October has not one but two glittering gemstones associated with it: tourmaline and Opal. These two October birthstones possess unique beauty, symbolism, and legendary healing properties.
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This extensive guide will explore everything you need about these stunning October birthday gems. Get ready to unlock the mysteries and magic of tourmaline and Opal!
A Closer Look at the Vibrant Tourmaline
First up, let’s examine the kaleidoscopic wonder that is tourmaline. Did you know this marvelous mineral comes in every color of the rainbow?
Tourmaline can display a vast array of vibrant hues:
- Fiery reds
- Cool blues
- Lush greens
- Sunny yellows
- Mystical violets
- Exotic oranges
- Earthy browns
- Stylish blacks
Some tourmaline stones exhibit two or more colors in a single specimen through color zoning. The options are endless with this flawless October birthstone!
The Most Coveted Tourmaline: Rubellite
The most prized variety of tourmaline is the raspberry red rubellite. These rubies have a rich, intense crimson color with pinkish undertones. Fine rubellite can rival the “Big Three” precious gems – diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
Some early gemologists confused rubellite with natural red rubies. But while similarly eye-catching, rubies and rubellite have different chemical compositions.
Rubellite’s saturated rosy tones and clarity make it the most valuable type of tourmaline, far exceeding green, blue, or other shades.
Tourmaline’s Record-Breaking Sizes
Tourmalines can grow to prodigious sizes exceeding 100 carats. The largest faceted tourmaline on record weighed an astounding 15.33 lbs!
Some memorable mammoth tourmaline specimens include:
- The Candelabra Tourmaline: Found in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in 1872, this single crystal shaft weighed 20 lbs! But sadly, it was ultimately cut into many smaller stones.
- The Watermelon Tourmaline: This aptly named crystal displayed green skin and a pink core resembling a watermelon. It weighed 191.87 carats!
- The Carolina Queen: Discovered in North Carolina in 1989, this obelisk weighed 211.5 carats and measured 10 inches long. It remains the largest North American tourmaline.
- The Rainbow Tourmaline: A single sliced cross-section revealing all the colors of tourmaline in concentric rings – a true natural wonder.
Healing Properties of Tourmaline
In crystal healing traditions, tourmaline is highly valued for its versatile metaphysical properties. Let’s explore the magical ways this October birthstone can bring positive energy into your life:
- Boosts immune system health
- Promotes proper cell regeneration
- Enhances physical vitality
- Improves circulatory system function
- Reduces inflammation and pain
- Instils sense of safety and security
- Releases destructive behaviors and addictions
- Builds self-confidence and self-love
- Promotes emotional balance and stability
- Enhances empathy and compassion for others
- Increases mental clarity and alertness
- Boosts creativity, inspiration, and insight
- Sharpens concentration and memory
- Calms inner turmoil and racing thoughts
- Grounding stone that strengthens root chakra
- Powerful electromagnetic energy and vibration
- Protective against environmental pollutants
- Shields against hostile energy forces
- Cleanses and detoxifies the aura
Now, those are some stunning holistic healing benefits! Read more on tourmaline in this great article.
The Hypnotic Magic of Opal
Up next on our October birthstone tour is the only Opal. This unique gemstone dazzles with a spellbinding “play of color” unlike any other crystal.
But what causes this incredible phenomenon?
It comes down to the structure of the Opal. Tiny silica spheres about 0.0001 mm are arranged in layers inside the Opal. The varying size and arrangement of these spheres cause light rays entering the stone to diffract into the full spectrum of colors.
This diffraction results in flashes of rainbow hues that flicker and change as the Opal is turned. No two opals exhibit the same play of color, making each stone unique.
Let’s take a peek at some of the most celebrated opals of all time:
- The Andamooka Opal: This dazzling Opal from South Australia weighed 6832 carats in the rough. Cutting, it lost over 2000 carats but produced 24 brilliant opals.
- The Olympic Australis Opal: Weighing 17,000 carats, this is the most significant and most valuable Opal ever found. It is valued at over $2.5 million!
- The Fire of Australia Opal: At 998 grams, this is the world’s most perfect black Opal.
- The Flame Queen Opal: Displaying a stunning play of red upon black, this Opal was set into Queen Victoria’s wreath in 1902.
The Many Hues of Opal
While Opal is famed for its shimmering play of color, it also comes in set base colors:
- White Opal: Translucent opal with a pale white body color. Exhibits play of color on a light background.
- Black Opal: Extremely rare, these combine a black or dark grey body color with stunning color flashes—the most expensive Opal.
- Boulder Opal: Opal material with ironstone matrix rock naturally attached. Mines in Queensland are famous for this distinctive type.
- Crystal Opal: Fully transparent Opal with a play of color visible on both sides.
- Fire Opal: Ranges from yellows to oranges to reds in body color. No play of color.
- Water Opal: Colorless, transparent. May or may not exhibit a play of color. It’s also called jelly opal.
