October’s Birthstone is the Opal. Measuring 5.5-6.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, Opal is an amorphous crystal categorized as a mineraloid (as opposed to a mineral). Nearly all of the world’s supply opal comes from Australia, of which the Opal is the national gemstone. Non-precious opal is referred to by miners as “potch”, and it does not display the brilliance of colors that Precious Opal does. Most opals are cut and polished to form cabochons.
Other sources of Precious Opals include Mexico (the Fire Opal; something I gave my own wife as a pre-engagement ring when I graduated college) and Peru (the Peruvian Opal, also called Blue Opal). Blue Opal also originates from the Northwestern United States.
Christopher J. Lazaro
Executive Vice President
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