Birthstone Colors: October

Birthstone Colors: October

October's stones are both characterized by flexibility or change. The traditional and modern stone for October is the seemingly fickle Opal, and the alternative is the long, slender Tourmaline. Both the Opal and Tourmaline come in a variety of colors, Opal spanning the spectrum.

blue opal necklace   

The word opal comes from the Latin opalus, by Greek òpalliòs, and is from the same root as Sanskrit upálá[s] for "stone." Opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, yellow, green, shore, blue, magenta, brown, and black. Of these hues, red and black are the most rare, whereas white and green are the most common. Opal is the national stone of Australia, with some of the most precious existing there. Opals are iridescent, giving way to an even broader surface colour range.

opal necklace

The varieties of Opal are common (milk opal, milky bluish to greenish (which can sometimes be of gemstone quality), honey-yellow with a resinous lustre, brown, grey, or a colorless glass-clear opal sometimes called Muller's Glass), precious (characterized by tight speherical structure), Fire Opal (or Girasol, is a translucent to semi-opaque stone that is generally yellow to bright orange and sometimes nearly red and displays pleochroism at certain angles), Peruvian Opal (also called blue opal) is a semi-opaque to opaque blue-green stone found in Peru which is often cut to include the matrix in the more opaque stones. Peruvian Opal does not display pleochroism (an optical phenomenon in which stones appear to be different colors when observed at different angles).

bi-colour tourmaline   

Tourmaline is one of the most chemically complicated silicate minerals. Its crystals are characterized by long, cylindrical to thick prismatic and columnar. Like Opal, Tourmaline has a wide variety of colors. Usually, iron-rich tourmalines are black to bluish-black to deep brown, while magnesium-rich varieties are brown to yellow, and lithium-rich tourmalines are practically any color: blue, green, red, yellow, pink, and so on. Rarely, it can be colorless.


Bi-colored and multicolored crystals are relatively common. It is possible for one to be green at one end and pink at the other, or green on the outside and pink inside: this type is called watermelon tourmaline. Some forms of tourmaline are dichroic, in that they appear to change color when viewed from different directions.

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Showing 1 - 10 of 10 Comments
watermelon indeed! nature never fails to amaze me!
Beautiful stones, that opal is so colorful :D
Great article!
My birthday is October 21 (almost there!). I love that you steered away from the stupid pink stone that often haunts October. Hooray for the complexities of Opal and Tourmaline. Huh, neat that October stones are about change and flexibility. Libra cusp-of Scorpio agrees!
Wow! I love the Tourmaline. It's so pretty!
Interesting article which made for some fantastic color palettes. Bravo, ruecian!
I absolutely love opals. Nice article!
Oct 16th is my birthday so this article was really interesting. I learned alot from it, as i had always thought all opals were of the dichroic milkywhite. Good job Ruecian ; )
I whant that Tourmaline!!!
magical stones
I based this off of an Aveda skincare line :p ... have never seen one so colourful as your picture!

beautiful post :)


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