These days, birthstone jewelry is more popular than ever. Whether you’re buying it for yourself or as a gift, jewelry with a birthstone is likely to be well loved and often worn.
If you happen to be born in October, you have two gems to choose from: opal and tourmaline. Both are beautiful, but they are quite different. Here’s what you need to know about these two October birthstones.
It’s quite common to mistake some gemstones for others, especially when they share similar colors. But there’s one gemstone that is completely unmistakable: the opal.
This silica-based stone comes in precious and common versions, and it’s the precious one with its rainbow luminescence that is most commonly used for jewellery.
Opal can be transparent, translucent, and opaque, and it can vary in colour from white to black and nearly everything in between – but it’s the sheen and appearance of trapped fire that appeals to most people who love this stone.
Opals usually come from Australia, Ethiopia, Mexico, or Nevada, but they are also found in other parts of the world in smaller quantities.
Tourmalines are another silicate crystal that comes in a rainbow of colours – often in the same stone. This is usually because the stone contains different minerals, which could include sodium, iron, aluminum and other materials.
The tourmaline is a relatively new gem, having been introduced to Europe from the east a few hundred years ago. It is available in a wide variety of colours and is a relatively affordable gem to include in jewellery. They are mined in large parts of Asia, Africa, south America, and the middle east.
Many tourmalines are magnetic, and these stones are often heat treated to produce colors that don’t often occur in nature. They might not be the most expensive stone out there, but they’re definitely one of the more interesting ones!