October Birthstone - Opal and Tourmaline

October has two birthstones; Tourmaline and Opal. Tourmaline is a favorite gemstone for so many because it is available in a rainbow of beautiful colors; pink being the most favored.

Opal gemstones are truly unique because each individual gem is adorned with a one-of-a-kind and unique color combination.

Opal Gemstone

Many people are unaware that Opal, just one of October’s birthstones, is Australia’s national gemstone.

Australia not only mines 95% of the world’s precious black and white opal but produces opals of many varieties used in jewelry such as; milky opal, jelly opal, boulder opal, crystal opal and some fire opal.

Opals of all varieties have been used for everything from easing childbirth to bringing strength in battle. Long known as the Wish Stone, Opal is said to promote love and romance and to grant wishes and personal happiness.

The most common and affordable variety of opal is called milky opal or white opal because it shows a rainbow of colors against a white opaque background.

Colors can show as patches or as tiny flashes called “pinfire” and are usually light and bright pinks and green. It is a gem that is lovely to wear and easy to acquire.

Pink Tourmaline Gemstone

Pink Tourmaline is one of the two birthstones for October.

People have probably used tourmaline as a gem for centuries, but until the development of modern mineralogy, they identified it as some other stone based on its color. Portuguese explorers, for example, discovered deposits of green tourmaline in Brazil in the mid 1500s, but they thought it was Emerald.

Tourmalines come in a wide variety of exciting colors. In fact, tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of any gem species. It occurs in various shades of almost every hue, and there are a number of trade names for its color varieties.

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