The precious, iridescent Opal is the birthstone for those born in this month of October. Known for their magical display of rainbow colours these highly esteemed stones are thought to give us hope and support us during times of transition and change, attested to in the traditional poem. “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.” The Opal is made up of a fragile, hydrated silica material, very similar to quartz. The colour of the Opal is hard to pinpoint. While the stone itself can range in colour from clear to white, the sparkling, refracted light gives it a rainbow-like spectrum of colours that change when viewed from different angles. This makes it one of the most unique looking gemstones on earth – no two Opals appear the same. The Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, who actually produces 97% of the world’s supply, the town of Coober Pedy in South Australia being the major source. Other significant deposits of Opal have been found in Nevada, USA and Brazil, to Indonesia and Turkey. However, if you fancy searching a bit further afield for your birthstone, NASA announced in 2008 that it had found Opal deposits on the moon! The healing properties of the Opal have been revered since the middle ages, when people would use the stone as a talisman of great luck. They believed the Opal possessed the virtues of each gemstone whose colours were represented in its colour spectrum. The name Opal comes from the Latin word “opalus” meaning “precious jewel”, and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning, “to see a change of color.” More recently, Opals have been traditionally associated with properties such as hope, innocence and purity. They are very spiritual stones, and have been known to enhance dream work and ease the process of change. Clear or milky Opals can be used as a spiritual mirror to look inward, reflecting our feelings and amplifying buried emotions. This inner gazing brings increased confidence, less inhibitions and clearer imagination. The Opals ever-changing play of colours makes it one of the most powerful stones in chakra healing. The vibrational qualities of each colour in its rainbow spectrum, makes the Opal one of the few stones that resonates with all seven of our chakras. It works well with the brow chakra in particular, and may open our ‘second sight’ aiding clairvoyancy. With its visual influences, it stands to reason that the Opal is often used to treat eye infections and enhance vision, however, the Opal can be used with any physical symptom, as it is great in speeding up the healing process. The tradition of wearing birthstone jewellery dates back thousands of years, and Opal birthstone jewellery is especially popular. However, while it may be tempting to work with the Opal everyday, remember that they are powerful gemstones and should be worn only when it feels right to you. They can make you feel very emotional so consider how you’re feeling before you put on an Opal necklace or pendant. If you were born under the protection of the Opal this month, these beautiful gifts from the earth will give you great benefits and endless pleasure to the eye.