October Birthstone Spotlight: Opal

Opal is considered the primary birthstone for October. A symbol of happiness, hope, and truth, opal is thought to bring good luck. Opal is considered a semi-precious stone.

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Opal can present itself in a wide variety of colors. It can be colorless, white, gray, red, yellow, blue, magenta, rose, slate, brown, black, green, orange, and more. Precious opal reflects light with a dazzling display of intermixing colors. The red and black varieties are considered rare and valuable. White and greens, on the other hand, are quite common.


Australia has the vast majority of opal. The US, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Indonesia, and Brazil also hold opal deposits.


Opal is over 60 million years old, dating back to the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs trodded the earth. Precious opal was greatly esteemed in Ancient Rome, who rated its preciousness only second to emeralds.

Family:  Mineraloid gel

Hardness:  5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale

Opal Mohs

Gemstone Properties/Healing Properties:  

As symbols of happiness, hope  and truth, opals are said to not only bring good luck, but also has great powers to heal the body, keep bad dreams at bay, and enhance one’s energy. Black opal, especially, is said to bring great luck, protect travelers, and open the gates of intelligence and imagination. Health-wise, black opal is said to help with eye diseases, the reproductive organs, the spleen and pancreas, and the bone marrow.

Fun Facts/Stories:  

NASA reported that opal deposits also exist in Mars. During the Middle Ages, people associated opals with good luck, whereas after the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s Anne of Geierstein, people tended to associate opal with ill luck and death, the same fate as the book’s heroine.

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