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Birthstones: October - Opal

 

Illustration: Hot Shoe Prints

In October, you actually get to choose between two stones, Opal and Tourmaline. According to legend, both of October’s birthstones came to earth through a journey involving rainbows, which is quite fitting given that opal refracts light into rainbow-like colors, and tourmaline comes in all of the colors of the rainbow.  Since Opal has been EVERYWHERE lately, I decided to dig a little deeper and focus on its properties and lore today. - American Gem Society

Identification

Color - Opals are often referred to by their background “body color”—black or white but are characterized by their "play of light".  Opals are composed of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light to display various colors of the rainbow. These flashy gems are called “precious opals;” those without play-of-color are “common opals.”

Mohs Hardness - 5.5 - 6.6

History

Throughout most of history, opal has been regarded as the luckiest and most magical of all gems because it can show all colors. The Romans thought it was the most precious and powerful of all and the Bedouins believed that opals contained lightning and fell from the sky during thunderstorms. - GIA

    Opal’s classic country of origin is Australia. Seasonal rains soaked the parched outback, carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rock. When the water evaporated, these deposits formed opal. Sometimes, silica seeped into spaces around wood, seashells and skeletons, resulting in opalized fossils.

    Since opal was discovered in Australia around 1850, the country has produced 95 percent of the world’s supply. Opal is also mined in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the U.S., including Nevada and Idaho. - American Gem Society

    Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

    In the metaphysical world, Opal acts as a prism within the aura, bringing a full spectrum of Light energy to the system, soothing and clearing the emotional body, and boosting the will to live and the joy of one’s earthly existence. It enkindles optimism, enthusiasm and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion. Opal enhances cosmic consciousness and stimulates flashes of intuition and insight, yet is a protective stone for deep inner work, meditations, and lower world shamanic journeys. - Crystal Vaults

    Opal is a stone of inspiration which enhances imagination and creativity. It can bring inspiration to projects and to life and Spirit. Its own spirit is at times like that of a child spontaneously playing, dashing color where ever it  pleases. Carrying this imaginative spontaneity into the realm of you life can bring strong creativity.

    Opal has a larger proportion of water in it than most stones and is considered a water stone. This can help ease the effort of handling change in life. Like water rolls over and past rocks and roots in its way, the energy of opal can help continue on your path regardless of obstacles. During times of transformation, this  is an invaluable energy to work with and hold close to your heart. - Crystal Meanings

     

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