As you can see, the world of Opal is diverse and dazzling. The play of color may be its most famous trait, but Opal has far more beauty to offer.
Caring for Your Delicate Opal
Now for some critical care and cleaning tips. Opals require more gentle handling than most other gems. Opal contains up to 30% water and is relatively soft and fragile.
Avoid wearing opal jewelry when doing rough work or sports to prevent bumps, knocks, and blows. Sudden impacts can cause fractures inside the stone that ruin its play of color.
Opals also crave a stable temperature environment. Avoid exposing opals to quick shifts between hot and cold, which can lead to cracks.
When cleaning, use only warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush. No ultrasonic or steam cleaners! Harsh chemicals like bleach, acids, and ammonia are also big no-nos for delicate Opal.
Store your opals separately from harder gems to prevent scratches. Wrap in soft cloth or place in individual compartments.
With proper care, your natural opal jewelry will dazzle for a lifetime!
The Metaphysical Magic of Opal
Opal was believed to hold great magical powers and healing properties in ancient lore. Let’s examine some of the mystical energies and attributes associated with this October birthstone:
- Boosts imagination and creativity
- It helps connect to ethereal realms
- It provides deep spiritual grounding
- Clears and purifies the aura
- Amplifies emotions and intuition
- Protects against dangers
- Manifest desires and intentions
- Unlocks lost memories
- Promotes journeying and lucid dreaming
Together with tourmaline, Opal’s healing vibrations make it the perfect birthstone for ultra-sensitive October-born Libras and Scorpios.
October’s Dazzling Alternate Birthstone: Pink Tourmaline
Tourmaline and Opal may be October’s star stones, but they have a lovely backup: pink tourmaline.
As we learned earlier, tourmaline naturally forms in every color. So, it’s no surprise that the October birth flower bouquet also includes the pink variety of this gem.
Pink tourmaline combines red tourmaline’s energy and healing properties with an equally dreamy, rosy pink color.
Some popular varieties of pink tourmaline include:
- Rubellite: Pinkish-red tourmaline with the most value.
- Elbaite: Light pink tourmaline named after Elba Island, Italy.
- Watermelon Tourmaline: Pink tourmaline with green overtones.
- Peach/Salmon Tourmaline: Orangey-pink tourmaline colors.
So, if you’re looking for a pinker October birthstone, don’t overlook the blushing beauty of pink tourmaline!
October’s Lucky Birthstone: Beryl
Another alternate October birth gem is Beryl. While primarily known for emerald and aquamarine, Beryl also occurs in green and yellow shades.
Fortune, prosperity, and abundance. Its cheerful, verdant tones attract money, success, and growth.
While not as famous as other beryls, green Beryl is an affordable alternative for anyone born in October seeking luck and wealth.
October Birthstones Jewelry Style Inspiration
October’s vibrant birthstones dazzle in jewelry. Here are some chic ways to sport tourmaline, Opal, or pink tourmaline pieces:
- Tourmaline Tennis Bracelet: Showcase a rainbow of round, emerald-cut, or oval tourmalines in a timeless line bracelet.
- Opal Pendant Necklace: An opal cabochon or cluster suspended from a gold or silver chain makes a stellar statement.
- Rubellite Cocktail Ring: A large rubellite tourmaline set in an ornate cocktail ring radiates true glamour.
- Opal Drop Earrings: Let the flames flicker with vivid opal earrings in oval or pear shapes.
- Pink Tourmaline Solitaire Ring: Simple yet sophisticated, a cushion or round pink tourmaline solo ring lets the gem take center stage.
- Birthstone Bracelet Stack: Line up beaded bracelets with all three October birthstone colors for arm candy magic.
- Vintage Opal Brooch: For classic sophistication, don an opal, gold, and diamond brooch, a staple in antique jewelry.
The glowing tones of tourmaline, Opal, and pink tourmaline pair perfectly with fall’s harvest palette. Get ready to unlock compliments with October’s birthstone jewels!
Where Do October Birthstones Originate From?
Now let’s examine the geographical origins that produce October’s beautiful birthstones:
- Brazil: The world’s leading source of tourmaline, especially rare Paraiba tourmaline.
- Nigeria: Significant tourmaline mining in African countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania.
- United States: California and Maine are major U.S. tourmaline suppliers.
- Afghanistan: Prized vivid pink and red rubellite hails from Afghanistan.
- Sri Lanka: This island nation exports valuable blue, red, and green tourmaline.
- Australia: Produces over 95% of the world’s Opal. The Great Australian Basin is the #1 opal locale.
- Ethiopia: Discovered precious black Opal in 1994. Some “Chocolate” opals exhibit both plays of color and luminosity.
- Mexico: Valuable black Opal comes from Mexico’s Querétaro state.
- Brazil: Sources large opal geodes and the exotic hydrophanous “crystal water opal.”
- Indonesia: Known for boulder opal specimens with matrix rock attached.
