What is the October Birthstone?

As fall rolls in and the leaves begin to change color, you might be asking the question, “What is the October birthstone?” Then you clicked on my site and voila! Here you are. 😀 Welcome!

Both of October birthstones and flowers have intriguing meanings and strange qualities. One stone attracts small things to itself while one flower can make you drunk!

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What is the October Birthstone?

On this page, I provide useful information on the birthstone for October. I’ve added some special info on October flowers, too.

After all, flowers and jewelry pair perfectly for an exceedingly memorable birthday gift idea! 🙂

Idea! Include the interesting facts and myths I’ve provided here in the birthday card when you give an October birthstone or birth flower birthday gift!

Enjoy, dear reader, enjoy! :coffee:


Traditional Birthstone – What is the October Birthstone?

Opal

The birthstone for October is the opal, which comes in a dazzling array of colors. This iridescent gemstone is prized for its unique play-of-color effect, which is created by light diffracting within the stone’s microcrystalline structure. The best opals display a full spectrum of colors—including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet—within a single stone.

October Birthstone - Opal

Opal is the national stone of Australia. It is also a more fragile gem – so it needs to be handled with more care than other gemstones.

There are two main types of opals: precious and common. Precious opals account for less than 10 percent of all opal production, and these are the stones that are used in jewelry. Common opal, on the other hand, is predominantly used for industrial purposes such as making inks, ceramics, and decorative items.

Opal Birthstone Meaning: Imagination, Creativity, Innocence, Fidelity, Hope

Opal is said to encourage a strong sense of imagination, ingenuity and playfulness. It is soothing during turbulent times of life, brings feelings of self-worth and vibrancy to relationships of love.

Opal Facts and Mythology

Opal has been treasured throughout history and has been mentioned in some of the world’s oldest texts. In fact, the word “opal” is derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone.”

The ancient Greeks believed that opals were created from lightning strikes due to their fiery play-of-color. In those bygone times, it was believed to make one invisible and help with eyesight.

In medieval Europe, it was thought that opal could preserve youthfulness and beauty. Stories said it gave its wearer the power to see into the future. Gazing at this be-speckled wonder, I can see why they’d think that.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, opals were also included in English Regency jewelry as a symbol of hope and purity. But opals are also the subject of legend.

One of my favorite legends tells a tale that lightning struck a stone, and the bright colors were entrapped, creating the colorful sprays found in opal.

And Pliny the Elder, a particularly dry author of a natural history encyclopedia written in 77-79 AD, took the time to write about the opal (see quote below).

Quote About Opal

“There is in them a softer fire than in the carbuncle, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst; there is the sea-green of the emerald — all shining together in incredible union. Some by their refulgent splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil.”

The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, pg 145

Today, this colorful gemstone is still revered for its unique beauty and is considered a symbol of hope, creativity, and possibility.


Modern Birthstone – What is the October Birthstone?

Pink Tourmaline

Tourmaline is the second official birthstone for October. Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that comes in a wide variety of colors.

It’s actually one of the most colorful gemstones in existence, which is why it’s so popular among jewelry lovers. Tourmaline is found all over the world, but the most prized specimens come from Brazil and Africa.

October Birthstone - Tourmaline

Tourmaline was actually designated as the official birthstone for October back in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers. However, it wasn’t always such a popular choice. In fact, up until the late 19th century, garnet was the primary birthstone for October.

So what caused the change?

It’s believed that tourmaline became more popular in the early 20th century because of its wide range of colors. This allowed people to pick out a tourmaline that matched their personal style (or the style of the person they were buying a gift for).

Another factor that likely contributed to tourmaline’s popularity is its relatively low price point. Garnet is a much more expensive gemstone, so it’s possible that people simply started gravitating towards tourmaline as a more affordable option.

Since tourmaline was discovered in the 18th century it’s a very modern addition to the birthstone list, compared to its ancient equivalents there.

Tourmaline Birthstone Meaning

Flexibility, Happiness, Objectivity, Tolerance, Serenity

Tourmaline is believed to increase creativity, heal emotional scars, and give comfort and a sense of safety to the wearer. It is also said to increase faith and bring a greater sense of charity to the heart of the wearer.

Tourmaline Facts and Mythology

Tourmaline is also known as a stone of attraction. It has a unique, scientific and magical element to it. When the stone is heated or rubbed, it generates a certain static electricity that attracts small things to its surface.


What is the October Birthstone Color?

Even though October has two official birthstones, the color of choice is typically pink, correlating with the modern birthstone – pink tourmaline. Pink is associated with romance, good health and unconditional love.

The alternative color is white, like the traditional opal birthstone. White symbolizes purity and integrity.

Interesting Tidbit: We use pink to symbolize girls, but it used to be the color for boys!


October Birth Flowers

Modern Birth Flower – Marigolds

Marigolds are October’s modern birth flower. Its name means “Mary’s Gold” because this was rumored to be the Virgin Mary’s flower.

I have a particular affinity for marigolds. My sister used to harvest marigold seeds, and my little niece wanted to grow some flowers. She approached my sister and said, “Auntie, can I have some of your miracle seeds?” Since then, I look at these vibrant, happy flowers as a symbol of happiness and beautiful miracles in my own life.

As for official meaning and symbolism, marigolds represent affection, wealth, and contentment.

October Birth Flower - Hops

Traditional Birth Flower – Hops

Hops are October’s traditional birth flower. They look like green pine cones and symbolize good cheer, merriment and contentment.

Funny… isn’t it fitting that this bitter herb (hops) which means “merriment” would be a common ingredient in beer? 😉


Sources: See sources listed on the Birthstone Color Chart page.

Up Next:

November Birthstone – The Happiest and Wealthiest Month of the Year

Previously:

September Birthstones and Flowers

Related Reading:

Pinterest Worthy Birthstone Charts

Birthstones by Month

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