50% Off Silver* | Extra 10% Off* Clearance Items (Use Code: CLEAR10) | COVID-19 Update

Blog

What Is The October Birthstone?

What is the October birthstone? Well, October actually has two birthstones – Opal and Tourmaline. Renowned for their iridescent beauty, they are both stones we can’t help but obsess over.

With colours that seem to dance in the light, you’re sure to fall head-over-heels when you see a set of opal earrings, rings and more. In our opinion, opals are one of the best stones to wear because they have a hands-down poetic appearance.

Or maybe you are interested in the tourmaline? And why wouldn’t you be? Tourmaline is said to increase energy flows, unblock obstacles and enable the achievement of long-term goals.

Want to learn more about the October birthstones? Read on!

What Is The October Birthstone Overview:

     ★ The History Of Opal
     ★ Opal Meaning
     ★ Caring For Opal Jewellery
     ★ Our Top Opal Jewellery Picks
     ★ What Is Tourmaline?
     ★ What Are The Benefits Of Tourmaline?
     ★ Tourmaline Jewellery

The History Of Opal

The name ‘Opal’ comes from two languages, Sanskrit and Greek. The former derives its meaning from the word ‘upala’, which means ‘precious stone’, and the latter derives it from the word ‘opallios’, which means ‘to see a change of colour’. As names go, these are pretty accurate - don’t you think?

But the more interesting thing about opals is their perceived history. Legend has it that for a couple of centuries, this stone was considered to be bad luck. Why? Due to a lack of scientific understanding. The superstition started when the opal was being shaped.

Jewellers back then did not have the scientific know-how as they do now, and they tried to mount or shape the opal as any ordinary stone. This often led to the stone drying out and breaking and causing several of them to go to waste due to a lack of skilful handling. Now though? It’s the luckiest charm we’ve got!

opal in stone

Opal Meaning

The opal is associated with hope in several Asian countries and carries the reputation of good tidings. In some places, it was also considered to have therapeutic and healing powers, which resulted in it being embedded in many amulets.

The more contemporary belief associated with the opal is that it has amplifying powers. It enhances self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem, and helps you to understand your full potential. It also brings lightness and spontaneity.

The stone is said to help stimulate originality and dynamic creativity encourages an interest in the arts, and aids in accessing one’s true self. Because the stone is absorbent and reflective, it helps you to pick up thoughts and feelings, amplify them, and return them to their source - making it the perfect karmic stone.

Talk about a good pick! Opals are also traditionally Aussie through and through.

They’re formed when seasonal rains soak the parched outback, carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rock. When the water evaporates, these deposits form opals. Sometimes, silica seeps into spaces around wood, seashells and skeletons, resulting in opalised fossils.

A person holding the October birthstone in its raw state

Caring For Opal Jewellery

When cleaning your opal rings or opal earrings, be sure to use warm, soapy water. Any other kind of cleaner is not really recommended, since they might erode a layer or two off the surface, compromising their sheen and appearance. Since the surface of it is delicate, abrasive cleaning materials or scrubs might also cause scratches to appear.

Ultrasonic cleaners may cause structural damage to it, so if you give your jewellery to professionals, make sure you check with them what method they use.

Chemical cleaners may cause irreparable damage to the stone’s integrity, causing it to become brittle or to dissolve. Since most gemstones are made out of mineral deposits, it’s important to treat them like the rare gems they are.

Some rare kinds of opals like the ‘Titenbar’ should be kept in water. This, much like the care of the pearl, keeps it from becoming brittle and breaking. This also keeps the stone from cracking.

If you have a loose thin opal, set it into a pendant instead of a ring, because it ensures a longer lifespan.

Avoid storing or wearing opal jewellery that is exposed to harsh conditions. For example, if you’re wearing your opal ring, take it off before you get your hands dirty gardening or doing the dishes.

Our Top Opal Jewellery Picks

1. Elegant Earrings:

Tiny, chic earrings are one of the most underrated elements of any woman’s outfit. Especially dainty, stud gold earrings.

Incidentally, we at Shiels have the cutest kind of gemstone earrings. With gemstone jewellery being all the rage, there are some really cute options available, and the best place to learn how to pair them is here, with our gemstone jewellery guide!

a pair of yellow gold stud earrings set with the october birthstone

9ct Yellow Gold White Opal 4mm Stud Earrings

Want to add a pop of colour into your work outfits? Try it! Read our blog about work-appropriate jewellery and how to style it for some extra tips.

2. Classic Rings:

With gemstone engagement rings hot on the heels of the classic diamond ones, you can’t go wrong with these opal gemstone rings. Featuring timeless designs, these rings are the perfect accessory for any occasion or look.

  silver rings featuring the stunning october birthstone

 

9ct Natural White Opal and Diamond Halo Ring 

What Is Tourmaline?

Tourmaline is the name given to a large group of boron silicate minerals. It comes in all colours, but pink, red, green, blue and multi-coloured are its most well-known gem colours. It was first discovered off the West Coast of Italy in the late 1600s or early 1700s by Dutch traders.

The name comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which, at the time, was given to all coloured crystals in Sri Lanka. Although it was the Chinese who really put tourmaline to good use. In fact, they have been engraving and carving figures with it for many years now!

In ancient folklore, tourmaline crystals were thought to have gained their colours from travelling along a rainbow.

tourmaline stone

What Are The Benefits Of Tourmaline?

For centuries now, various cultures have claimed that tourmaline boasts a whole range of health benefits. It is considered to create strong channels of energy and far-infrared radiation in the 4-14-micron wavelength. It is said that this radiation can boost the immune system and promote detoxification. It is also known to:

    ★ Protect from negative energies
    ★ Enhance immunity
    ★ Relieve stress and anxiety
    ★ Encourage detoxification
    ★ Increase alertness
    ★ Improve self-confidence

And much, much more.

Of course, you must always take this information with a pinch of salt. When using gemstone balancing, do not put all of your faith into the objects.

Tourmaline Jewellery

Tourmaline comes in all different shapes, colours, sizes and jewellery pieces. It is said that tourmaline should always be worn on the left side of the body to worn off bad energies that always enter the body from the left side. Crazy, right!?

Tourmaline is a suitable gemstone for jewellery but at 7-7.5 on the scale of hardness, it is less hard than sapphire and certainly softer than a diamond. Basically, what that means is that it needs to be treated carefully because it can crack.

tourmaline jewellery

Obsessed with it, yet? Good, because we are too!

Whilst tourmalines are cool, opals make the perfect gift for that special someone in your life, whether they’re born in October or any other month. With so many different colour combinations inside the stone, you won’t be able to stop at just one.

So what are you waiting for? Go on and pick out your favourite piece of opal jewellery! If you are interested in the other birthstones, you can also check out our Birthstones by Month & by Zodiac. We also have a Gemstones Guide, if you are interested in all things gemstones.

What The Other Birthstones Are:

     ★ What is the January birthstone?
     ★ What is the February birthstone?
     ★ What is the March birthstone?
     ★ What is the April birthstone?
     ★ What is the May birthstone?
     ★ What is the June birthstone?
     ★ What is the July birthstone?
     ★ What is the August birthstone?
     ★ What is the September birthstone?
     ★ What is the November birthstone?
     ★ What is the December birthstone?

 

* Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

Copyright © 2021 Shiels Jewellers.