October Birthstones

October Birthstones

How well do you know the different October birthstones? Let us explore the six types of October birthstone. The traditional birthstones for October are opal, aquamarine and tourmaline. In the modern calendar, as most of us are familiar with, opal is the commonly accepted birthstone. An alternate stone often used in the U.S. is tourmaline, which comes in a variety of colors. The ancient calendars typically used opal, aquamarine and beryl (of which aquamarine is a member, but beryl comes in other colors as well). The Tibetan calendar calls for jasper as the October birthstone, while the Indian calendar claims coral.

As we have seen in the histories of birthstones, color most often is/was the determining factor. So what color is October birthstone? Given the modern birthstones for October, it’s hard to tell. Opal gives off a rainbow of colors, while tourmaline comes in all the colors of the rainbow. Judging by the variety of tourmaline that the American Gem Society set as October gemstone, the stone for October is supposed to be primarily pink. Still, with opal in mind, others simply say that the color of October birthstone is multi-color. If you browse through the traditional October gemstones, however, one gemstone color comes to the fore: blue. Aquamarine is blue beryl, and opal, tourmaline and jasper are all available in blue. Indeed, October birthstone color may have traditionally been blue.

So what do you think? Multi-color or blue? Opal, aquamarine or tourmaline? Tough choice!

an oval stone, milky, with bright colorful flashes

Opal was traditionally the birthstone for October, and remains the October birthstone in modern gemology. Opal was also the October gemstone in the Ayurvedic or old Indian calendar. Before the gemstone found its way into the Julian calendar, opal was the zodiac stone for Libra, which partly falls on the month of October. This October stone occurs in a wide variety of colors, and in its most valuable forms display a play of colors that is unlike any other gemstone. This dazzling interplay of colors shines mostly through white tones, though blue and green backgrounds also exist, while the most expensive is the black opal. This birthstone of October was a symbol of hope and purity to the Romans. Opal absorbs thoughts, desires and emotions, magnifies them and reflects them back. This is very grounding, and restores balance and emotional equilibrium, providing a sense of safety and the ability to express the truth of who you are. It is also protective as it absorbs the energies and vibrations of those around you, including negataive or harmful ones, and reflects them back to their source. Opal also inspires originality and boosts creativity. It activiates the first base chakra, Muladhara, which represents the foundation, stability security and basic needs, and the second sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, the center of creativity and sexuality. **

This is a horizontal slice of a tourmaline crystal that looks like a watermelon that has been sliced through. It is dark pink in the center, with a thin ring of pink around it, then a ring of dark green around the outside.

Tourmaline is the modern birthstone for October in the United States of America, as well as traditional October birthstone from as far back as the 15th century. When the gemstone was designated by the Jewelry Industry Council of America as October stone in 1952, the variety of tourmaline specified to be the gemstone for October was the pink tourmaline. However, ever since its recent designation as stone for October, other colors of the gemstones have also been popularly worn as October stones. Hence, all the many varieties of tourmaline are generally regarded as modern gemstones for October. Tourmaline inspires creative activity; consequently, this October gemstone is worn as charm by writers and artists. Tourmaline is a heart related stone.  It is a relaxing and nurturing stone that can help heal emotional trauma with its soothing energy.  It helps balance emotions and alleviate stress. It encourages love, gently disperses emotional pain and dissolves disruptive feelings. It calms the negative emotions that upset relationships. 

A pale blue faceted crystal of aquamarine.

Aquamarine was the traditional birthstone for October from as early as the 15th century, as well as the ancient October birthstone in the old Arabic, Hebrew, Polish and Roman calendar. Before the gemstone appeared in these ancient calendars as birthstone of October, the aquamarine was the zodiac stone for Scorpio, which partly falls on the month of October. This gemstone for October is the blue variety of beryl, a group of minerals which include emerald and heliodor. The October gemstone is believed to increase intelligence, enhance courage, and bring youthful happiness. Aquamarine brings the soothing energy of the sea, and helps calm fears and phobias. It enhances clarity of thought, intellectual growth and intuition. It aids with spiritual communication and is great for meditation. March birthstone. It activates the fifth throat chakra, Vishuddha, which the source of verbal expression and the ability to speak the highest truth.

An array of sparkling faceted crystals in many different colors. These are all beryl crystals that come in many different colors, including aquamarine.

Beryl is the ancient birthstone for October in the old Italian and Russian calendar. Before the gemstone landed on these ancient calendars as October birthstone, beryl was a zodiac stone for Scorpio and the talismanic birthstone for Sagittarius, both zodiac signs falling partly in the month of October. This stone for October consists of a huge group of minerals that include aquamarine, heliodor (greenish yellow), golden beryl, morganite (pink), goshenite (colorless), red beryl, as well as emerald. The October stone is believed to enhance sincerity and bring cheerfulness. Beryl in general brings creativity and increases intelligence, and reduces tiredness.

A smooth, deep red stone of red jasper.

Jasper is the birthstone for October in the old Tibetan calendar. This birthstone of October is an opaque variety of chalcedony that occurs in a great range of colors, the most common being red. The October birthstone is believed to help bring emotional stability. Jasper is a nurturing stone, bringing tranquility and wholeness, protecting and absorbing negative energy.

Coral is the birthstone for October in the Hindu calendar.  While I use coral purchased years ago in some of my pieces, I buy no new coral.  I don’t advocate the destruction of coral reefs to make jewelry, so I won’t discuss this October birthstone at length. I hope you don’t mind.

Oh, an interesting note about opals. You may have heard, as I did all my life, that opals are bad luck to wear if they are not your birthstone. That was very upsetting to me when I was gifted a beautiful opal necklace for my high school graduation! But then I was told that it's okay to wear an opal if it's not your birthstone as long as it is a gift and you don't buy it for yourself. Whew,safe. Sowhichever way it is, where did the bad luck opal myth come from anyway?

It appears it began  with the novel Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott, written in 1829. In the story, a character, the Baroness of Arnheim, wears an opal with supernatural powers and she dies when a drop of holy water falls onto the opal. People began to associate opals with bad luck and death and sales dropped a walloping 50% and stayed down for 20 years! The myth continued to circulate in Europe through the 19th century, but at the turn of the 20th century opals began booming into the markets in the US, Europe and England. The then emerging diamond specialists De Beers panicked that opals might become more popular than diamonds and promoted the bad luck rumor with vigor by word of mouth. I think we all know how that worked out for them! Poor opals!



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