October’s Birthstones: Tourmaline, Opal

October is a special month because it is home to two beautiful birthstones: one that is an absolute classic and another that can be found in an incredibly wide array of color options.

If you are looking for a unique gift for someone born in October, you might want to consider one of these gemstones. They come in a variety of colors and styles, so there is sure to be something perfect for everyone!

JUMP TO: Tourmaline | Opal

Tourmaline: October’s Many-Colored Birthstone

Tourmaline is one of October’s two birthstones, and it occurs in a variety of colors, perhaps one of the widest ranges of colors of any gemstone.

Praiba Tourmaline is among the rarest on Earth, with spectacular neon-blue, green and sometimes tinged with copper color.


Tourmaline Color

Greens, blues, reds, pinks, yellows and colorless — tourmaline features many options and mixtures of color.

Tourmaline Significance

Tourmaline is believed to promote healing, protection or grounding, as well as balance and harmony. Tourmaline is also said to promote creativity, so it would be a great gift for someone who loves to express themselves through art or writing.

Tourmaline History

It is said that a Spanish conquistador discovered tourmaline in Brazil sometime in the 1500s.

Because of its green hue, he initially mistook the stone for an emerald, a misclassification that held until the 1800s, when tourmaline was identified as its own separate mineral.

Tourmaline Facts

Paraiba, Brazil, traditionally has produced its namesake tourmaline — the rare and fascinating Paraiba tourmaline — but similarly colored tourmaline has also been found in Africa.

Southern California is the largest source of tourmaline in the United States, but the gemstone can also be found in Maine and New Hampshire.

More About Tourmaline

Opal: October Birthstone With 2 Variations

Not only does October have two birthstones, but the month’s other option features two versions of its own.

Opals are classified as either “common” or “precious,” and the version that most people think of when the picture opals are precious opals.

Common opals are, well, more common than their precious counterparts.


Opal Color

Common opals are found in a wide variety of colors, including red, pink, orange, blue and green, and can range from opaque to translucent. The multitude of color options can make it difficult to identify common opals visually, but precious opals do not present that same challenge.

Easily distinguished by their “play of color,” precious opals are typically a whitish color with flashes of iridescent colors throughout

Opal Significance

Often considered a symbol of confidence, hope, purity or truth, some cultures historically considered opals to have supernatural powers, worn as talismans to ward off evil spirits.

Opals are also said to bring good luck, and indeed, ancient Greeks believed that opals brought about protection from disease, representing hope and purity.

Opal History

Opals have been popular throughout history and were even used in royal jewelry.

Queen Victoria was a big fan of opals and helped make them fashionable in the 19th century.

Opal Facts

97% of the world's supply of opals comes from Australia, where some of the world’s finest opals have been found.

Opals are the national gemstone of Australia.

Ethiopia also produces opals, as do Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Opal is a type of mineraloid known as hydrated amorphous silicon dioxide. It is composed of tiny spheres of silica that stack together in a random arrangement. This creates the characteristic "play-of-color" that makes opals so unique and beautiful.

More About Opals

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