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Opal: The Dazzling October Birthstone

by Liz Beth |

If your birthday falls in October, you are fortunate to have one of the most bewitching and fascinating gemstones as your birthstone. Opal meaning is one that is full of mystique and hope, which is evident by its rich play of color.

Wearing October birthstone jewelry integrates the qualities of the stone with the person wearing it. Opal is also a birthstone for Cancer signs (those born between June 21st and July 22nd).  It is also the traditional gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.

We’re going to dig into the October birthstone meaning, but first, let’s discover the physical properties of Opal that cause such a splendorous display of color.

Physical Properties of Opal

Most Opal originates from Australia so it makes sense that it is their national gemstone. However, in 2008 there was a very significant event that happened in Wegel Tena, Ethiopia.  A deposit of incredibly vibrant Opal was discovered and named after the province in which it was founded.  This is known as Welo Opal and it’s the Opal that I use in my teardrop Opal pendant. 

Opal Structure, Color & Types

Most of the Opal meaning comes from its alluring display of color. It acts like a prism, absorbing and refracting light, resulting in its dance of color. This opalescent effect makes it look like the stone has different colors glowing from within it.

According to minerals.net, Opals are amorphous, which means they don’t have a crystalline structure or a definite chemical composition. For this reason, it is called a mineraloid, not a mineral. Opals are composed of layers of hydrated silicon dioxide.

The colors in Opals don't come from pigments. Instead, they are optical effects that are caused from the hardening of the silica spheres that make up the stone. The spaces between the spheres create light diffraction that break up colors of the spectrum when light hits it.  Pink Opal is another popular color of this unique stone which exhibits a beautiful pale-pink matte finished color.   Here is a link to my raw gold-dipped pink Opal pendant necklace -it's definitely worth having in your jewelry box.

The flashes of light and colors in each stone are determined by the size of the spheres and the way they are packed into the stone.

Opals can be colorless, white, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown, or black. They can be transparent, translucent, or opaque.

Origins of the Opal Name

When we look at Opal meaning, it helps to understand where the name came from.

The word “opal,” comes from the Latin word “opalus” as well as the Sanskrit word “upala,” which means “precious stone." It was known as "opallios" in Greek, which means "to see a change in color."

Opal Value

There are many factors that come into play when it comes to determining the value of Opals. These include: Opal class, brilliance, play of color, body tone, pattern, color bar thickness, and faults.

Opal Meaning: Understanding October Birthstone Meaning

In order to understand Opal meaning and how the October birthstone meaning can enhance your life, it helps to look at how Opals were used throughout history.

Historical & Traditional Opal Meaning

The first Opal stones were believed to have originated from Ethiopia in 4000 BC.

Up until the 18th century, Precious Opal and Honey Opal were mined in Dubnik and the Tokaj Mountains in Hungary.

Since the 1800's, Australia has produced 95% of Opal output.

In Arabia, it was said to have fallen from the heavens through flashes of lightning.

Throughout the ages, Opals have been thought to have supernatural powers. Greeks felt that they protected them from disease, and throughout Europe, it was said to be a symbol of hope, truth, and purity.

In the Middle Ages, it was known as "ophthalmos," which means "The Eye Stone." As such, it was thought to be beneficial to the eyes (ophthalmic).

In ancient Greek, Opals were thought to provide its wearer with the foresight to see the future. The philosopher, Gaius Plinius Secundus, otherwise known as Pliny the Elder, often used Opal for this purpose.

The Romans purchased Opals to portray the wealth and power of their empire as these stones were thought to be superior to single-colored stones that didn't have such an intriguing display of color.

The Roman general, Mark Anthony, was said to have greatly admired an Opal that was owned by Senator Nonius because the flashes of lights reminded him of his nights with Cleopatra. However, the Senator refused to sell the stone and fled his home, leaving only with the Opal the hand.

Napoleon, the Emperor of France, gifted his Empress, Josephine, a Red Opal. It came to be known as "The Burning of Troy" as a result of its brilliant flashes.

Throughout all of history, Opals have been used as good luck charms, and they have been prized as one of the most magical and mystical gemstones of all times.

Opal Healing Properties

When we look at Opal healing properties, we can see that many of its historical uses are still in effect today. Opals are considered to be symbols of love, hope, innocence, and purity. They promote luck, optimism, and happiness to their wearer.

Opals are often used to spark creativity, intuition, and insight. They are thought to protect us when we are doing inner work while bringing realizations to the surface for discovery and helping us release emotions that are holding us back.

They are calming to the mind, helping to relieve stress and anxiety. They can also be used as shield for empaths so that they can stop taking on other people's feelings. They are particularly helpful for children who have nightmares.

The Opal stone contains the Mother Goddess energy, so they make great gifts for mothers. They can be beneficial for conception, fears of childbirth, pregnancy fears, and empty nest syndrome.

Opals also promote passion and seductive energy. They amplify our feelings and help us let go of inhibitions.

This colorful stone is thought to contain all of the healing properties of the array of stone colors within it, including Amethyst (purple), Garnet (red), Sapphire (blue), Citrine (yellow), and Emerald (green). Opals are like a prism, providing us with a full spectrum of light that clears and balances the chakras.

Physically, Opals are still thought to soothe and strengthen the eyes, as well as the hair, nails, and skin. They promote healthy female hormones, and can be useful for water retention, PMS, and menopause.

Opal Meaning in Feng Shui

In the ancient art/science of Feng Shui, Opals are used to bring water energy into a space. This element promotes stillness, purification, regeneration, rebirth, and quiet strength.

By placing an Opal stone in the North area of the Bagua map, otherwise known as the Career & Life Path area, it can help improve the path of your life and career. You can also wear October birthstone jewelry to help you to be more centered and reflective.

Final Thoughts About Opal Meaning

The dazzling display of Opals have been drawing people in since they were first discovered, and the Opal Meaning has lasted throughout the ages.

Browse our October birthstone jewelry. It makes the perfect gift for any mother, child, or anyone born in October. 

* Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.