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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE

Opal and Tourmaline are the modern gemstones, tourmaline the traditional gemstone, jasper is the mystical, opal is the ayurvedic and pink tourmaline, zircon and aquamarine are the alternate gemstones for October.

The Romans believed it was the symbol of hope and purity. They called opal "Cupid Paederos" (a child beautiful as love) and thought it kept the wearer safe from disease. The Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightening, and that's how they received their fiery color.

Like a rainbow shining through luminous clouds, the multi-hued fires of the opal shimmer. Some people believed that opals were actually bits of rainbow that had fallen to the ground. Others thought that the opal's coloring resembled the complexion of the god of love, and called it the "Cupid stone."

Opals were used to cure eye disease (wrap in a bay leaf), infections, heart disease, and malignancies. Opal also was believed to prevent conception. Peculiarly attuned to its owner's moods and health, opal would glow brightly to indicate joy and good health. When a person died, it was believed that the opal's fires would be quenched. The gem was sometimes known as the patron stone of thieves, because it was thought to confer invisibility. Fair haired women wore opals to keep their tresses bright.

Black opals have always been considered particularly lucky. It was believed that when a love passion was conceived in the presence of a black opal, the gem would absorb the emotion. Ever after, the fire of that passion would glow in the stone. For this reason, the black opal is sometimes referred to as the "passion stone." October's natal gem is a symbol of hope.

Tourmaline

Although a relative newcomer to the gem world, tourmaline has been credited with several curative uses. It was used to strengthen teeth and bones and to shrink varicose veins. Tourmaline possesses magnetic properties that cause it to give off a soothing tingle when rubbed with a piece of silk. For this reason, it was attributed with the ability to enable sleep and calm nerves. This gem also was thought to prevent baldness. Pink tourmaline was thought to make its wearer popular. The green variety increased business prowess. In cases of infertility, a bi-colored, "watermelon" tourmaline, placed in the region of the ovary, was believed to stimulate ovulation. And dreaming of a tourmaline foretold accidents.

Tourmaline is found in almost every gemstone color: pink, green, yellow, blue, brown, and mixtures of these colors. It is an alternative birthstone for October.

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