An opal is a gem, a semi-precious stone that comes in many shimmery, partly translucent colors. If your birthday is in October, an opal is your birthstone.
An opal is a mineral made of silica, and it's found within the cracks and notches of many different kinds of rock. Most of the world's supply of opals comes from Australia. A polished opal that's been set in a ring or necklace is usually several shades or colors — most often blues and greens — with sparkles or shimmers decorating the stone. The word opal comes from the Latin opalus, and its ultimate root is probably the Sanskrit upala, "precious stone."