Opal & Tourmaline - October Birthstone

Opal & Tourmaline - October Birthstone
October has the wonderful dilemma of having two birthstones to choose from, Opal and Tourmaline. Let’s briefly look at both.

I am Opal, the bearer of good fortune with my mystical, flashing hues. When I am present love abounds; my touch soothes away sadness and envy. I also the symbolize hope, innocence and purity.

Opal’s vivid dancing color patterns are different in every type of opal. You can choose from Black, Boulder, Crystal, and White and others. Each type has it own special characteristics and color-play. Recently the Fire Opal has gained popularity even thought it is yellow to orange in color and has little if any color play.

Australia is the most known source of opal but it is also found in Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. Sometimes a thin layer of colorful opal is fused over the top of an inferior color opal to create a doublet. When this fusion is used with a thin slice of opal between a piece of crystal and mineral, such as onyx, it is called a triplet.

Opals require some special care. They should be kept away from temperature changes and avoid sharp blows. Also harsh chemicals may damage their luster. It is better not to do housework, gardening or bath with them on.

I am Tourmaline, the gemstone of many colors. Wearing me can bring you friends and lovers as well as heal your soul. The last Empress of China entered her eternal sleep with me as her pillow.

The most important source for tourmaline is Brazil. Other deposits are found in Afghanistan, Madagascar, and Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Russia and right here in the United States in California and Maine. Their color ranges from emerald green to bright pink. It is rare to find a solid color tourmaline; most are a variety of tones. The “watermelon” variety resembles a slice of watermelon, thus the name. Many other stones such as peridot, emerald, and ruby, have been confused with tourmaline because of its vast variety of colors.

Tourmaline may scratch if worn while doing physical activities like gardening, sports and housework. When properly maintained a tourmaline will be enjoyed for generations. Being born in October has endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a stone to represent your special day. With so many choices, why not have several? As always you do not need to be born in October to wear either stone, so enjoy!

Next month I will talk about Imperial Topaz and Citrine for the month of November.

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