October is one of few months that share 2 different birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline. While they have obvious distinguishable features, they are equally beautiful and unique. Tourmaline is a favorite gemstone for many because of its wide array of beautiful colors. Opal gemstones are truly unique because each individual gem is adorned with a one-of-a-kind color combination.
Tourmaline is a great gem because it is not limited to one color. It can be found in shades of cranberry red, hot magenta, pink, peach, orange, canary yellow, mint, grass and forest green, ocean blue, violet, and more. It has also been known to display many colors in one gemstone. These multi-colored gems are highly prized and sought after.
Most green tourmalines are strongly pleochroic. Stones that show attractive colors in both directions—such as bright green in one and blue in another—are the most valuable. These semi-precious gems have been nicknamed the “gemstone of the rainbow”. They are often used as large pendant stones because they are usually found as large crystals and can be used as large, exquisite, flawless gemstones. Though they can be found in many colors and shades: red, green, blue and multicolored- especially watermelon- are the most prized. Stones similar to tourmaline include ruby, emerald, pink sapphire, and aquamarine.
In ancient times, the Opal was said to be the “Queen of Gems” because it displayed the colors of all gems. Like fingerprints, each Opal is truly unique due to its one-of-a-kind coloring, including blues, greens, reds, yellows, and many more. Another beautiful characteristic is when turned and moved, colors appear to shift, creating a gem that can be wore with just about anything!
Accounting for 95-97% of the world’s supply of Opal, it is Australia’s national gemstone. Due to their water content, usually ranging between 2 and 6%, Opals may easily become brittle. You may think this means not wearing it too often is best, but it is actually better to wear this stone as often as possible because it will receive the proper amount of humidity from the air and skin of the wearer.
If you are in search of a unique piece of gemstone jewelry like the tourmaline or opal, stop in one of our locations to see what we have available!