Opal is October's Birthstone
By Sam Serio
Website : MorningLightJewelry.com
Related article: About Opals
October Birthstone: Opal
Birthstone Properties: Enhances insight and dispels fear
Alternative Birthstone: Tourmaline
Opal is the birthstone for October and the gemstone given to commemorate a 14th wedding anniversary. The word "opal" for this dynamic gemstone was derived from the Greek word "opallus" which means to see a change in color…because it is, after all, opal's abilty to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light that make it so special. In fact, there are more than a dozen varieties of fiery and iridescent opals.
Opal is a non-crystallized silica, a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed. Romans called the magnificent gemstone "Cupid Paederos," meaning a child as beautiful as love. They believed that opals fell to earth from the heavens in a flash of lightening.
However they arrived in on Earth originally, today opals must be mined from deposits found primarily in Southern Australia, although other sources exist in Brazil, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, and Nevada.
Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity through the ages. During the Middle Ages, fair-haired young women put sapphires in their tresses to protect the lovely blond color of their hair. Physicians ground opals into a powder that was ingested to ward off nightmares.
Since the 14th century, many cultures have considered this stone to be an Eye Stone, a stone that watches over royal families as well as a stone that strengthens the eyesight. They believed it to be the "king of gems" because an opal holds within its fire all the colors of the rainbow, and all other gems, as well. And like many birthstones, opals were treasured by ancient monarchs for their appearance AND their powers.
Opals were routinely set into the crowns and necklaces of rulers who believed the protective powers of the gemstones would ward off evil. Writers of the period believed the opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose.
The Russians had the complete opposite belief in opals, viewing them as nothing but bad luck..
Always the Right Gift
A gift of Opal is symbolic of faithfulness and confidence. And the wide range of choices in opal make them a perfect gift for anyone:
Black Opal - the stone has a dark body tone in comparison to a white opal.
White Opal - also known as 'milky opal', featuring light white body tones
Boulder Opal - very dark and beautiful in color
Crystal Opal - any opal with a transparent or semi-transparent body tone. Forms of crystal opal include black crystal and white crystal.
Fire Opal - an American term meaning any opal that displays a significant amount of red coloring. Mexican fire opal is a different kind of opal, which displays orange coloring).
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Related article: About Opals
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