October’s birthstone is OPAL!
The opal has long been a sought-after gemstone, with the earliest known opal artifacts dating back to about 4000 B.C. Some of the first beliefs surrounding this unique stone include its capability to amplify feelings, promote spontaneity, and enhance psychic abilities. Opals are also known as symbols of hope and purity.
Most opals come from Australia, with Lightning Ridge being one of the most famous mines. Opals are described by their background color (bodycolor) and how their play-of-color displays against it. The five types are: White or Light Opal, Black Opal, Fire Opal, Boulder Opal, and Crystal or Water Opal. Fire Opals have a warm bodycolor and don’t often show play-of-color. Boulder Opals have dark bodycolor and parts of the surrounding rock are incorporated into the finished gem.
One of the more delicate gemstones, opals need protection from scratches, household chemicals, and temperature changes. Clean your opals with warm soapy water to help keep their brilliance. Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners.