What is birthstone?
When we talk about birthstone, it is about association of certain gemstones to each month of the year. It is believed that origin of birthstone is the breastplate of Aaron, which contains twelve gemstones representing twelve tribes of Israel. After this, the twelve stones were also linked to the twelve signs of zodiac. And then associated to twelve months of the calendar year. Throughout history, many cultures have myths and legends of healing powers of birthstones. But every culture has its own list of birthstones, which are slightly different to each other.
In modern time, the following birthstones have been eventually recognised for each month.
October as many other month during the year has its own birthstone. Normally we believe Opal is birthstone of October. In legends, Opal is said to reach earth through a journey of rainbow, which makes its “play of colour”.
Tale and history of Opal
The name “opal” originated from Sanskrit “upala”, which meant “precious stone”. And Greek word “opallios”, which meant ”to see a change in colour”.
In ancient Rome, opal was a symbol of love and hope. It was called “Cupid Paederos” - A child as beautiful as love.The people of Orient name it “Anchor of Hope”. In legends, opal was believed to make its wearer invisible and was a popular talisman of thieves and spies. Later, a change in colour intensity of an opal was said to indicate the health of its wearer during Medieval area. In addition, Opal was considered to be a prevention of hair’s colour colour fading, which made opals very popular among blond maidens.
However, since sweeping of the Black Death across Europe in mid-14th century, The opal was believed to be the cause of death. Then in Anne of Geuerstein, a bestselling novel written by Sir Walter Scott in 1829, opal was stated to bring bad luck. As a result, Opal was ridiculously mistaken to be an evil stone for years all over the world.
Nevertheless, throughout history of many different cultures, opal was a symbol of hope, fidelity and assurance. Beside, opal was said to have many mystical power in folklore, such as enhancement of self worth, confidence and self-esteem, and help people to understand their full potential.
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*Artwork ©James & Irisa