Birthstone: October

By Birgit E. Schürenberg

The mysterious opal, birthstone for October, symbolises hope, happiness and truth. The name originates from the Latin word opalus, meaning precious stone. pictureOthers say the word comes from upala - Sanskrit for stone - and in India the opal is a bringer of luck. In the orient the opal is the stone of everlasting hope.

In ancient times, Pliny the Elder described it as “the piercing fire of a ruby, the purple brilliance of the amethyst and the sea-green of an emerald - and all these colours mixed together in an incredible way”.

Some opals “ equal the deepest and richest colours of painters” while others encapsulate “the flaming fire of burning sulphur and even the bright blaze of burning oil” he added.

The combination of all these colours undoubtedly gives the opal a special beauty, with a rainbow-like iridescent shine. In the modern world it’s the gemstone for the 14th and 18th wedding anniversaries.

Discovering an opal is an almost magical experience. Most gemstones have to be cut to reveal their beauty, but the opal can be seen as a winking and gleaming array of iridescence when uncovered from its bed of dull sandstone or grey volcanic clay.

The opal is mainly formed of hydrous silica (explaining its watery glass appearance) and is sometimes coloured with iron and aluminum. It is contains up to 30% water, which gives it its opalescence. It’s found in the Western United States, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and Australia.

The opal is divided into three main groups: the precious opal - usually white or milky, the fire opal - named after its orange colour, and the common opal - usually opaque in appearance. The stone is quite fragile and may crack if exposed to heat, sun or salt. It should ideally be moistened frequently with water or kept on a quartz cluster. 

Energy giver - The opal has the energy of both the sun and the moon. It mainly represents the moon, with its feminine energy, but there’s also a male side that comes from the flash of iridescent colours conveying the energy of the sun.

It’s a gem of psychic awareness that helps with visualisation, imagination and dreams. In fact it’s also known as the stone of dreams and changes. An opal can increase, amplify and mirror feelings. It brings your buried emotions to the surface and helps you come to terms with them.

White opal is much like caffeine. It brings a great deal of energy to your body and helps you get more done. It’s a “natural battery” giving you the power to be more productive. pictureWhite opal works mainly on the physical body and on the mind. It makes you want to do more while giving you the energy to accomplish things. The white opal balances the left and right side of the brain. It dispels depression and strengthens self-
confidence - a balm for the soul and the bringer of joy and harmony.

Fire opals can stimulate passion and temper. It is not advisable for persons with suppressed anger to wear a fire opal, as it will intensify that energy. The black/dark blue opals are the most potent. They have been known to help with detoxification, inflammation and cirrhosis of the liver.

Cleanser - The opal has a positive effect on the stomach and digestive system, and can regulate insulin production. It helps to purify the blood, regulates the haemoglobin and cleanses the kidneys. Opals work on the heart thus healing problems of the heart/ heartache.

But beware – its energies can backfire if not used for the good of all. 

For more information about stones and crystals contact Birgit E. Schürenberg (natural therapist, crystal healer, reiki master), General Manager, Ornament Gifts, 205/1 Umm Suqeim Building, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, telephone: 04 3382433 or 050 7959916, fax 04 8846233, email:

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