October Birthstone - Opal & Tourmaline

October is a fascinating month. Did you know that Opal and Tourmaline share the same birth month? 

Interestingly, both stones have distinct personalities!

The personality of the stones

Opal has traditionally been connected with love and passion. It's a seducing stone that heightens emotional states while also releasing inhibitions. It can also help with emotional balance. Opals are thought to bring about loyalty and faithfulness when worn.

Tourmaline on the other hand is a sign of hope, creativity and innocence. This gemstone is associated with those who have a kind heart, a compassionate spirit, and a positive outlook on life. It is claimed to increase the wearer's optimism, excitement, and inventiveness.


Opal is believed to have originated in India, which is where the first opals were brought to the Western world, and  was known as Upala, or "precious stone" in Sanskrit. It was called Opalus in ancient Rome. Most Opals are valued for their rainbow-colored shifting hues, known as "play-of-color."

Know the importance, significance & benefits of natural white fire opal stone (brahmagems.com)

Opal Fun Fact: The white opal, also known as "porcelain opal" or "white milk opal" is a valuable stone for collectors, crystal lovers, and experienced jewellers due to its beautiful glow and unique iridescence. It's a stone of calm, tranquilly, and balance that's worth getting your hands on. This stone has been prized since ancient times.

This black opal exhibits exceptional play-of-color. - Courtesy Cody Opal
Opal Description (gia.edu)

Play-of-color is a fascinating display of flashing rainbow hues seen in opals. Opals are divided into two categories: precious and common. Play-of-color is seen in precious opals but not in common opals.

Because the precious opal is made up of sub-microscopic spheres arranged in a grid-like pattern—like layers of Ping-Pong balls in a box—it exhibits play-of-color. Light waves diffract, or bend, as they pass between the spheres. As they bend, they split off into spectral hues, which are rainbow colours. The end effect is a colourful kaleidoscope.


The newer birthstone for October is tourmaline. Because it typically contains various hues in one crystal, the term tourmaline?? originates from the Sinhalese word toramalli, which means "stone with mixed colours." Tourmaline has a stunning variety of hues that few other stones can equal.

Photo: Courtesy Astro Gallery of Gems
Astro Gallery of Gems Offers Rare Pink Tourmaline for $1.2 Million – Robb Report

Fun fact : In 2011, a slender pink tourmaline blade that pierced the top of a pink-and-blue tourmaline was discovered in Brazil's Pederneira Mine. This natural treasure known as "The Great Divide" is the most valuable tourmaline ever discovered, valued at $1.2 million!


The Mohs hardness rating for Opal ranges from 5 to 6.5. Store opal by itself to avoid it being scratched by jewellery set with tougher gems. The jewels that can scratch the October birthstone include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Whilst tourmaline has a Mohs hardness rating of 7 to 7.5, making it ideal for everyday use.



Cleaning this October birthstone with warm, soapy water is the safest method. Other cleaning procedures could harm the opal or filler. It's worth noting that extended water contact can damage the adhesive in opal doublets and triplets. When exposed to strong heat or rapid temperature changes, even natural opal can crack.


These vibrant stones are typically resistant to light and most chemicals, although heat can be harmful. The easiest way to clean this October birthstone is with warm, soapy water and a gentle brush. It is not advisable to use ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

Find yourself wanting to add them to your collection? Our jewellery expert will be delighted to assist you in selecting a beautiful October birthstone. Both of these birthstones are available in a wide range of colours that are guaranteed to please you or a loved one born in October visit www.habibjewels.com or contact our jewels consultant at your nearest showroom.