a happy October birthday, it’s your month to shine!