When you think of October, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the vibrant colors of fall, the anticipation of Halloween, and the cozy feeling of sweater weather. But October is also special for another reason: it is one of the few months that is associated with not one, but two birthstones – opal and tourmaline. Let’s explore the rich history and lore of these two beautiful gemstones.
The opal is a truly unique gemstone known for its dazzling play of color, which can include shades of blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. The name “opal” is derived from the Greek word “opallos,” meaning “to see a change of color,” a fitting name for a stone that can display a rainbow of hues in a single piece.
Opals have been treasured by civilizations throughout history. In ancient times, people believed opals could bring luck and protect the wearer from harm. The Romans considered opals to be a symbol of hope and purity, while the Greeks thought they could bestow the gift of prophecy. In the Middle Ages, opals were even believed to have healing properties and were used in various forms of medicine.
Tourmaline, on the other hand, is a semi-precious stone that is available in a wide range of colors, from pink and green to blue and black. The name “tourmaline” comes from the Sinhalese word “turmali,” which means “mixed gems,” a fitting name for a gemstone that can display so many different colors.
The history of tourmaline is just as colorful as the stone itself. In ancient Egypt, people believed that tourmaline passed through a rainbow on its journey to Earth, which is why it is found in such a variety of hues. In Asia, tourmaline has been used in carvings and jewelry for centuries, a testament to its lasting appeal.
Whether you’re an October baby or just a fan of beautiful gems, opals and tourmalines are definitely worth a closer look. Their vibrant colors and unique properties make them a fascinating subject for anyone looking for a new piece of jewelry to add to their collection. Next time you see a piece of opal or tourmaline, take a moment to appreciate the complexity and beauty in those tiny treasures.
Johnson Jewelers is your local, independently owned custom jewelry store. Our experienced goldsmiths and jewelers are ready to help!