Opal is the beautiful and mysterious October birthstone. Find out more about it below
People with October birthdays are incredibly lucky to have the sparkling and unusual opal as their birthstone. Although it is available in a wide range of colours and tones, the most common colour is a lovely pearly white, which has an attractive iridescent sheen adding flashes of colour and depth.
Opals are found all over the world, with most precious opals coming from Southern Australia and, more recently, Ethiopia. Most of these gems are over 60 million years old, meaning that they can date from when dinosaurs roamed the earth!
There are also lots of myths and legends associated with opals. Their most common, pale colour is often associated with hope and purity, and medieval superstition linked the stones with healing and mystical powers. Perhaps because of this, they were often seen as lucky by earlier cultures, although this later changed when a popular 19th century novel by Sir Walter Scott used them as an omen of death for one of the characters. In fact, this novel caused sales to drop by 50% in Europe over the year following its publication!
Today, superstition is far less influential but opals are still one of the more unusual gemstones. Their delicate tones and pretty sheen, however, ensures that these lovely gems are prized by those who own them.