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October Birthstone | Opal

Discover the history of October's kaleidoscopic birthstone and how to style this iridescent gem.

Opal History and Symbolism

The name opal is believed to derive from the Greek word ‘opallios’ which means ‘to see a change in colour’ as well as the Sanskrit ‘upala’ meaning precious stone. This October stone while dazzling in its colour changing beauty, has in the past earned an unlucky reputation.

Many people believe that opals are a symbol of bad luck, however historic symbolism linked to the stone suggests otherwise. In Arabic legend, opal was believed to have fallen from the sky in bolts of lightning. Australian Aborigines believed that the world’s creator came down to earth on a rainbow, leaving these colourful stones where his feet touched the ground.

It wasn’t until Sir Walter Scott’s fictional novel, Anne of Geierstein, was released that sales of opal fell by around 50% in Europe. Reader’s believed that this October stone bewitched the novel’s heroine, leading to her dramatic death.

How to Wear Opal

Victoir De Castellane, Creative Director of Dior Fine Jewellery, admits her undying fascination with opals:

I am crazy about Australian Opals. They look artificial but are completely natural. You get every colour in one stone; that’s economic, non? And the colours are so fluorescent; they’re very strange, almost like a rainbow.”

We couldn’t agree more. Opal’s are a versatile stone due to their range of bright hues and reflected colours in each stone. Choose blue opal for a striking statement piece, black opal for a dramatic evening look or iridescent white for every day.

Blue Opal and CZ Pendant Necklace, £85, R&O, Austin Polka Dot Print Midi Dress, £39, Topshop, Black Suedette High Heels, £20, Faith at Debenhams, Blue Opal and CZ Love Waves Cabochon Ring, £75, R&O.