October Birthstone

October has two birthstones, opal and tourmaline. Opal is the traditional birthstone for November.

The source of the first opals brought to the western world are the people of India. In Sanskrit opal was called upala "precious stone". In ancient Rome is was valued for its shifting colors and play of color. The Romans called Opal "Opalus".

Ancient Greeks though opal helped them see the future. Europeans long maintained opal to be a symbol of hope and purity.

Tourmaline is the more modern October birthstone. Tourmaline's name is based off the Sinhalese word "toramalli" which means "mixed-color stone" because it often has multiple colors in one crystal.

Tourmaline has often been mistaken for other gemstones due to its wide range of colors. Many historic crown jewels are misidentified tourmalines. This continued for centuries until scientists realized tourmaline was it's own mineral family.

Tourmaline has electircal properties and can become charged under heat and pressure.