Traditionally, a special stone, a birthstone, has been selected to celebrate each month of the calendar year.  Please click on the months below to view information on each of the months' birthstones.  The birthstones described here are for the stones most commonly accepted in the United States as the birthstone of the month.

If you are interested in purchasing a gem, feel free to e-mail us or call us on our toll free number, 800-659-4367.  We will gladly describe and quote price on a specific gemstone.  Our sales staff and goldsmiths can assist you in designing and constructing a custom piece, and turn your gem into a treasured family heirloom.

October Birthstone
October Birthstone

O P A L |::| Mohs' Hardness 5.5 - 6.5

Possibly no stone used in jewelry manufacturing today spans such a wide range of prices as opal.  At the low end of the pricing structure is milky opal with a few small flecks of color.  These inexpensive stones are widely used in silver and light weight gold, or even gold plated jewelry.  At the other extreme and commanding top dollar are Lighting Ridge, Australian stones.  Fine examples of these gems have a dark to black crystal base, and a full range of colors displayed in random patches that seem to be suspended within the stone.  Fine Lightning Ridge stone can sell for as much as diamonds.

Thin sheets of opal are sometimes glued to a base material and called 'doublets'.  If a clear cap is added to this doublet, a 'triplet' is created.  Boulder opal are when a portion of the natural ironstone base rock is left attached to the opal as it was taken from the ground.

Opal is a somewhat soft stone, and care should be taken in wearing opals.  However, many antique opal jewelry pieces have survived the test of time.

Primary opal sources are Australia, Mexico, and Idaho.  Also accepted as an opal birthstone substitute is Tourmaline (see June, pearl-tourmaline).