October’s birthstone, the opal, is a very unique gem. Its name is derived from opalus, which was given to it by the Romans. Its meaning is synonymous with “precious stone.” Its shifting kaleidoscope of colors is unlike any other. Opals can vary in shape, size, color, and can differ noticeable from each other. People have described the stone’s appearance to volcanoes, fireworks, and galaxies. Because opal has the colors of many other gems, the Romans believed it possessed all the virtues of each gemstone and was the most precious and powerful of all. In fact, throughout most of history, opal has been regarded as the luckiest and most magical of all gems because of its colors. Europeans have long considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth. Many cultures have credited opal with supernatural origins and powers. Nomadic Arabs of the desert called the Bedouins believed that opals fell from the heavens during thunderstorms and contained lightning. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. The opal’s legends are as colorful as the stone itself.