2016 09 MJ-2467

Opal: The October Birthstone

The October birthstone is perfect for anyone who has a hard time deciding because they genuinely like and appreciate beauty in all its variation. The opal is a unique gemstone and birthstone that literally means “to see a change of colour.” You can find opals ranging in colour from white to black, accented by firey flashes of yellow, red, blues and greens.  This layered effect of having a base gem colour and the many internal colours it can take on makes the opal so beautiful and interesting to gaze at from any angle.

The opal has always stood out for its multi-coloured aesthetic. In fact, it was known as the Queen of Gems in ancient culture since it contained all the colours of all gems. It was also considered a highly lucky stone in the Middle Ages because people believed that the opal held the characteristics of any gem whose colour was present in the particular opal.

The best part of this special birthstone is that any piece of opal jewelry you wear will be absolutely unique. Even if you compare two opals with a milky white base, the one you choose may have a more noticeable interplay between orange and blues while a similar one may have a streak of green that makes it different. The opal is also a great way to make a real visual statement. For example, consider a black opal for a real one-of-a-kind elegance. Black gems are always timeless and chic, and black opals offer something that black onyx and black diamonds do not: the interplay of other colours, standing out like coloured stars in a night sky. Be sure to ask to see our black opals on your next visit.

When shopping for opal jewelry, consider the three key aspects of a quality opal:

  1. Colour – The base colour and refracting contrast colours. Consider whether you want more of the base colour to show through or if you like a higher density of contrast colours.

  2. Clarity – The transparency of the gem and whether there are any inclusions or matrixes (presence of host stone that the opal was previously attached to).

  3. Pattern – The specific appearance of play-of-colour (dominant colours, range of colours).

Keep in mind that if you are considering an opal ring, earrings or pendant, pay attention to the symmetry. You want to buy a fine opal that is symmetrical and dome-shaped. Well-rounded opals are best for showing off the colour play in the stone. Finally, because of the unique appearance of opals, it is most important to try them on. See how it works with your skin, and compare between a few similar-coloured opals to see which one catches your eye the most.

Besides being a standout gem for those celebrating October birthdays, the opal is also the jewel for celebrating the 14 year mark in marriage. The opal is also the national gemstone of Australia, so it may be a lovely gift for anyone from Australia who is traveling or living abroad, as well as for anyone with a special love or connection with the country.

With that, we say happy birthday to everyone celebrating a birthday this coming month! To everyone else: we hope the changing colours of the leaves are inspiring your jewelry and wardrobe choices. Come on by and chat jewelry with us, we’d love your visit!

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