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October Birthstone: Tourmaline or Opal

For those born in the month of October. Their birthstone is Tourmaline or Opals. Both stones come in a range of difference colours, especially Opals. Opals can display the whole spectrum. We have a lovely range of vintage and antique jewellery gifts with the October Birthstone.

In the beginning..

There are many stories throughout history to do with Opals. The Ancient Greeks for example,  believed that Opals were formed from the tears of joy that Zeus wept when he defeated the Titans. There are Arabic legends proclaimed that opals fell from the heavens in flashes of light and the Romans thought they contained the galaxy. Other legends believed that if you wrap an opal in a bay leaf, you can become invisible.. (not sure this is true.. then again, I have not tried it!)

So how are opals formed?

Opal are formed by rain. As rainwater runs down through the
earth, it collects silica from sandstone and carries it into the cracks and voids of rocks. These voids are usually caused by natural faults or decomposing fossils. As the water from the rains evaporates, it leaves behind the collected silica deposit, which forms into a gel. Over millions of years, this silica gel hardens and forms the opal gemstones. Rinse and repeat the process over millions of years, and you get gem sized opals. Over 90% of Opals today come from Australia and technically not a gemstone as they contain up to 21% water!

The meaning of an Opal

Opal have long been true symbols of love and hope. Napoleon even gave his Empress Josephine a famous opal called "The Burning of Troy" and MarkAnthony once bought an opal for Cleopatra and Queen Victoria gave all her daughters opals as wedding gifts.

But I thought Opals were unlucky?

Throughout history, the October's birthstone has been considered the luckiest and most magical of all gems. However, things started to change for opal in 1829 when Sir Walter Scott published his novel Anne of Geierstein, which portrayed opal as unlucky. Even today, this caused the speculation that it is unlucky for people born outside October to wear this gem. Of course, the novel is just a work of fiction, and people believed in its luck regardless of which month you were born for thousands of years.

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