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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE – THE OPAL

Published: 09/10/2018

As with some other months, October has two birthstones: Opal and Pink Tourmaline, but Opal continues to be the main birthstone jewel for October. The Opal is also the anniversary gift to be given as a 14th Wedding Anniversary.

It seems to be the Sanskrit language that first used the word upala for this gemstone, meaning “precious stone” and then later the Greek derivative opallios, meaning “to see a change of colour” was used to describe the Opal, while in ancient Rome a similar name was used, namely, opalus, also meaning “precious stone”.

 History of the Opal

Throughout history, writers have compared Opals to volcanoes, galaxies and fireworks. People who have admired Opals throughout time have given them names like Empress or Pandora, and in ancient Rome, people thought that wearing this gemstone would bring them love and hope.

In 75AD, Pliny, a Roman scholar marvelled at how this kaleidoscopic gem encompassed the red of ruby, the green of emerald, the yellow of topaz, the blue of sapphire and the purple of amethyst.

The Opal was a highly prized gem by royalty in ancient times as there was only one source for this incredible stone, in Cervenica, Slovakia.

Famous Opals

Some famous Opals include the “Aurora Australis” which was found in 1938 and the “Fire Queen” found in 1906, both from Australia.

Where Opals are Found Today

Opals are mainly mined in Australia, but there are also deposits in Ethiopia, Nevada USA and Mexico. Other countries that also mine Opal in smaller amounts are the Czech Republic, Canada, Slovakia, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil and Honduras.

Opal Colours

An Opal that is cut and polished is called a Natural Opal as long as it has not been treated with heat or other processes to change the colour, structure or composition of the stone.

The most precious opals are the dark or black Opals with a vivid display of colours flashing as the angle of light changes.

Green and White Opals are less expensive but can still have beautiful flashes of colour displayed.

Custom Designed Opal Jewellery

There are many varieties and colours available within the Opal range of gemstone to chose from therefore it is best to make an appointment with one of our jewellers to help you choose your desired colour or type when planning your next Custom Designed Opal Jewellery piece.

If you do not want a custom designed Opal necklace or ring you are welcome to visit us at Francois Jewellers to see the Opal Jewellery range we have in stock in Pretoria, South Africa.

Caring for Your Opal Jewellery

It is best practice to put on your Custom Designed Opal Jewellery after applying your makeup to prevent the shine or colour of your jewellery from being affected.

It is not advisable to use mechanical or ultrasonic jewellery cleaners unless Francois Jewellers has assured you of their safety. Opals can be damaged by scratching or by bumping, or any type of oil or chemical that can affect the colour and brilliance of your stone. Storing Opals in very dry conditions can also cause the stone to lose colour.

Please ask your jeweller at Francois Jewellers for care instructions like soaking your Opal in water or any other practices before cleaning Opals by your self.

Francois Jewellers can also clean and repolish you Opal Jewellery before your next big event if you are not sure how to clean your jewellery your self.

Click here to view our Birthstone Chart and see which month each stone represents.

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