October Birthstones - Opal / Tourmaline
In ancient times the Opal was called the “Queen of Gems” because it contains the colors of all other gems. The word opal comes from the Greek word Opallos which means “to see a change in color”. Opal is known for its multi-colored quality and its beauty is a result of the contrast between its color play and its background. With its dazzling array of colors, as you turn and move an Opal its colors shift and play giving it its unique rainbow shine. Opals are made of closely packed particles that when packed together in a regular outline, a three-dimensional arrangement of spaces is formed and gives the stone its radiance and its color play. Australia’s Lightening Rides is famous for its rare and stunning black Opals.
The stone occurs in several colors like white, which has a white body color but with glints of rainbow color; black which can have blue, gray or black body color; and crystal opal which has a transparent body color and contains dazzling flashes of color within it. With its rainbow of colors it’s important to choose an opal that showcases your color preference and taste. Some prefer Opals consisting of warm blues and green while other love opal shining of bright reds and yellows.
Opal is associated with hope, innocence, and purity; its metaphysical properties are happiness, faithfulness, confidence and loyalty. It is said that it is a stone of inspiration which boosts the imagination and creativity. It is also believed that opal brings happy dreams as well as enhances the memory.
The term tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese word “thuramali” or “thoramalli” which means mixed. Tourmaline is also known for displaying several colors in the same gemstone, hence its name. This two-color or tri-color variants of the stone are highly priced. Because of its color variety, it is said to express an artist’s every mood and inspiration. Since it available in a plethora of colors, the tourmaline is easily suited to almost anyone’s taste.
Some color varieties of tourmaline are rubellite, one of the rarest and most valuable tourmalines; indicolite, which is another rare color and those of high quality are actually collectible; chrome tourmaline is of rich green color, is also rare and found typically only in smaller sizes. Other color varieties are bi-color, watermelon, canary, paraiba, cat’s eye and color-change tourmalines. One multi-color variety is known as watermelon tourmaline, and features green, pink, and white colors bands. The gemstone is cut into thin slices having a pink center, white ring, and green edge to resemble a slice of watermelon. Tourmaline is found in many locations including Brazil, Afghanistan, East Africa, and the USA.