Opal and Tourmaline: October's Birthstones

Updated: Oct 12

Not many people know that October has two birthstones, but this autumn month does indeed claim both opal and tourmaline for its significant stones. These two gemstones each offer an extensive variety of color options, making them perfectly suited for someone with an October birthday, no matter what their style or color preferences may be! To find out more about this month's birthstones, keep reading!

Opals

Likely the more well-known birthstone for the month of October, opals are beloved for their dazzling combination of vibrant colors that give each and every stone its own unique, magical appearance. The word for "opal" came from the Greek word opallios, which meant "to see a change in color". Most opals can be divided up into two categories: precious opals, which have a flashy characteristic called "play of color", or common opals, which are also known as potch opals. As you can see in the pictures below, common opals tend to be beautiful, yet muted in color, while precious opals have an inner fire within them that changes depending on the angle and lighting.



Around 95% of opals are produced in Australia, where the seasonal rainfall deposits large quantities of silica into layers of rock cracks, which is how this mesmerizing gemstone is formed. Because of this process, opals tend to be softer compared to other gems due to their water content, earning a ranking of 5.5 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.


Here is a sampling of some of the opal jewelry we have at Dacels Jewelers!


Tourmaline

Just like opals, tourmaline comes in an array of colors, though not in quite the same way. The name for this gemstone actually means "stone of mixed colors", which can be seen in the many types of stones that fall under the umbrella of tourmaline.

  • Black tourmaline, also known as schorl, is rich in iron and is the most commonly occuring form of this stone, making up around 95% of all tourmalines. It typically ranges in color from blue-black to dark brown.

  • Blue tourmaline, or indicolite, usually appear to be a cross between purple, blue, and green.

  • Rubellite, a redish-pink variety of tourmaline, has lots of manganese, and its color can appear more or less vibrant depending on the lighting.

  • Brown tourmaline, or dravite, contains large amounts of magnesium, so it is usually brownish-yellow.

  • Verdelite, or green tourmaline, is often mistaken for emerald due to its beautiful green tones.

  • Paraíba tourmalines are highly sought after for their brilliant blueish-green colors.

  • Parti-colored tourmalines feature more than one color, with the most common combination being pink and green stones that are referred to as "watermelon tourmalines".

Tourmalines make great jewelry due to their wide range of colors and 7.5 ranking on the Mohs scale of hardness.


Here is a sampling of some of the tourmaline jewelry we carry at Dacels Jewelers!


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