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October Birthstones Traditional and Non-Traditional Choices

Updated on April 29, 2015
Opal Pendant
Opal Pendant | Source

Why Do We Have Birthstones?

Birthstones are a tradition that have been handed down for hundreds of years. They are traditional gifts to give to newborn children, on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Birthstones are regarded as having mystical and protective powers. This traditional has roots in the bible and relates to the zodiac.

The breast plate of Aaron was decorated with twelve stones. The twelve stones were representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel and related to the twelve signs of the zodiac. In ancient times, birthstones were worn according to the ascendancy of a zodiac sign in the sky not by the month or sign you were born under. It was common to wear one or more gemstones depending on the zodiac.

The practice of wearing a birthstone depending on your birth sign was a fashion started in the 16th century. Gem traders in Poland made wearing your birthstone vs the current stone of the zodiac popular. Ayurvedic tradition lends itself to wearing birthstones based on a 15th century Tibetan text and also stones are worn based on their medical properties.

In modern times, the jeweler's association dictates the modern birthstone chart. The chart was assembled in the early 1900s based on the commercial availability of the stone and it is this chart that most Westerners follow today.

Tourmaline | Source

Birthstones for October

The modern birthstone for October is the Opal. October, however, is one of the few months that have two stones assigned to the modern birthstone chart. The second stone is tourmaline. The mystical birthstone for October is jasper while the Ayurvedic stone is, once again, the opal.

Birth months are also assigned a guardian angel. These guardian angels also use a gemstone as talismans. October's guardian angel is Barbiel the angel of honesty. He is one of the 28 angels of the angels of the moon. He is assigned to protect you and and your family and sends out his love to all. The gem stone associated with Barbiel is the agate.


Opal is the acceptable gift for a 13th anniversary. The stone is a composite of silica and silica gel that hardened to form the stone. Black opals are rare and may cost more than diamonds Romans believed the opal was the symbol of purity and also hope. Greeks believed the stone to be one of prophecy while Cleopatra wore opals in an effort to attract Marc Anthony.


Tourmaline is the stone for an 8th wedding anniversary and the zodiac stone of Leo. Tourmaline is available in a variety of colors from bluish-black, dark brown, yellow, blue to neon blue, lime to dark forest green, red and reddish purple, yellow, pink, and colorless. Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in many colors because it traveled along a rainbow and picked up all of the the colors. Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit. It is good for the blood, and lymph nodes. Tourmaline is thought to inspire creativity and was used as a tailsman by artists.


Jasper can come in red, yellow, brown and green. If the jasper is striped, it is then called striped or banded jasper. It is considered a power stone or a protection stone and gives one the power to speak. It is a good stone to work with for people who are shy. Its healing properties benefit those in counseling or to those who need to overcome addictions or compulsions.

Cleanse Your Birthstones

Birthstones and gems might carry positive and also negative energies. It is highly recommended to cleanse a stone after you first purchase it to get rid of negative energy. You can clean a stone by burying it. Use a cup filled with sea salt overnight and then rinse it off in the morning under cool water. This technique is good for necklaces, too. Bury only the stone or pendant in the salt so that the chain or strap won't get damaged.

Another technique is called smudging. It is the burning of sage or cedar. Burn sage or cedar sticks and then pass the birthstone through the smoke to cleanse it.


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    • cabmgmnt profile image

      Corey 5 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Thanks Moonlake,

      I find the opal to be a very alluring gemstone. Beautiful to wear.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      We have two family members in Oct. The opal is so pretty. I always heard it was bad luck to own an opal. Enjoyed reading your hub very interesting. Voted UP.