What is the birthstone for October? In fact, the correct question would be, what are the birthstones for October? There are in total 6 birthstones of October, the tenth month of the year. How well do you know the different October birthstones? Let us explore the six types of October birthstone.
- Modern: Opal
- Alternate-US: Tourmaline
- Traditional: Opal, Aquamarine & Tourmaline
- Ancient: Opal, Aquamarine & Beryl
- Tibetan: Jasper
- Indian: Coral
October’s child is born for woe,
And life’s vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.
— Gregorian birthstone poem
Opal was traditionally the birthstone for October, and remains the October birthstone in modern gemology. Opal was also the October gemstone in the Ayurvedic or old Indian calendar. Before the gemstone found its way into the Julian calendar, opal was the zodiac stone for Libra, which partly falls on the month of October. This October stone occurs in a wide variety of colors, and in its most valuable forms display a play of colors that is unlike any other gemstone. This dazzling interplay of colors shines mostly against white body tone, though blue and green backgrounds also exist, while the most expensive is the black opal. The birthstone of October was a symbol of hope and purity to the Romans.
Tourmaline is the modern birthstone for October in the United States of America, as well as traditional October birthstone from as far back as the 15th century. When the gemstone was designated by the Jewelry Industry Council of America as October stone in 1952, the variety of tourmaline specified to be the gemstone for October was the pink tourmaline. However, ever since its recent designation as stone for October, other colors of the gemstones have also been popularly worn as October stones. Hence, all the many varieties of tourmaline are generally regarded as modern gemstones for October. Tourmaline is believed to inspire creative activity; consequently, this October gemstone is worn as charm by writers and artists.
Aquamarine was the traditional birthstone for October from as early as the 15th century, as well as the ancient October birthstone in the old Arabic, Hebrew, Polish and Roman calendar. Before the gemstone appeared in these ancient calendars as birthstone of October, the aquamarine was the zodiac stone for Scorpio, which partly falls on the month of October. This gemstone for October is the blue variety of beryl, a group of minerals which include emerald and heliodor. The October gemstone is believed to increase intelligence, enhance courage, and bring youthful happiness.
Beryl is the ancient birthstone for October in the old Italian and Russian calendar. Before the gemstone landed on these ancient calendars as October birthstone, beryl was a zodiac stone for Scorpio and the talismanic birthstone for Sagittarius, both zodiac signs falling partly in the month of October. This stone for October consists of a huge group of minerals that include aquamarine, heliodor (greenish yellow), golden beryl, morganite (pink), goshenite (colorless), red beryl, as well as emerald. The October stone is believed to enhance sincerity and bring cheerfulness.
Jasper is the birthstone for October in the old Tibetan calendar. This birthstone of October is an opaque variety of chalcedony that occurs in a great range of colors, the most common being red. The October birthstone is believed to help bring emotional stability.
Coral is the birthstone for October in the Hindu calendar. However, I don’t advocate the destruction of coral reefs to make jewelry; so, I won’t discuss this October birthstone at length. I hope you don’t mind.
October Birthstone Color
What color is October birthstone? Given the modern birthstones for October, it’s hard to tell. Opal gives off a rainbow of colors, while tourmaline comes in all the colors of the rainbow. Judging by the variety of tourmaline that the American Gem Society set as October gemstone, the stone for October is supposed to be primarily pink. Still, with opal in mind, others simply say that the color of October birthstone is multi-color.
If you browse through the traditional October gemstones, however, one gemstone color comes to the fore: blue. Aquamarine is blue beryl, and opal, tourmaline and jasper are all available in blue. Indeed, October birthstone color may have traditionally been blue.
After extensive research on birthstones, I realized that there really is only one October birthstone, and that gem has been transferred to another month.
Get to know the original October gemstone, as well as the magical powers of all birthstones, when you read my book Power Birthstone.