Saturday, October 10, 2009


On the Gregorian Calendar, which is the common calendar used, October is the tenth month of the year. On the old Roman calendar October is the eighth month, hence "octo" meaning eight.

October is commonly associated with the season of autumn, which is pretty evident with the changing colors of nature in many parts of the country. I do remember however, many many times growing up that October really meant winter was here or "snow time" has begun. Just two weeks ago I visited Virginia where the beginnings of the color change was happening.

Yet, in talking to my sister who lives in Colorado, she was shoveling seven inches of snow off her porch, and who could forget the snows of Alaska at this time of year, oh so beautiful.


The Australian Opal

An opal is most notable associated as a birthstone with the month of October. As an anniversary gemstone it applies to the 14th and 18th years of marriage.

Opal comes from Latin opalus, from Greek opallios, from Sanskrit upala stone, jewel. It is a mineral that is a hydrated amorphous silica softer and less dense than quartz and typically with definite and often marked iridescent play of colors. The color various dramatically depending on where the opal is mined and how it is cut.

Most opal is more than 60 million years old and generally dates back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. It is found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once flowed. The minerals bubbled up from beneath the surface of the earth and slowly, over the centuries, lined the walls of cracks, vents and underground cavities in the bedrock. Most opal is found where geothermal hot springs dried up during seasonal periods of rainfall and extended dry periods.

The most striking quality of opal is its ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light. In fact, the term "opalescence" was coined to describe this phenomenon. The size and spacing of the amorphous spheres of silica within the stone refracts specific wavelengths of light; each sphere refracting a single, pure spectral color much like the individual microscopic droplets of water in a rainbow. The interplay of these pure wavelengths of light gives opal its unique visual appeal, and makes it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.

The Opal - often referred to as the October birthstone - is a brilliant gemstone which shows off the interplay of a variety of iridescent colors. The opal is composed of a white or colorless compound (silica) which occurs in quartz, flint, sand or agate. The silica produces the vibrant internal colors by the diffraction of color passing through the stone. The veins that display the 'play of color' are quite thin and this is where the cutting of the stone is important.

The opal is Australia's national gemstone, and Australia is credited for the largest production of the worlds opals.

There is a rather large array of opal colors and classifications and I could go into breaking them all down here, but I think I will refer to Wikipedia. I think it offers a great source for further information on the Opal and it's various color breakdowns and classifications. Though a little technical, I feel it breaks it down better than I could. Check it out.

Rose Zircon Gemstone

The birthstones associated with zircon are October (rose zircon) and December (blue zircon). Zircon's are not associated with anniversary gemstone.

The name Zircon is from Zargun which means "gold color". The etymology is German, modification of French jargon jargoon, zircon, from Italian giargone.

Zircons come in a variety of colors and degrees of colors of yellow, yellow-brown, brown, orange, red, violet, blue, and green. The color of zircons sometimes can be changed by heat treatment. The zircon stones used in my site are synthetic (lab created) stones.

On the spiritual level, the zircon supposedly helps one be more at peace with oneself. It was believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honor and riches. The lost of luster on a Zircon stone is said to warn of danger.

The legend of Zircon began when Hyacin, the Greek youth, was killed. A blue hyacinth flower grew from the spilled blood. The blue color of the zircon found in Greece matched the blue of the flower. Pliny, the elder, started this legend by his written comparison of colors.

Zircon is a natural stone - not to be confused with Cubic Zircon which is manmade. It is known as a colorless stone used to imitate diamonds but also comes in: blue, yellow, orange, red, brown and green.

Whichever your choice, both stones are a joy to own. Check out my jewelry pieces for this month


  1. Wow would have loved to have seen your jewelry at the Craft Show I went to this weekend! Your's is way way better than what I saw there!


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