October Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline

october-birthstoneOpal takes its name from the Latin word “Upala” meaning “precious stone”. Pliny, a learned roman scholar, described opal as having “the fire of the carbuncle, the brilliant purple of the amethyst and the sea-green color of the emerald, all shining together in incredible union”. The Romans believed opal was the symbol of hope and purity. They called it “cupid paederos” (child as beautiful as love) and thought the wearer safe from disease. The Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning and thus acquired their marvelous play-of-color. Ancient Greeks also believed the opal should be treated with care due to their fragile nature. Opal is the birthstone for the month of October and is designated for the 13th wedding anniversary.

R.I.: 1.43-1.47
S.G.: 1.97-2.20

Tourmaline takes its name from the ancient word tourmaline which means, “mixed precious stones.” Pink tourmaline (along with opal) is the birthstone for October. Green tourmaline is designated for the 10th wedding anniversary and rubellite for the 17th. Tourmaline occurs in all colors as well as colorless. Familiar varieties include rubelite (deeper shades of pink to red), indicolite (blue), chrome (intense green) plus bi-colored and parti-colored (multiple colors within the same stone). Tourmaline is found mainly in Brazil, Africa and the U.S.

R.I.: 1.624-1.644
S.G.: 3.01-3.21