Pink Tourmaline Sources
- Brazil: Major supplier of pink tourmalines, especially the coveted Paraiba variety.
- Africa: Significant pink tourmaline mining in Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia and Mozambique.
- United States: California and Maine produce fine pink tourmalines.
- Afghanistan: Famed source for precious ruby-red tourmaline gemstones.
As you can see, tourmaline and Opal originate from every corner of the globe! But a few key countries dominate the production of October’s birthstones.
October Birthstone Lore & Legends
Tourmaline and Opal have captured imaginations for centuries. Look at some favorite myths and legends surrounding these mystical October birth gems.
According to ancient Egyptian legend, vibrant tourmaline traveled along a rainbow and gathered all its beautiful colors. It brought joy and luck to all who wore it.
In medieval times, tourmaline was thought to strengthen the physical heart and protect against affairs of the heart. The stone was often carved with the image of a turtle. Its name is “turmali,” meaning “stone mixed with multicolored powders.”
Shamans and medicine men revered tourmaline as a powerful talisman for connecting to spirit worlds and achieving enlightenment.
The ancient Romans saw opals as a mighty stone capable of bestowing the gift of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf.
Ancient Arabs believed opals fell from the heavens in bolts of lightning. The flare of color emitted from the stone was thought to be captured fire.
Australian aborigines called opal “the creator’s butterfly” and told stories of its origins at the beginning of time when the world was young and empty.
In Greece, Opal was considered the luckiest and most magical gem.
Tourmaline and Opal have long captured the human imagination with their stunning beauty, rarity, and metaphysical qualities.
Famous People Born in October
To close out our grand tour, let’s see which celebrities, historical figures, and notable personalities share October birthdays and zodiac signs:
- Kim Kardashian (Libra; October 21)
- Matt Damon (Libra, October 8)
- Eminem (Libra, October 17)
- Bruno Mars (Libra, October 8)
- Cardi B (Libra, October 11)
- Zac Efron (Libra, October 18)
- Susan Sarandon (Libra, October 4)
- Hugh Jackman (Libra, October 12)
- Anne Hathaway (Scorpio, November 12)
- Ryan Reynolds (Scorpio, October 23)
- Katy Perry (Scorpio, October 25)
- Bill Gates (Scorpio, October 28)
- Julia Roberts (Scorpio, October 28)
- Hillary Clinton (Scorpio, October 26)
- Drake (Scorpio, October 24)
- Pablo Picasso (Scorpio, October 25)
- Theodore Roosevelt (Scorpio, October 27)
Fittingly, the October birthstones belong to some of history and pop culture’s most colorful, creative, passionate, and powerful characters!
October Birthstones FAQ
What’s the difference between tourmaline and rubellite?
Rubellite is a type of tourmaline that exhibits a rich, deep red color that’s more valuable and desired than standard red.
How should I clean opal jewelry?
Use warm water, mild soap, and a very soft brush. Never use ultrasonic or steam cleaners on Opal.
What causes Opal’s play of color?
It’s caused by the structure of microscopic silica spheres and water that diffract light into flashes of color.
Can tourmaline help with anxiety?
Yes, its grounding energy can relieve anxiety, fears, and worries. It promotes emotional healing.
Are Opal and Tourmaline expensive?
It depends on factors like color, clarity, carat, and origin. But they are affordable compared to other gemstones.
What’s the difference between precious Opal and common Opal?
Precious Opal shows play of color, while common Opal does not. Precious Opal is much rarer and more valuable.
What is boulder opal?
Boulder opal is a precious opal still attached to its original host rock. Most boulder opal comes from Australia.
Should I buy solid opal or doublets/triplets?
Doublets and triplets combine thin layers of Opal with backing for durability. But solid opals have more value as they are 100% natural opal.
What is Opal’s Mohs hardness?
Opal’s hardness ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, so it is relatively soft compared to many gems.
Can I wear opal and tourmaline jewelry every day?
Both are suitable for everyday wear. But opal jewelry requires more care as Opal is fragile compared to tourmaline.
What’s an excellent way to start an opal collection?
Start with less expensive opal doublets or Australian boulder opal. Black Opal, crystal opal, and fire opal are more costly.
What is mystic fire opal? How is it different than regular Opal?
Mystic fire opal is a rare opal that exhibits vibrant flashes of color rather than body color. It’s among the most valuable types of Opal.
What is watermelon tourmaline?
Watermelon tourmaline has a pink core surrounded by green – resembling its namesake fruit. It’s one of the most popular tourmaline colors.
Are there benefits to wearing tourmaline jewelry?
Many believe tourmaline improves mood, energy levels, adrenal function, and immunity when worn. However, the benefits are not scientifically proven.
Is it okay to get my Opal or tourmaline ring wet?
Both can get wet, but avoid hot water and harsh chemicals. Tourmaline can handle more wear than Opal. Avoid knocks and extreme temperature changes.
I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site https://laoutaris.com. As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.
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