October Birthstone Story
A birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person's month of birth. Every month have dedicated stone. Opal and tourmaline are the two birthstones of October. These two gemstones are known for their endless color combinations.
The name "opal" comes from the ancient Greek word opallios, which meant "to see a change in color." Ancient Greeks thought opal stones presented the gift of prophesy and protection from disease.
Opal’s shifting play of colors is unlike any other gemstone. Fine opal’s beauty is very hard to be described with words. It has been compared to fireworks, galaxies, lightning and volcanoes. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope.
Black opal (Stayish Mine, Wollo Province, Ethiopia)
Biggest and most valuable opal is “Olympic Australis,” came from the place of Coober Pedy, Australia in 1956, during the Olympic Games in Melbourne. They were valued at $2.5 million in 2005, this gemstone measures approx. 28 centimetres (11 inches) long and weighs 17,000 carats (3.44 kilograms or 7.6 pounds).
In Ethiopia this stunning stoun ca be found near the village of Wegel Tena, which is located north of the capital Addis Ababa and up 8,000 feet (2,400 meters), where miners pry opal from shafts dug into the side of a plateau. Gemstones unearthed here range in body color from white, yellow, orange and brownish red to “coffee” brown. Another mine, in Shewa Province, yields the coveted black opal, as well as orange, white and crystal opal.
Opals, like the pearl, should not be stored in air tight containers, e.g. lock boxes, safety deposit boxes. If they lose moisture, they will craze a fine network of cracks.
Tourmaline is the other birhtstone of October. The name of this gem comes from the Sinhalese word tura mali, which mean “stone of mixed colors”, because it often has multiple colors in one crystal. Very few gems match tourmaline’s stunning array of colors.
This gem comes in a variaty of rainbow hues, pink (which is the accepted color to represent October's birthstone), blue, high-end reds, and greens adorn the showrooms of designer jewelers. Combined with a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, tourmaline makes very wearable birthstone jewelry.
Tourmaline gemstone is mined in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the U.S. (Maine and California).
Tourmalines’s most impressive traits is its ability to become electrically charged through heat and pressure. When charged, tourmaline can act as a magnet by oscillating, and by attracting or repelling particles of dust. This gemstone is not one mineral, but a complex group of minerals with different chemical compositions and physical properties.
Rough Watermelone Tourmaline
Certain trace elements produce distinct colors, and many resulting varieties have their own names: black tourmaline, known as “schorl”, dravite or brown tourmaline, elbaite, rubellite or red tourmaline, Indicolite or blue tourmaline, verdelite or green tourmaline, Paraíba tourmaline is a vividly colored purplish or greenish blue variety found in Paraíba, Brazil, achroite or colorless tourmaline is rare. Different colors of tourmaline are thought to have their own healing properties. Black tourmaline is believed to protect the wearer and give a sense of self-confidence. Pink tourmaline embodies love and is associated with compassion and gentleness. Green tourmaline promotes courage, strength and stamina. Tourmaline is given to celebrate the eighth wedding anniversary.